State Career Development Conference

State Career Developmenmt Conference
Detroit, Michigan

Thursday, March 11 to Saturday, March 13, 2021

We will make a decision in January if we can safely hold an in-person conference or if we need to pivot to a virtual platform.


The 2021 conference will be held in Downtown Detroit on Thursday, March 11 to Saturday, March 13, and it promises to be one of the most exciting, competitive and FUN Michigan DECA events of the year! You will have the opportunity to meet and compete with over 4,000 Michigan DECA members from throughout the state and also meet important and influential business professionals.  The SCDC is a time for you to develop your occupational and leadership skills as well as meet other fun and energetic Michigan DECA members.
After participating in competitive events during the day, you will have free time to meet and socialize with other Michigan DECA members. Members will also elect the new Michigan DECA State Executive Council who will lead us into another exciting DECA year.
The Michigan DECA SCDC gives you the opportunity to meet DECA members from around the state, interact with important business representatives, and last but not least, compete for a chance to represent Michigan DECA at the International Career Development Conference, held in Anaheim, California on April 23-28!
Due to the uncertainty this year, we will make a decision in January if we can safely hold an in-person conference or if we need to move to a virtual conference.
Registration Information

Conference Registration Fee
The fee will cover two meal vouchers for the TCF Center food court (good any day during the conference), a People Mover weekend pass, registration materials, admission to all sessions, and conference administrative expenses.  All other meals are the responsibility of the attendee.

Cancellations must be submitted through the Conference Registration Portal or on the Refund Request Form to receive your chapter’s refund.  Depending on the date submitted, there might be only a partial refund available.  Check with your advisor.

Cancellation and Substitution Policy
Please review the full Cancellation and Substitution policy; students will not be able to compete if one member of the team is unable for any reason to attend the next level of competition.

State Conference T-Shirts
Michigan Alumni DECA is selling State Conference T-shirts again this year.  The shirts will be designed around the conference theme, and will be heavyweight, 100% cotton T-shirts.  T-shirts are to be pre-ordered on the conference registration form for $10.00 each.  If we have any extra shirts available to sell, they will sell for $12.00 each at the Alumni booth on Friday.  Please pre-order your shirts when you register for the conference, as the limited number we have to sell are  usually sold out early on Friday!  This fund raiser is designed help Alumni Division so they can sponsor a competitive event to provide more travel scholarships for qualifiers to attend the International Career Development Conference.

Hotel Information


Room reservations are to be made through the chapter advisor, using the housing registration form.

Michigan DECA Policy requires that all competitors stay at one of the official conference hotels. Conference Registration will not be accepted for schools that are not staying at one of the official hotels.

  • Detroit Marriott, 100 Renaissance Center Drive, Detroit, MI 48243 313-568-8000
  • Courtyard Detroit Downtown, 333 East Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226 313-222-7700
  • Crown Plaza Detroit Downtown Riverfront, 2 Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226 313-965-0200
  • Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, 1114 Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226 313-442-1600
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 1020 Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226 313-887-7000
  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, 525 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226 313-963-5600

Parents and family members are welcome to stay with Michigan DECA in our hotels, but they are considered part of the Michigan delegation, so they must also register for the conference and pay the registration fee. They will need to be included on the chapter’s registration form and adhere to the same deadlines.

All paid participants will receive a People Mover weekend pass for transportation between the hotel and TCF Center.

Chapters are responsible for their parking charges. Self parking rates range from $15-25 per day.


Conference Security

Because of global security concerns, the following security procedures will be implemented at the State Conference:

  • All students and adults must be wearing a name badge and wrist band to enter conference activities, such as competition and general sessions. Security personnel will be at the doors to monitor access to competition and the general sessions at TCF Center.
  • Guests will not be allowed to enter without proper credentials. In conjunction with the Advisors’ Council, Michigan DECA has developed procedures for guests to attend the awards session. They must be escorted to the visitor check-in desk by an advisor or chaperone that has their nametag and wrist band. We will provide the guests with a session pass. The cost will be $5.00 person or $10.00 for a family up to six people. These guests will be required to sit in the reserved parents section. A seating diagram will be posted near the entrance to the session.

