DECA Competitive Events: 101

Deciding on what event to do is probably one of the hardest and the most important decisions to make throughout the year as a DECA member. There are a lot of different events to choose from, from role plays to written events. All of the events offer their own unique experience. Here is a list of the general categories of events followed by a short explanation.

Role-plays: Role-plays encompass the largest portion of competitive events. You are given a business situation and asked to find a solution using key marketing and business knowledge. You then present your solution in front of a judge. There are team role-plays, individual role-plays, and principle role-plays. Principle role-plays are only for first year DECA members and are the recommended event for new members. Individual and team role-plays are almost the same except team role-plays are done in groups of two and individual role-plays are done as an individual.

Written Events: Written events are the next largest portion of competitive events and offer a wide variety of topics. There are chapter events, entrepreneurship events, and Business Operations Research events. Written events can be conducted in teams of one to three. Teams prepare a written entry before the state conference relating to the specific event they chose. The team then does a presentation in front of a judge summarizing their written entry.

Online Events: Online events are events that take place before the state conference and are conducted online via simulation. The event types range from investing in the stock market to running a hotel. Teams of one to three can take part in these events and any member can participate. These events are really fun! Ask your advisor about how to access online events.

Testing: All role-play events and some written events require a 100 question test that covers their general area of business/marketing. If you have the ability to take a marketing course at school, we highly recommend it! If not, look for finance classes, accounting classes, or any other general business classes offered at your school. It is also a great idea to look into checking out a basic marketing text book or purchasing a used one online. If you don't have access to a marketing class at school, you can self-study to improve your test scores!


Choosing what event to do can be a hard decision, so it might be easier to choose a category of event first. After that it is just a matter of choosing a specific event that covers a topic that you enjoy. For example let’s say you enjoyed working on cars and you wanted to do a role-play event, then you could choose the automotive services event. All of the events are listed on the website, under high school in the competitive events tab. There is a comprehensive list of every competitive event offered and a description of each one. Good luck choosing your event and we hope to see you on stage at the 2016 State Career Development Conference!