Do members have to qualify for the District, State or International Career Development Conferences?

Members do not have to qualify to attend their District Career Development Conference (CDC) or the State Career Development Conference (SCDC). They do, however, have to qualify at SCDC in order to compete at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC). Please reference the ICDC conference page for more information.

Which events are offered at the various conferences?

Depending on the conference you attend, different events may be offered. Please check the registration guide to be sure that you sign your students up for events that are being offered at the conference you plan to attend. District events do not offer any of the chapter team events, virtual business challenges or corporate partner projects. The State Career Development Conference does not offer virtual business challenges or corporate partner projects.

How many competitive events can a student compete in at the District Career Development Conferences and the State Career Development Conference?

Students may compete in a MAXIMUM of two competitive events; one written event and one series event. See the conference registration guide for a list as to which events are considered written events and which events are considered series events. If a student chooses to compete in two events, it is best that they choose two events that take the same exam. You will find a listing of each event and its corresponding cluster exam in conference registration guide.

*Note: For District CDCs and SCDC, the Corporate Partner Projects, Virtual Business Challenges and Stock Market Game do not count toward the maximum of two events. These projects take place outside of conferences unless students advance to ICDC to compete in these events.

What are the Corporate Partner Projects?

DECA has partnered with various corporations to create exciting competitive events for your students. These competitive events take place in your classroom instead of at the District or State Career Development Conference. The timeline for these events hits much earlier than traditional competition (some as early as October or November). Students who qualify for any final rounds of this competition are notified, and the top-level participants will compete in these events at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC).

While these events do not affect the number of events a student may compete in at the State or District level, they do affect competition restrictions held at the International level. If a student qualifies to ICDC as a corporate partner project winner, as well as in another competition on the state level, they must choose between two events as they may only compete in one event at ICDC.

Conferences – General Information

What is the difference between a California DECA Conference and a DECA, Inc. conference?

California DECA offers multiple conference opportunities throughout the year. The focus is often either leadership, competition, or both. The California Association of DECA holds these conferences in the state of California and is responsible for the management and execution of these conferences. All registration is done through California DECA.

DECA, Inc. offers conferences all throughout the United States, such as the New York Experience, Sports and Entertainment Marketing Conference and Innovations and Entrepreneurship Conference. California chapters attend these conferences, but complete their registration through the national organization (except in the case of the International Career Development Conference, where individual chapters send all of their information to California DECA and California DECA registers the association). Most policies and procedures for DECA conferences are very similar to, if not the same, as California DECA policies and procedures. If you choose to attend any of conferences, please be sure to read all of the registration materials very carefully.

How many students can I bring to a conference?

You may bring as many or as few students as you wish. However, for California DECA conferences, you must stay within the adult to student ratio required by California DECA (1:15) and the National DECA adult to student ratio, which is typically 1:8. For more details, please review the registration guide for the specific conference.

As a new chapter, which conferences should we attend?

The local district conferences are the best way to introduce students to DECA without a huge financial commitment to travel (note that you are still required to stay in the conference hotels if the conference is an overnight event). The fall Leadership Development Conferences are great first look at DECA if you are ready to dive in right away. They focus on leadership, and often offer competitive events training.

The winter District Career Development Conferences are the first time your students will see a full-fledged DECA competition. These usually happen in January, however the registration deadline is in December before students leave on break. If your chapter feels ready, we also recommend attending the State Career Development Conference later on in February or March. The State Career Development Conference alternates locations between Northern and Southern California each year. Chapters may also attend ICDC if you have students that qualify either in competitive events or in leadership academy slots. 

Conferences – Registration

How do I register for a conference?

Registration for conferences can be found online in the corresponding conference guide. Brycen Woodley, the State Director, also emails out each conference guide once it is released. All registration information can be found in the conference guide. Should you have specific questions on registration for a conference, please send an email to: registration@californiadeca.org

How do I pay for a conference?

