2014 Recap: Why You Should Attend DECA ELS

This year’s Emerging Leader Summit was from Saturday, July 19th to Monday, July 21st in the sunny state of Arizona! As usual, DECA ELS was an incredibly engaging, memorable conference. From learning different ways to utilize social media to learning about DECA Professionalism and Professional Dress, everything about this year’s Emerging Leader Summit helped each member “emerge” as a leader. On the first day of the conference, DECA members networked and were introduced to one another through fun, invigorating ice-breakers. We had many incredible guest speakers introduce themselves and present a variety of workshops: Workshop Workshop, Strategic Communication Plans, Representing the Blazer, and Mission Possible: Being a 24/7 Leader.

Workshop Workshop taught many people how to effectively present and put together a memorable workshop. We learned about how to successfully conduct icebreakers, how to catch everyone’s attention, and how to ensure they’ll leave your workshop armed with new information! The Strategic Communication Plans taught each chapter and association how to use social media to the fullest extent. We also received a list of awesome social media websites and tips on how to get more recognition to social media posts. Another incredible workshop was the “Represent the Blazer” workshop. In this workshop, each chapter learned about what it means to wear your DECA blazer; it means YOU are DECA! We learned about DECA professionalism, professional dress, and how to properly advocate for DECA. Many people have often struggled with how to explain what DECA is, and how to introduce our theme: I AM DECA. The “Represent the Blazer” workshop was perfect and extremely helpful in breaking it down. But don’t worry, DECA ELS wasn’t just about learning!

On the last night of DECA ELS, all DECA members went to DECA Night at an amazing arena called “Lucky Strike,” which was a unique combination of a bowling arena and arcade. DECA members from all over America (and Canada!) had fun getting to know one another and competing against each other on the arcade machines and bowling alleys.

Unfortunately, Monday, July 21st was our last day. After another great workshop on Mission Possible: Being a 24/7 Leader presented by representatives from the U.S. Army, each association had the opportunity to present a showcase. Each association presented something that they wanted to share with other DECA associations, like interesting things that they do within their own associations, how to run a successful charity event, or even how to introduce DECA to new people!

After the association showcase, many people rushed to the airport to catch their flight. Overall, DECA ELS was an action-packed conference that provided many great opportunities for DECA members to network, learn, and teach other associations and chapters. We hope you’ll join us for next year’s Emerging Leader Summit!