How to Increase DECA State Membership

How to Increase
DECA State
Ideas and Best Practices from the Pros!
Excerpts provided by DECA LEADS from DECA State Advisors
at the 2005 and 2006 State Advisor Management Conference
Arranged by TRI Leadership Resources, LLC
How to Increase DECA State Membership (2005)
Adapted from State Association Management Conference 2005 from presentations
by DECA State Advisors: Gene Adams (NJ), Mickey Kosloski (VA), and Jim Brock (AR)
Host a Variety of Events
Conduct a lot of events throughout the state. The goal is to find something that will be appealing and be
sure students are members before they come. Give them all something to be excited about and plug in
to: concerts, theme parks, state fair, fashion shows, professional sports, and more. The key is to make
participation easy. Develop objectives for each event and tie it to the curriculum so advisors can readily
make the academic and scholastic connection for administrators and parents.
Handpick Mentor Advisors for New Chapters and New Advisors
Connect new advisors with experienced advisors who are positive and doing DECA right. Do not leave
new advisors with anyone who will not mentor and show them the right way to build a chapter. Develop
a list of model practices that a chapter does and participates in so that there is a clear list and
expectation of what DECA chapters do.
Constantly Share the Good News of Your State
People like to join a winning program. No one else can sell and share this better than the state advisor.
Build a network of “reporters” who are bringing great local news to the attention of the state so that
individual stories can be shared. Be sure to encourage local chapter success stories to get into
Dimensions. Post information to the web and give information to administrators about DECA and what is
going on in the program. Don’t always be in their office asking for more funds, resources, or approvals
for DECA-related programs. Share with administrators the great things members are involved in and try
to show the academic rigors and fundamentals. Use good news to build champions of DECA!
Provide Incentives
Provide incentives for chapters to do the right thing or get involved in the right programs. Examples: To
be eligible for “X Recognition Program” your chapter must increase by 5; provide Membership Parties of
financial awards to the top largest chapters and the top increasing chapters.
Post Membership Numbers to the Web
Students will see that there are large chapters and work to figure out how they do it and achieve the
higher levels. Positive peer pressure will develop a positive membership. Recruit the large and fast
growing chapters to share a few of their best practices. This helps remove rivalry by having the
successful ones looking to help others. It also promotes a “can do” attitude for other advisors.
Have a Servant’s Mentality
Make the advisor’s job as easy as possible. Keep things simple. Constantly post news and information.
Recognize those who are doing a great job. Celebrate success! Don’t forget to copy and inform those
who need to know about success. Tell the Department of Education. Tell school administrators. Share
with corporate partners and sponsors. Tell alumni.
Use the Web
Websites make the state advisor job and local chapter advisor job easier. Teach them where the
information is so they begin to look to the web first before asking. Along the way they discover other
information as well. Help them to be “self seekers” and don’t constantly overhaul the site and confuse
them with navigation changes.
How to Increase DECA State Membership (2005)
Adapted from State Association Management Conference 2005 from presentations
by DECA State Advisors: Gene Adams (NJ), Mickey Kosloski (VA), and Jim Brock (AR)
Membership is Advisor-based
One factor for advisors choosing to do DECA is based upon the other advisors who are involved. If other
advisors are fun and positive—that attracts people. If they are not, people seek other places to get
involved. Be careful to cultivate an atmosphere of warmth, invitation, acceptance, and good cheer.
Marketing Education Evolution
Marketing Education is seeing resurgence. More attractive events are getting students to get involved in
marketing and therefore DECA. For example: sports marketing, hospitality and tourism, e-commerce,
etc. This close tie to curriculum and the classroom makes DECA easier to integrate and keeps advisors
from having to dedicate so much additional time after class. The connection to curriculum is what gives
DECA a distinction from the 40 other clubs and organizations on campus. Do everything possible to
foster a strong marketing and business program and prevent the “club” mentality from starting.
Fall Chapter Officer Training is Vital
Events give advisors and students the opportunity to get out of the traditional classroom and engage in
professional development. This is an opportunity to gain input of chapter members and advisors—gets
them more involved and expands ownership. It is also is a place to share the message purely with local
members without filtering by chapter advisors or chapter officers.
Competition Conferences
Provide events where members are allowed to take 100% of their membership to conferences. Build the
type of mentality with chapters where students know they can get involved if they decide.
