7 Ways to Prepare for Your Association’s Conference

Dec 1, 2023

Competing at your Association conference can be a challenging yet rewarding experience for any DECA member. Whether new to the game or a seasoned four-year member, this is a phenomenal time to maximize your potential. Many steps go into a successful conference, so careful preparation is key. Here are a few things to remember to help you prepare for your Association’s conference.

1. Get to Know the Conference Format

Familiarize yourself with the conference format, including speakers, workshops, free time, etc. Doing this before the conference will be an asset, allowing you to use your time optimally. Check with your advisor on your chapter schedule and stick to it!

2. Thoroughly Review Guidelines

Dive into the DECA guidelines for your chosen category. Understanding the specific criteria on which you'll be evaluated will enable you to tailor your presentation to meet judges' expectations.

3. Research Industry Trends

Stay updated on current trends and developments in your chosen industry. Incorporating relevant and timely information into your presentation demonstrates a keen awareness of the business landscape and can give you an upper hand.

4. Stay Updated on DECA Resources

Keep an eye on DECA's official resources and announcements. This ensures you know of any last-minute changes or updates that may impact the competition.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

Hone your presentation skills through consistent practice. Conduct mock presentations with peers or mentors to receive constructive feedback and refine your delivery. No matter what endeavor you are taking on, practice makes perfect!

6. Dress for Success

Project a polished and professional image by adhering to appropriate DECA dress standards. A professional appearance complements your well-prepared presentation. You can even take this one step further and make it fun by matching with your competitive partner. Make DECA dress your own!

7. Network and Learn

Take advantage of networking opportunities during the competition. Engage with fellow participants, judges, and industry professionals to expand your knowledge and build valuable connections. This is one of the best opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and grow your knowledge.  

Remember, success in a conference is not just about winning glass but about the skills and knowledge gained throughout the preparation process. Approach the competition with enthusiasm, dedication and a commitment to continuous improvement. Good luck!


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