All students must be in their own room at curfew.  No chapter activities (meetings, practice sessions, etc.) may be conducted after curfew, even if it takes place in their Advisor’s room.  Room service will not deliver after curfew.

Delegate Code of ConductForms
Each delegate, student and adult, must sign the Delegate Code of Conduct Form. This form must be hand-carried to the conference by the Chapter Advisor. Do not send them to the Michigan DECA office.

No alcoholic beverages or drugs may be possessed by any delegate at the conference. This is a school function. Delegates may not enter the lounges at the hotels. Students suspected of being under the influence of alcohol will be required to take a breath alcohol test as specified by state law. A uniformed police officer will be on site during the evening hours of the conference.

Private Autos at the Conference
The use of private automobiles will not be permitted after arrival at the conference. Car doors shall be locked upon arrival, and the keys turned over to the chapter advisor.


At the Conference

Dress During the Conference
Business attire is required for all scheduled sessions and activities. During free time, shirts must have sleeves and no bare midriff. Skirts and shorts must be at least fingertip length. No cargo pants, jeans (denim material), T-shirts, sweatshirts, flip-flop sandals, or athletic shoes of any form will be allowed during the competition or at sessions! Delegates’ clothing must be neat and in good repair in order to compete, attend the sessions, or be allowed on stage. Delegates wearing any of these items will be sent to change, before being allowed to compete or attend any conference sessions. Please refer to the Michigan DECA Dress Code for more information.

Conference registration will start at 11:00am on Thursday. The first student activity will start at 2:00 p.m. Please be aware and prepared that if your event orientation is early, you may not be able to check into your hotel room to change until after 3:00pm.

Conference Registration Materials
We will hold conference registration in two locations. Registration will be on Thursday from 11:00 to 4:00 pm at both locations:

  • 329 TCF Center (Conference Headquarters) registration will be for chapters staying at the Crowne Plaza, DoubleTree Suites, Westin and Holiday Inn.
  • Ontario Registration Desk at the Detroit Marriott (on the 3rd floor) will be for chapters staying at the Detroit Marriott and Courtyard hotels.

Seating at Sessions
Seating will be assigned by district.  One seat will be allocated for each paid delegate.  Schools that achieve two of the three goals of DECA’s membership campaign will have reserved seating at the State Conference.

      • Opening Session:  There will be one Opening Session on Thursday evening.
      • Friday General Session: A special session will be held at TCF Center from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m.  It will include the following: Alumni Division recognition, Collegiate Division information, the Announcement of the New State Officers, the top 10 scores in the Economics and Marketing Math tests, and a dynamic keynote speaker.
      • Saturday Award Session:  A list of the order that the events will be awarded and approximate times will be included in your registration materials.


Election Information

State Officer Candidates at the Conference:

Those wishing to run for office will need to successfully pass through the Candidate Screening on February 1, 2021.  See the Running for State Office page for more details.

      • Candidates will have a briefing meeting on Thursday at the State Conference. A sample of each item that will be handed out at the campaign table and the Campaign Materials Form will need to be turned in at the candidates’ meeting.
      • Candidates will have time to set up their campaign table immediately following the candidates’ meeting. Tables are to be staffed only on Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.
      • Candidates will give a 90 second campaign speech at the Opening Session.
      • No campaigning can take place after 10:00 p.m. on Thursday.
      • Elected Candidates will be announced on and sworn-in on stage on Saturday.

Voting Delegates

The role of a voting delegate is an important one.  Voting delegates are required to attend the candidate speeches and are encouraged to meet each candidate prior to the election session.  Notice:  All Voting Delegates must attend the conference as a competitor.


Voting will take place on Thursday, immediately following the opening session.  Please ensure that your chapter’s voting delegates vote during the time allotted.

Number of Voting Delegates per Chapter Membership

According to the Constitution, each chapter is allowed one voting delegate per 40 members or a major fraction thereof.  See the table below for the number of voting delegates based on chapter size. The appropriate number of voting delegate ribbons will be included in your chapter’s registration materials.  The advisor will distribute the ribbons to the voting delegates for their chapter.  Voting Delegates must wear their ribbon to vote.  Replacement ribbons will not be provided once a chapter has picked up their registration materials at the conference.

