While attending a DECA conference, your mind will undoubtedly be focused on walking across the stage while holding a 1st place glass plaque. However, conferences are also invaluable opportunities for forming connections with students who share similar interests; most of which you would not have had an opportunity to meet outside of DECA.
Here are some tips to maximize your networking skills at a DECA conference!
- Be goal-oriented: Before you begin, set goals for yourself to help gauge the success of a networking session. Start by aiming to talk to 5 new students, or to meet someone from a different state or district.
- Be genuine: Never lie or try to make yourself someone you’re not. Be honest and open while having a conversation.
- Be open: As easy as it is to rant endlessly about yourself, that is not the best way to make conversation. Ensure that you are both equally contributing to the conversation. Ask open-ended questions that will guarantee both of you leave the conversation feeling satisfied.
- Be consistent: Before the meeting ends, be sure to exchange business cards or contact information, then follow-up after the encounter. Always leave the person with a great impression!
Good luck owning your DECA network this year!