Membership recruitment is a challenge for all chapters, big or small, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. You should treat your membership campaign as a marketing campaign.
Just like in a marketing campaign, you must first figure out how you’re going to reach your audience, and then figure out how you’re going to convince them that your product/service is worth buying (in this case, you must convince them that DECA is worth joining). If you can successfully do both of those, your membership campaign will be a success. All schools’ situations and students are different, meaning that what works with one school may not work for another. However, here are some tips and tricks that have worked in the past and will hopefully work for your chapter as well.
As mentioned before, the first step to gaining more members is reaching out to more students. Club days are great for finding new members, but with so many clubs present, it’s hard for students to remember DECA and hard for you to gain members. You should find ways to talk to students about DECA outside of club day, when there aren’t so many other clubs distracting them. One simple way to do this is by talking to incoming freshmen before the school year begins. If you can talk to the students before all the other clubs on campus overwhelm them, it will be much easier to convince them to join DECA.
Another great way to reach students is by doing short presentations about DECA to some classes. For example, you can talk to all of the literature or history teachers, and ask if you can do a short 5-minute presentation about DECA at the beginning of their class. If you can do these presentations, you can reach a lot of students very efficiently. Granted, you will have to miss some class to do these, so make sure your teacher is okay with you being absent for a part of class.
As for convincing the students to join, one of the best ways to sell DECA to the students is by selling our DECA conferences. Not many organizations give their members opportunities to attend conferences like DECA does, so make sure the students know that! Tell them about your personal experiences and all the fun they can have at conferences. If you can convince the students that not only can they learn valuable skills through DECA, but also have an amazing time doing so, they’ll be much more willing to join.
Hopefully you were able to learn something from this blog post. If you have any more questions about membership recruitment, feel free to contact any of the state officers for help. Good luck on your membership recruiting!