      • 1 voting delegate for chapters that have 1 to 61 members
      • 2 voting delegates for chapters that have 62 to 101 members
      • 3 voting delegates for chapters that have 102 to 141 members
      • 4 voting delegates for chapters that have 142 to 181 members
      • 5 voting delegates for chapters that have 182 to 221 members
      • 6 voting delegates for chapters that have 222 to 261 members
      • 7 voting delegates for chapters that have 262 to 301 members
      • 8 voting delegates for chapters that have 302 to 341 members



Each participant is expected to have a pen or pencil and a calculator for competition.  Other items (workbooks, notebooks, handouts, etc.) are not allowed. Cell phones, smartphones, smartwatches, iPods, iPads, tablets, programmable calculators and other electronic devices may not be used during competition.  This includes during prep-time, waiting for judges, and during competition in role-play events.

Only students that are competing at the State Conference may attend the conference. Delegates may not enter more than one event (i.e. Individual, Written, or Chapter event). The only exceptions are the Merit Award Program and School Based Enterprise, if competition times do not conflict.

Applied Certification Tests
Delegates are required to take one of the following tests on Friday.  (Students have the option to take both if desired.)  A certificate will be awarded to those who achieve minimum proficiency on each test.  The top ten participants on each test will receive special recognition.

      • Economics Applied Certification
      • Marketing Mathematics Applied Certification


Leadership & Teamwork Event:
Students in the Leadership & Teamwork Event may not be Seniors. Each chapter can enter only one team in the Leadership & Teamwork Event. These competitors will not be able to compete in any other event.  Teams will consist of three (3) participants, who are non-Seniors.  All participants in the Leadership & Teamwork Event will take the Principals of Business Core exam online as part of their competition.  The top teams in the Leadership & Teamwork event will qualify to attend the IGNITE Academy at the International Conference.

Ethics Team Event (ETH) are for teams of two (2) participants, and only open to Seniors. The top teams in the Ethics Team Event will qualify to attend the ASPIRE Academy at the International Conference.

The Individual Series Events, Principles Events, and Team Decision Making Events will have two (2) judged activities on Friday.

Competitors in the Individual Series Events, Principles Events, Team Decision Making Events, Financial Consulting, Hospitality & Tourism Professional Selling, and Professional Selling Events have to qualify at the District Conference level in order to compete at the State Conference.

Participants in the Stock Market Game and the Virtual Business Challenge Events will not compete at the State Conference. ICDC Qualifiers in these events will proceed directly to the International Conference, through the process established by DECA Inc.  These students will not attend the State Conference unless they are competing in another event.

School Based Enterprise
Schools participating in this activity must submit their project to DECA Inc., to be received before January 11, 2021, according to the DECA Inc. guidelines.  Chapters that receive the Gold Certification or Gold Re-Certification have the option to bring 1-3 student(s) to present their work at the State Conference, if they are not in an event that is competing Friday morning.  This practice competition will follow the international guidelines. The top five teams will receive recognition at the Awards Session.  Teams that receive the Gold Certification or Re-Certification do not have to attend the State Conference; they can advance directly to the International Conference.

Certificates of Excellence
Michigan DECA will issue Certificates of Excellence to all competitors that score above 70 on each aspect of competition.  The certificates will be mailed to chapter advisors after the conference.

Written Events

  • All written events need to be submitted for screening in February, date to be announced.  Complete details about submissions will be posted on the Written Events page.
  • For the events that require a hard copy submitted, projects may be dropped off at the Michigan DECA office or mailed.  If mailing projects to our office, all shipped packages should be sent to be received by (date to be announced) and sent so it can be tracked.  Events will not be accepted after the deadline.  Late events will NOT be accepted, no matter the reason.  
  • All written events must follow the Michigan DECA Written Event Guidelines in addition to the national guidelines.  The first page of each event must be the signed Statement of Assurances Form or fifteen (15) penalty points will be assessed.  This form should be typed or word processed.  A PDF form is available on the Michigan DECA written events page.
  • All content must be original work of the DECA members member(s) listed on the Statement of Assurances.  No part of the written project can be previously entered into competition or submitted in another DECA competitive event.
  • Any student that is disqualified due to penalty points or plagiarism will be dropped from the conference without refund.
  • All Written Events will compete on Thursday, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Written Event participants will have their orientation at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday.  There will be one interview with one or two judges.   All written event participants are required to take either the math or economics evaluation on Friday.

