International Career Development Conference

April 12-May 6


Throughout 2020, DECA Inc. has closely monitored the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and has maintained consistent communication with our partners in Anaheim, California. There is no higher priority than the health, safety and well-being of everyone involved in DECA’s International Career Development Conference (ICDC). Considering the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, recommendations from state and federal health agencies and many local travel restrictions, DECA Inc. made the decision to host the conference virtually.

“The virtual format of this year’s ICDC will help ensure our members, advisors and partners can be part of the school year’s highly anticipated event,” said Frank Peterson, executive director of DECA Inc. “Our staff is diligently working to develop a unique experience, and we are excited about the new and innovative possibilities this virtual conference could offer.”

“The DECA Inc. Board of Directors and staff would like to recognize the charter association advisors, chapter advisors and National Advisory Board partners who continually engaged and prepared DECA members, despite the uncertainty of this year,” said Mary Peres, president of the DECA Inc. Board of Directors. “Without your dedication to DECA members and our mission, this ICDC would not be possible. We are excited to host this culminating event for our DECA members and are certain the virtual competitive events program and emerging leader series will be #NextlLevel.”



subject to change

How do I register?

Chapter advisors will register their chapter through Michigan DECA. Chapters will send payment for registration to Michigan DECA, and we will remit the payment to DECA Inc. Registration will close on March 19. Chapter members and chapters cannot register directly with DECA Inc.


What is the cost of registration?

DECA will offer several tiers of registration – check with your chapter advisor for prices.

  • Student Member – Perfect for DECA members who want to be part of the Virtual ICDC experience!  No registration needed for those participating with the Member Package.  DECA Members will use their DECA membership ID and a password to login to the conference portal to be able to view the sessions and interact with the vendors. The package includes: Access to the General Sessions and Access to Partner Opportunities
  • Student Leader – Perfect for DECA members wishing to enhance their leadership skills. The package includes: Access to the General Sessions, Access to Partner Opportunities, Access to On-Demand Conference Workshops, Access to On-Demand Emerging Leader Series (Academies), Access to Social Activities, and ICDC Swag Pack.
  • Student Competitor – Exclusively offered to DECA members who qualify to participate in ICDC level competitive events from the Michigan DECA State Conference. The package includes: Access to the General Sessions, Access to Partner Opportunities, Access to On-Demand Conference Workshops, Access to On-Demand Emerging Leader Series (Academies), Access to Social Activities, ICDC Swag Pack, Access to compete in the qualified competitive event and the opportunity to win DECA Glass, and Competitor Transcript (results).
  • Advisor – Exclusively offered to DECA advisors.  A minimum of one chapter advisor must register per chapter with Leader and Competitor participants. The package includes: Access to the General Sessions, Access to Partner Opportunities, Access to On-Demand Conference Workshops, Access to On-Demand Emerging Leader Series (Academies), Access to Social Activities, ICDC Swag Pack, Advisor Appreciation Gift, and Access to post-event transcripts for Competitor participants from your chapter.


Do advisors need to register?

We require that each chapter register at least one chapter advisor who will serve as the point person for the chapter during ICDC.


Are there refunds?

Refunds are available through April 1, 2021. After this date, there will be no refunds. Refunds must be submitted through Michigan DECA.


How will my members receive their swag bags?

Swag bags included as part of the leader and competitor tiers will be mailed directly to the DECA chapter using the address on file. Sorry, no exceptions can be made.


What platform will you be using for competition?

For preliminary competition, we will use AnswerWrite for online testing and DLG JudgePro for written entry uploads, role-plays, and presentations.

Members will record their presentations on the designated day, upload them, and submit the link. Detailed instructions will be provided no later than March 15.

For final competition, we will be using a video conference software for live presentations. They will be held on a schedule during the designated day of final competition.  Please ensure that your competitive events qualifiers will be able to participate using live video conference software at any given point during the school day on this day before registering. During the live final video competition, an adult proctor will join the student member(s) and judge(s).


Will my DECA members have a specific competitive event time?

For preliminary competition, members will have a specific day for each component: to turn in their written entry, take their exam and record their presentation. They can do this during a timeframe (8 am EST to 9 pm EST) at any point during that specific day.

For final competition, members will have a specific day and time for their presentation that will be published with the announcement of the finalists.


Will competitors need to be proctored?

No. Because of the pandemic and out of caution for the health and safety of everyone, proctoring will not be required this year. However, DECA members will be required to complete a statement of assurances and integrity for online competitive events. During the live final video competition, an adult proctor will join the student member(s) and judge(s).


Will my DECA members need to submit their written entry in an official DECA folio?