The registration guide will designate who the check should be made out to. All payment should be sent to: PO Box 912, Jacksonville, OR 97530. Payment should be in the form of one check for the entire delegation. We are unable to accept any credit cards or Purchase Orders. We are also unable to accept multiple checks from individuals; payment should be made with one check via a school account. Should you have questions in regards to payment, please contact us at registration@californiadeca.org

What does my conference registration fee cover? Are there other fees?

Your conference registration fee covers entrance into the conference, including all materials and printed items as well as competition. The only other fees are optional items such as T-shirts or special events (such as a chapter trip to Disney), which are at the discretion of each individual chapter. If the conference is a multi-day event, there will also be a hotel fee associated with the fee. It is required that all chapters stay on site during the conference. Please review the specific conference registration guide for the hotel fees for the conference. Please note that both registration and hotel fees are due prior to attending the conference.

Do I have to register my students as members before they attend a conference?

Yes, all students and advisors attending the conference must be registered DECA members. Chaperones do not need to be registered as a DECA member.

Conferences – Logistics

What happens at a DECA conference?

Most conferences focus on either leadership or competition, or some combination of the two. Conferences offer general sessions with keynote speakers, competition, testing, awards/recognition sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Agendas for most conferences can be found in the corresponding registration guide.

Students generally walk away with an increased knowledge of the business world, new friendships and connections, lasting memories, and more self-confidence. Conferences and competitions give students a chance to apply what they learn in the classroom while gaining valuable leadership and life skills.

Do we have to stay at the conference hotel?

Yes. All participants, including advisors and chaperones, are required to stay at the conference hotel for the duration of the conference in the case of an overnight event. There are no exceptions to this policy, no matter how close the participants live.

How do I get to a conference?

The advisor and school administration are expected to coordinate travel to and from the conference facility. California DECA does not coordinate travel to and from conferences

Will meals be provided at conferences?

Unless noted in the conference registration guide, no meals are provided at conferences. Conferences often take place near a variety of local eateries and grocery stores.

Conferences – Policies

What is the adult to student ratio required at a California DECA conference?

California DECA requires one adult for every 15 students at a California DECA conference. This ratio is often different for a National DECA conference (for example, ICDC requires a ratio of 1 adult for every 8 students). Please be sure to read all registration materials carefully to ensure you are within the proper ratio.

What is the age requirement for one to be considered a chaperone or advisor?

California DECA requires that anyone who is acting as a chaperone or advisor is age 21 or older.

What is the refund or cancellation policy for conferences?

There are no refunds or cancellations. Your chapter will be responsible to pay for the number of students you register. If a student drops out after registration is submitted, the chapter will still need to pay for that student. You may substitute one student for another that cannot attend. There is a small substitution fee.

Do I have to attend the conference with my students, or may a parent/chaperone go in my place?

As the advisor, you must attend any conferences the students attend and stay for the duration of the conference. You must also stay at the conference hotel for any overnight conferences. Students may not attend a conference without their official school advisor.

Do I have to be a teacher at the school to be considered an advisor?

Advisors must be certificated faculty members in order to serve as the advisor. Should you have any questions about whether you meet the requirements, please email the Chapter Development Manager, Anne Marie Sketch, at annemarie@californiadeca.org

Governance and Dues

How should I structure my chapter leadership team?

Chapters have the ability to structure the chapter leadership team to best suit your local chapter needs. For an example of chapter leadership structure, see page 11 of the Be A Hero Guide.

What is a chapter constitution, and do I need to submit mine to California DECA?

Each chapter must have a constitution on file with California DECA. A sample chapter constitution may be found here and submitted to registration@californiadeca.org

Contact Information

What is the California DECA mailing address?

California DECA

PO Box 2068

Costa Mesa, CA 92628

What is the California DECA phone number?

1-888-605-DECA (3322)

Who do I contact if I want to start a new chapter?

Please contact our Chapter Development Manager, Kim Frahm, at teach@californiadeca.org or the State Director, Brycen Woodley, at brycen@californiadeca.org.