Ten Ideas for Collegiate DECA Freshman Recruitment

September 1, 2020

Collegiate DECA offers incredible opportunities for members, and every year dedicated officers aim to increase membership. However, it can be a struggle to think of new, creative ways to recruit new students. To help, explore these ten great ways to increase membership.

  1. Activity Fair Table: Be sure to sign up early for a spot at your local activity fair! Create an attractive booth that will showcase the achievements of your chapter and the opportunities DECA offers. On Shop DECA, you will be able to find many great items to make your table stand out. This includes flags, buttons, banners, table drapes, pennants, etc. Be sure to allow interested students to write down their email addresses for you to reach out later that day. Work with your university to explore virtual activity fair options if necessary.
  2. Newsletters: In every university, students receive many email newsletters. This may be for campus organizations or specific programs/schools within the university. Take advantage of these pre-organized newsletters and reach out to the editors. Ask if you can input your chapter’s flyer or other information so that more students can learn about DECA!
  3. Freshman Presentations: An engaging way to recruit new members is to create a presentation specifically for freshman students. This should explain what DECA is, your chapter regular activities and past achievements. This may be presented at freshman-specific classes, your welcome meeting or business-related classes. If your classes are virtual, you could make this a live Zoom session with time for Q&A or pre-record the presentation for students to view on-demand.
  4. Creative Flyers: Get back to the basics! Create a fun, eye-catching flyer to post on school buildings, communal bulletin boards and outside business classes. Just be sure to get approval from the university first, if needed. The same flyer can also be shared on social media.
  5. Advertise a Specific Opportunity: If your chapter has an incredible event, activity or guest speaker, advertise it! Students will automatically be intrigued if they have an event to look forward to and will be more inclined to join. Market this opportunity on social media, through flyers and at other recruitment activities.
  6. Social Media: Follow new business students and keep your social media accounts updated. Be sure to have a cohesive, modern look to present DECA professionally. This will intrigue students and make them excited to join. A pro tip is to search for members following specific "Class of XX" accounts or students who have joined an incoming freshman group on Facebook.
  7. School Outreach Project: At the beginning of the school year, develop a school outreach event with your fellow members. Students will get familiar with the DECA brand and be inclined to learn more about this organization. Be sure to hold the event in a public in-person setting or online platform where many students can attend.
  8. Fun First Meeting: If in person, offer food and beverages at your first welcome meeting. The meeting should be informational and introduce all of the benefits of joining Collegiate DECA. However, you also want to make students excited to join! Include a fun ice breaker so prospective members have a chance to get you to know your current members. If your meeting is virtual, you can still make it fun through music, the use of breakout rooms, engaging chat prompts and including a game.
  9. Elevator Pitch: Create a general elevator pitch with fellow officers and be sure that your recruitment team is familiar with it. Then your members will be ready to “sell” DECA to potential members. Do not be afraid to bring your business skills to freshman recruitment! Rather than creating a blanket statement to be memorized, bullet-point a few key features and encourage members to add their personal experiences.
  10. Bring a Friend Incentive: Ask new members to bring a friend for a prize or other incentive! Students (especially freshmen) will feel more comfortable bringing a friend with them and will be excited about the incentive. Hopefully, this will make all attendees more interested in what DECA has to offer.

Ready for more? Visit the Collegiate DECA Recruitment Toolkit, "Join Collegiate DECA" webpage, and more recruitment ideas.


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