Tabling at events is a great way to recruit new members and share the amazing things that your Collegiate DECA chapter does with your campus community. For many of your members, your table or booth is their first impression of your chapter, so effectively engaging with them is key to getting them involved. Use these tips to boost your recruitment efforts to raise awareness of your chapter with prospective members.
1. Review all event opportunities and register your organization to participate
Make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities your college or university has available for you to showcase your Collegiate DECA chapter to the campus community. Register for all events that allow you to have a booth or be present to share information about your organization.
2. Set up a visually appealing booth
Get your DECA tablecloth ready! If you don't have one, lay out a cloth to neatly pull the area together. Arrange your flyers and materials so potential members can quickly view them and grab them as needed. If you have awards (Chapter Leadership Passport, DECA glass) available, use your booth to showcase these items. Food or snacks will also entice people to visit your table if your college or university allows.
3. Ensure your Collegiate DECA representatives have a pitch ready
Before tabling, have a brief training to ensure that all of your chapter leaders or volunteers at the booth know what topics they will talk about to prospective members and how they can best engage with them. These individuals are representatives of your whole chapter, so ensure the messaging is consistent and how you want your organization to be perceived.
4. Flyers or giveaways
Have a handout available for prospective members to take with them and review. Your flyer should have a call to action, such as RSVP-ing for the next event, following your chapter on social media or signing up for your chapter's newsletter.
Branding is critical, and sharing giveaways that display the Collegiate DECA brand is an excellent way to continue to market your chapter outside the club/organization fair. For example, give away Collegiate DECA branded water bottles. Your visitor will organically promote your chapter when they bring this water bottle to their classes, events or while studying in the library.
5. Have a system to gather information
Whether you go the old-fashioned route with a paper and pen or use a Google Form, get their contact information! Prospective members will be meeting many other organizations vying for their time. Getting their information will allow you to continue the conversation by sharing upcoming events and opportunities within your chapter.
6. Have a follow-up plan
Have an email template ready to send out to all the new people you talked to shortly after the recruitment event so that Collegiate DECA stays at the top of their minds when considering their extracurricular involvement. Use this email to thank them for their time, include information about upcoming meetings or events, and provide a way for them to get in touch with your chapter.
7. Double the impact with social media
Develop a social media plan that will complement your tabling outreach. Tag @CollegiateDECA and your state association to reach a broader audience. Check out Collegiate DECA's Recruitment Toolkit for graphics and templates.
8. Get to know your potential member
While your booth exists to provide information, the best way to engage with them is to get to know them personally. Ask them about themselves, what they're studying and what they hope to gain by getting involved on campus. Genuinely listening to and getting to know the individual will also help you to share with them how Collegiate DECA can help them reach their goals.
Your table or booth may be the first encounter that many prospective members have with Collegiate DECA, so using these strategies can help you capture their attention, remember you, and ultimately get them involved as a member in your chapter.
Best of luck with your recruitment efforts!