8 Tips & Tricks for Your DECA Recruitment Booth

Chloe Dougherty | East Ridge DECA

We all have our own unique, “What is DECA,” elevator speech; we are all guilty of standing in front of the mirror reciting it for hours.

How long did it take you to memorize every word of your speech? Have you forgotten your elevator speech over the summer? The officers from East Ridge High School sure haven’t!

Every year before the new school year begins, our school hosts “Keys to the Kingdom.” It’s the perfect time for the incoming freshman to not only pick up their schedules and tour the campus, but also get a sense of what high school is really about: the clubs and organizations.

Each club sets up their own booth inside the cafeteria of the school. All freshmen are encouraged to stop by before they leave and check out everything the school has to offer. The only organization we want on their minds as they leave is DECA.

Here are eight ways we ensure the name DECA rings a bell on the first day of school:

1. Make sure students follow us on social media.

After introducing yourself to new members and discussing what DECA is, it’s important to leave them with a way to keep in touch and follow up. Social media is THE key way to do so. Teenagers are constantly scrolling through social media, and if DECA is mentioned on their feed at least once they will NOT forget it. Some students more willing to scroll through a series of pictures on their phones will want to see the most appealing aspects of your chapter, so make sure your feeds are updated and ready before sharing!

2. Create a board to get them interested.

Before you even get the chance to deliver your elevator speech, kids need to be drawn in. If they see a nice looking board and a club they may not have heard of, they’ll be curious and what to know more. For our board, we really focused on the opportunities to travel that DECA offers. We saw this as one of the most tempting reasons to join DECA and one of the easier aspects to explain.

3. Create a scrapbook.

I know it might be frustrating but some people need to see it to believe it, meaning your elevator speech might not always do the trick. That’s why having some type of photo album or accessible pictures are essential for recruitment. It also is a physical way to show just how fun it is to join and why all our members love it.

4. Create handouts.

Anything from a business card, a flyer, to a post card, will help for sure! It’s a small item that can make a huge impact. Students will have a physical copy to pick back up one day and be reminded of the awesome organization they learned about. Its also makes passing information on from student to parent a simpler task. Business cards are the best way to share social media information and e-mails in case students and/or parents think of any question before they get the chance to attend a meeting.

5. Make sure we have a way to contact them.

We made sure to have a contact sheet near by, so students could leave their name and email. This gives us a chance to contact them about our first meeting, in case they don’t hear about it during school. It was also our way of knowing how many times we used our elevator speeches and gave us an estimate of how many kids stopped by our booth.

 6. Be THE loudest booth.

We created a playlist of popular songs that we knew everyone couldn’t resist singing and dancing to. Students were interested and saw that we were more than just another boring organization.

 7. Sell snacks and drinks.

During the event, the incoming freshmen tour the ENTIRE campus, all the way from the front office to the portables. By the time they reach our booth at the end, they are all sweaty and exhausted. They want to come to our booth not just because of our music and board, but because we had what they needed: refreshments. When they stop by to purchase a snack, its they perfect time to inform them about the school store run by DECA.

8. Make sure all of our officers are prepared for any fast balls thrown their way.

One of the most important things is that all officers can answer any and all questions. Most questions were broad and along the lines of “What is DECA?” Perfect because we had our DECA spiels ready. On the other hand, some questions were a little more specific to competition or our personal experiences. We couldn’t forget our target market that we were selling DECA to. It was important to be on your toes with a quick and simple answer spoken in Laymen’s terms.

At the end of the day, we made a success out of selling DECA at Keys to the Kingdom. We totaled about 90 freshman names on our contact sheets and several business cards/postcards were given out. We really showed freshmen the best ways to #OwnYourFuture and also taught them that success is #Limitless.

This article was written by East Ridge DECA Vice President of Creative Marketing, Chloe Dougherty. You can follow Chloe on Twitter @dougherty_chloe.

Categories: Branding & Promotion, Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Membership & Recruitment