No. Since the written entry will be uploaded as a PDF, there is no need to submit the written entry in the official DECA folio. That penalty point item will not be assessed.


Will my DECA members still need to wear a DECA blazer?

Yes. All members appearing before a judge must wear an official DECA blazer and adhere to the dress code. The deadline to order blazers and receive prior to ICDC is April 1.


Will the Virtual Business Challenge be held?

Yes. DECA and Knowledge Matters are working together to virtually host the ICDC rounds of the Virtual Business Challenge. More details will be provided by March 15.


How will DECA members be recognized?

Due to the quick timeline, DECA will be posting results and finals schedules on and as soon as they are available, at 10 a.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET daily. The top 10 and first, second and third winners will be announced during the Grand Awards Session on May 6.

The top three winners in DECA’s Competitive Events Program will earn the coveted DECA Glass, which will be shipped to the chapter for an appropriate local presentation. Medallions will also be sent to the chapter for those members earning Achievement Award recognition. Certificates of Achievement and Certificates of Excellence will be available digitally. Transcripts will be available through the online membership system and student portal following ICDC. Cash awards will be sent directly to the DECA members as in the past.


When is the Grand Opening Session?

The Grand Opening Session will be held on April 19, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. EST


What if my DECA members have conflicts with the schedule?

Just as we would with the in-person ICDC, we must stick to the schedule, especially since we are publishing it so far in advance. Competitive events qualifiers should only register for ICDC if they can participate on the designated days of their competitive event. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions.


Will the Emerging Leader Series be offered?

  • Each session will be 20-45 minutes, depending on the content. The on-demand sessions will be available during the week of April 19-23 so DECA members can take advantage of sessions on their schedule.
  • Because we do not have space limitations this year, there are no allocation limits for those wishing to register for the LEADER PACKAGE.
  • Those who register for the COMPETITOR PACKAGE will also receive access to these sessions, so they do not need to register separately for the LEADER PACKAGE.

Learn the value of mentoring and coaching skills in the corporate environment and why it’s necessary to find a mentor you can trust in both college and your career. Presented by FOCUS Training

-I AM DECA: CREATE YOUR STORY – Learn how to create a response to, “What is DECA?” that showcases your unique DECA experience and tells your personal DECA story. Learn the value of showing your chapter interests, DECA achievements and what makes DECA exciting for you. Presented by Catherine Horton

-DECA DASHBOARD AND PROGRAM OF LEADERSHIP – Designed for upcoming chapter leaders, this session will introduce these emerging leaders to the concept of the DECA Dashboard and provide a foundation for creating an awesome Program of Leadership. Presented by TEAMTRI

-THE POLISHED PROFESSIONAL – Learn the latest trends and guidelines for professional behavior, interactions and appearance as well as your digital brand. Presented by FOCUS Training

-ETHICAL LEADERSHIP – Everyone faces ethical challenges, and an effective ethical leader will stand up for what they believe is right even in the face of adversity. Learn about ethical principles such as integrity, trust, transparency, accountability and more, that aid in making wise choices and ethical decisions. Presented by FOCUS Training


What about the THRIVE Academy?

Those chapters that earned THRIVE level in the membership and chapter campaigns are welcome to register members at the LEADER tier and participate in the on-demand modules for Ignite, Elevate and Aspire. We will send the chapter the plaque, flag and pennant recognizing your achievement — as well as a special reward for the chapter.


Will the SBE Academy + Competition be offered?

Yes. Up to three members from a Gold-Certified SBE will be eligible to access the on-demand SBE Academy content as well as compete in SBE Food Operations or SBE Retail Operations.


Will Advisor Professional Learning be offered?

We are planning a robust advisor professional learning program this summer, so we will only offer a limited selection of advisor professional learning sessions and advisor chats during April 19-23, 2021.


What if my DECA members require special services?

We want to make every opportunity available for our special needs members to participate in ICDC. An online form is at to identify students that need special services. We will work with the chapter advisor to provide the appropriate services. It is critical that we receive the form by March 27 in order to arrange appropriate services.


Will there be additional swag items for purchase?

Yes! Shop DECA will have a specialty line of ICDC products available for pre-purchase prior to ICDC. The deadline for these items is March 19. They will also offer commemorative finalist items for purchase.

Planning Ahead? Future dates and locations:

  • April 22-27, 2022 – Atlanta, Georgia
  • April 21-26, 2023 – Orlando, Florida
  • April 27-30, 2024 – Anaheim, California
  • April 26-29, 2025 – Orlando, Florida
  • April 25-28, 2026 – Atlanta, Georgia
  • April 17-20, 2027 – Anaheim, California
  • April 22-25, 2028 – Orlando, Florida