For many members, the ultimate goal is to claim DECA Glass during ICDC. I've had this same goal for the past six years as a DECA member in both high school and college. After being a Collegiate DECA ICDC finalist as a prepared event competitor three times, last year I finally achieved my goal of winning glass in Business Research.
Given my experience with prepared events, I have an idea of what it takes to be successful. First and foremost, it requires a willingness to go above and beyond what others are willing to do. You must also prepare early in the year, find the perfect business or organization to work with and develop innovative solutions to the problem.
1. Have a plan or plan to fail.
Prepared events are much different than any other DECA competitive event category. You cannot just show up to a conference and compete, you need to put in months of work beforehand to be successful.
Late in the summer, competitive event prompts are released in the DECA Guide and Collegiate DECA Guide. Once released, it is important to get together with your teammates, if you have any for your project, and develop a schedule.
2. Know who you want to work with.
Most of DECA's prepared events require you to work with a real business or organization. For example, some years the event will prompt you to improve a firm’s marketing activities or human resource strategies.
The project may seem easier if you work with a firm that struggles with the prompt; however, as a result, your suggested solutions may be general and lack innovation. Therefore, it can be best to work with a successful organization to challenge yourself to be more creative.
3. Develop a solution that stands out.
During competition, you are evaluated on various factors and all of them are important. You should never neglect any part of the event; however, it is also true that the solutions you suggest in your project are the most important part.
So, make your solutions stand out! To ensure this, you want your solutions to be unique and bold, but attainable. This comes from working with a great firm and not cutting any corners throughout your project.