How to Increase DECA State Membership (2006)
Adapted from State Association Management Conference 2006 from presentations
by DECA State Advisors: Robin Counce (OK), Mickey Kosloski (VA), and Tina Durham (SC)
ROBIN COUNCE, State Advisor, Oklahoma
‰ At officer training Oklahoma trains chapter reporters to put everything on radio, TV,
‰ Teachers are encouraged to promote, promote, promote.
‰ State officers when developing a POW they make it a priority and have creative
‰ They conduct OK state tour visiting chapters, potential, and even school assemblies.
‰ New initiative to reach out to rural schools and having urban adopt rural schools
‰ Easy to promote DECA because of wonderful ammunition and resources—use the
materials that exist—they work if you use them!
‰ Travel opportunities for students is important—they like to get going and they
promote it.
‰ Internship opportunities (NBA) spreads like wild fire.
‰ DECA Day at Capitol—open to all students who want to attend
‰ Created a recruitment kit for advisors (“DECA for Dummies”) Posters, PowerPoint,
Video, Business Cards with logo and Creed, Electronic Brochure, Letter from State
‰ State Only Competitive Event showcasing local chapter activities via multi-media.
They then have a competition display area at state (display, laptop, posters, etc.)
Reward the top competition chapter with the slots allocated for Senior Management
Institute allotment to the Showcase.
Need more information on these ideas?
Contact Robin Counce at [email protected]
How to Increase DECA State Membership (2006)
Adapted from State Association Management Conference 2006 from presentations
by DECA State Advisors: Robin Counce (OK), Mickey Kosloski (VA), and Tina Durham (SC)
TINA DURHAM, State Advisor, South Carolina
‰ Identify key people who have potential to start a chapter.
‰ Hold a special training session in the fall (independent of State Department).
‰ Teachers can get out of class approved.
‰ Every teacher of program is invited.
‰ Information and communication.
‰ USE national DECA and their resources.
‰ 100% recognition of chapters—look for ways to promote and honor chapters
‰ Certificates are good; don’t forget to always welcome and brag on new chapters
them a lot.
‰ Concentrate on the new teachers heading out to be educators.
‰ Officers set goals into the year. Use a % of membership increase, number of new
chapters, and number of chapters attending events. The key is tracking it! Officers
set the goals and must have concrete actions they can take.
‰ Chances for success are better if they can be recruited, setup, and plugged into
something right away.
‰ “Floating chapters” these are ones who are not official, but have great potential.
‰ Officers are always prospecting for new schools and new members.
‰ Really encourage the membership campaign and then recognize them at state
‰ Promote, train, and constant talk!
Need more information on these ideas?
Contact Tina Durham at [email protected]
How to Increase DECA State Membership (2006)
Adapted from State Association Management Conference 2006 from presentations
by DECA State Advisors: Robin Counce (OK), Mickey Kosloski (VA), and Tina Durham (SC)
MICKEY KOSLOSKI, State Advisor Virginia DECA
‰ Secret to membership—move to Virginia and acquire 400 best teachers on the
‰ Do as many events as you can do and try new things.
‰ Marketing 101—practice it!
‰ Ongoing promotional plan all year long.
‰ State officers head out to visit chapters—get the students pumped up. Meanwhile
the teacher wasn’t going to do it. If you don’t sell the teachers—you don’t sell it!
Students are easier sells than teachers. If teachers believe it—they will be excited
and it will easily sell to students.
‰ Scavenger hunt on the website.
‰ They do have information for students on the state website—but, it is primarily
designed for teachers.
‰ Everything they do—they do it with teachers in mind.
‰ Build excitement on day one. Students need excitement and ownership.
‰ Virginia tracks data and can run reports. He knows where chapters are at. He calls
local advisors and keeps them informed of what other chapters are doing—and
challenges them in a fun way.
‰ They tried incentives like 10 $500 parties for the chapters with most membership
increase. The chapters who won it didn’t even know they qualified for it. Got rid of
that…started using blinking stars to get people psyched. It was inexpensive and the
kids loved it!
‰ Takes last year’s membership and posts it on the web. Here’s what you had last
year, here’s where you are at now, here’s where you need to go. Chapters are
competitive, they like to see who is winning and not winning.
Need more information on these ideas?
Contact Mickey Kosloski at [email protected]