DECA Fall Leadership Conference

DECA’s annual Fall Leadership Conference (FLC), where students have the opportunity to network and learn with industry professionals, was held November 1st and 2nd at the Yaro Hotel in Park City, Utah. 

Students from universities and colleges all around Utah and Nevada arrived early Friday morning to listen to Market star’s Matthew Berrett speak about personal and company growth as part of the chapter officer leadership training (COLA). DECA state officers, including Weber State’s Adrien Covington, gave presentations on varying awards and accolades DECA chapters and members can attain along with strategies to accomplish them. Breakfast was provided for attendees of the COLA presentations and students were given the opportunity to network with fellow attendees and discuss how to implement the ideas presented. 

One of the activities designed to help generate ideas was for students to break into groups and create thought bubbles on large poster boards. These posters were then pinned to the walls of the conference center as students walked around in their groups discussing the various ideas presented. 

After the COLA meeting, lunch was served and Scott Huskinson of Remembrand gave a speech of his personal life and how he founded a company named iFrogz which he eventually sold to Zagg. The audience was at full attention as Scott portrayed his story of set-backs and accomplishments. 

A representative of Zagg presented the conference’s first case study in which students were given the opportunity to solve real world problems. Their task was to create an e-commerce plan to boost web traffic to the Zagg website and sales of Zagg products. Students were able to ask questions during the presentation to get a better understating of Zagg and its product offerings. The second case study was presented by Jess Kantor of the Sundance Film Institute. The objective of this case was for students to increase awareness and ticket sales of the film festival among college aged students. 

After hearing the presentations the students were separated into their respective teams and allowed to discuss their ideas regarding the case studies. After the students were given some time to discuss their ideas, former DECA members and local business owners walked around the room and gave their opinions on the case studies. The meeting was then adjourned and students ate dinner with their chapter groups after which they met up with their presentation groups and worked late into the night revising their ideas. 

On Saturday morning, conference attendants woke up, ate breakfast and began presenting their case study ideas to judges. The judges consisted of actual employees from the respective companies of which the case studies were about. This allowed for direct feedback on their ideas and allowed the students to learn about their presentation skills and quality of ideas. 

Once the presentations concluded, all the students convened in the main conference center for lunch where they learned the results of the competition and listened to a final presentation. The closing speech was by Bryan Brandenburg of Comic-Con who discussed the different strategies used to make the inaugural Salt Lake City Comic-Con the most successful first time Comic-Con and the most attended convention in Utah History.   

Originally written by Adrien Covington