Merit Awards

  • All Merit Award Program participants must have their names submitted by using the online form before February 1, 2021, to the Michigan DECA Office. Names submitted will receive a participant certificate for the level (Bronze, Silver, Gold) achieved. Certificates will be mailed after the conference.
  • The Gold Merit Award Projects must be digitally uploaded to the Chapter Registration Portal in February, date to be announced. Complete instructions on how to upload projects will be provided in January.
  • Hard copies of the Gold Merit Award Projects are due to the Michigan DECA office in February, date to be announced. Projects may be dropped off at our office or shipped. If shipped, we strongly recommend it to arrive on later than (date to be announced) and sent with tracking numbers. Late events will NOT be accepted, no matter the reason.
  • All Gold MAP Participants not competing in another event are required to take the Economic and/or Math Evaluation. All Gold Merit Award Participants will be scheduled for an interview on Thursday.
  • Silver and Bronze MAP Participants will not be allowed to compete or attend the conference unless they are competing in a different event.

Chapter Awards Program Hard copies of the Chapter Award Program are due to the Michigan DECA office in February, date to be announced. Projects may be dropped off at our office or shipped. If shipped, we strongly recommend it to arrive on later (date to be announced) and sent with tracking numbers. Late events will NOT be accepted, no matter the reason.

Adults and Supervision

Parents and Family Members
Parents and family members are welcome to stay with your chapter in your assigned hotel and attend the conference, but they are then considered part of the Michigan delegation, so they must also register for the conference and pay the registration fee.  They will need to be included on the same registration form as the chapter, and adhere to the same deadlines and Code of Conduct for students and adults, even if they are paying their portion on their own.  All fees should be paid to the chapter, who in turn pays Michigan DECA and the assigned hotel.

For parents and family members that wish to only attend the award session, please see the Conference Security section above for the procedures.

Advisor Reception & Recognition
The Michigan Marketing Educators (MME) and Michigan DECA will host a reception and recognition session for all advisors.

As per the Advisor Code of Ethics, at least 1 adult must attend and pay the registration fee for every 10 student delegates attending.

Advisors/chaperones must attend and be seated with their students during all general and award sessions, to assure proper dress and conduct (behavior) during the sessions. Complete information about the conference can be found in the 2019-2020 Michigan DECA Guide, which will be mailed at the beginning of the school year.

All chaperones attending the conference be responsible to assist with the conference and supervision. Please select your preference for the area you would like each of your chaperones to assist with on the registration form. All chaperones are required to pay the conference registration fee.

Conference Assistance
To have a successful conference, all adults will need to assist with the conference.  Advisors will be pre-assigned by members of the Advisor’s Council to work a competitive event.  All individuals are required to assist during their assigned time.  Because this assistance is important, advisors who do not assist during their entire assigned time, will have letters stressing the importance of their assistance and their absence sent to their school principal.

Chaperone Assistance Option
The State Conference registration from will add a new option for chapters that register three or more chaperones.  The chapter advisor will have the option to assign every third chaperone to remain at the hotel so they have an on-site contact and supervision of the students.  This person is to remain available for the chapter’s students while the other adults are assisting at the convention center.  Please note that the first, second, fourth, fifth adults, etc., that are registered will be required to assist with competitive events at the conference.

Hotel Monitoring
All advisors/chaperones are required to conduct room checks at curfew and patrol the floors of the hotel after curfew on Thursday and Friday evenings. Trying to manage a large number of students is a difficult task, therefore we need every advisor’s support and assistance.

If a judge will also be serving as a chaperone for the chapter’s proper adult-to-student ratio as described above, then chapter must pay for the judge’s conference registration fee.  There is no charge for judges if your chapter has reached the proper adult-to-student ratio, as described above.  Registration materials and meal tickets will only be provided to Adults that pay the conference registration fee.



Planning Ahead? Future conference dates:

  • March 10-12, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan
  • March 9-11, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan