Competitive Events

Find Your Event

Competition Success

Online Practice Exams

Vocabulary Flipcards

Performance Indicator Flipcards

Video Library

Chapter Name

International Business Plan

The International Business Plan Event involves the development of a proposal to start a new business venture in an international setting. Any type of business may be used.

Career Opportunities

Align Energy

Align Energy is a revolutionary utility-management service that seeks to provide users with the ability to smartly budget their energy expenses. Through the use of an app and website, Align’s interface displays a household’s real time energy usage, showing electricity, water, and gas usage in a logical format that clearly states how much they have spent at any time.

Sample Exams

Exam blueprint.

The chart below shows the number of items per instructional area for the 2022-2023 exams used at the district level, chartered association level and the International Career Development Conference.


The exam blueprint is your best friend.

Use the exam blueprint to focus your preparation efforts. You may prioritize studying instructional areas with the higher number of questions listed the blueprint.

Keep Expanding Your Knowledge

As you advance in competition, exam items become more specialized to the Career Cluster. Therefore, you should start with an understanding of general business concepts in the Business Administration Core and build on the knowledge within the Career Cluster of your competitive event.

Review Your Work

Don’t just take the exam! After you take the exam, compare your answers to the exam’s key. If you incorrectly answer a question, re-read the question, note the correct answer, and then read the descriptive key. The descriptive key explains the correct answer and why the other answers are incorrect. This will also help you understand the performance indicator addressed in the exam question.

Focus Your Efforts Where They Need To Be

Each exam question is linked to an instructional area. For each incorrect answer, tally the instructional area it matches. If you are noticing a pattern of incorrectly answering questions within particular instructional areas, spend more time learning the knowledge and skills within those instructional areas. Spend more time reviewing the performance indicators under those instructional areas.

Form Study Groups

Because there are only seven DECA exams, chances are high that some of your fellow chapters are taking the same exam as you, even if they are in a different competitive event. Use this opportunity to form study groups. You could consider taking the exam together and discussing the questions and answers. You could even divide and conquer to prepare study materials to help understand performance indicators.

Get In The Mode

Recreate the testing scene. Find out from your chapter advisor the setting for your exam during competition. Will you be taking the exam online through an electronic device prior to the competition, or  using pencil and paper on-site during the competition? Find out how long you will have to take the test. Then try to replicate the setting using a practice test and using the same time frame you are given in competition.

Develop a Study Schedule

Make sure to study and prepare on a regular basis. Plan a study schedule and calendar leading up to your competition. Do not study right before you take the test. Instead, concentrate on being calm and confident in yourself when taking the exam.

Test Taking Techniques

When taking the exam, use these general test taking techniques:

Remain Positive!

Be confident. Refrain from engaging in negative discussions with other members prior to the exam, such as “I’m so nervous – I don’t know if I studied enough.”

Sample Role-Plays

Instructional areas.

Each role-play focuses on a primary instructional area. For each role-play, a majority of its performance indicators will focus on that primary instructional area. The following instructional areas may be used in this event's role-plays.


Key elements.

The following key elements are always a part of each role-play scenario. Understanding the format and style of the role-play will help you become familiar, feel comfortable and easily identify the key elements so you can maximize your time developing your solution.

Performance Indicators

The performance indicators are your guide to a focused presentation! Apply them to the situation because they are always based on a real-life situation. Use industry knowledge that you have researched before competition to supplement what you know about your performance indicators. This helps demonstrate your proficiency.

What's the Ask?

At the end of any role-play situation, you are presented with what the judge is looking for from you. Make sure you address what the judge is asking while incorporating the performance indicators. You will want to wow your judge with your solution while explaining it by incorporating the performance indicators.

Communication is Key

Speak clearly so that the judge can understand what you are sharing with him/her. You have time to talk about your performance indicators within the situation—don’t rush and take the chance a judge didn’t hear you talking about something. Be natural and comfortable in your role in the situation. Nonverbal communication can be just as important as verbal communication. Smile and be confident to help demonstrate your professionalism.

Be Creative and Stand Out

Be calm, be professional and be enthusiastic. Don’t be scared of your competition. There are many creative ways to approach a role-play, and no one way is necessarily right, so focus on adding your own creative twist to what you do. Don’t just have a “Plan A”; exceed expectations by having options for your judge to select from if the situation calls for it. Setting yourself apart through innovation, creativity and quality ideas is the key way to stay in a judge’s mind long after all the competitors have finished presenting. What can you bring to the presentation that no other competitor will show your judge?

Connect with the Judge

Take time to make sure your judge is following your thoughts. You can ask your judge questions to make sure he or she has understood what you have shared. Near the end of the role-play, the judge will likely ask you questions. When you are preparing your presentation for the role-play, you may anticipate what questions the judge may ask. However, if you need a minute to consider the questions before answering, say so in a professional manner. This reflects your respect of his or her position and your desire to share an informed answer.

Speak the Language

When speaking with the judge, be as professional as possible, while still being personable and accessible. This means using accurate industry terminology when the situation calls for it. Do not be afraid to use sophisticated or rich vocabulary—with­out sounding like you’re just trying too hard to impress, because, of course, you still want to be relatable, friendly, and down-to-earth.

Make a Good Impression

Be friendly, make eye contact and give a firm handshake when you first meet your judge. Do not wait for them to introduce themselves; rather, take the initiative. While you might be nervous and feel awkward, taking initiative shows that you truly are mature, confident and comfort­able. Also, adhere to the dress code, because you come across as much more professional if you really do look like a business executive. You may also consider the career area in which you are competing. For example, as a competitor in Apparel and Accessories Marketing, you may want to wear something that will reflect an interest in fashion or a more creative point-of-view, without being outrageous. You want to leave a good impression with the judge, and of course, be rememberable.


Participants in the International Business Plan will prepare a written proposal to start a new business venture in an international setting. It may be a new business or a new product or service of an existing business. Any type of business may be used. The body of the written entry must be limited to 20 numbered pages, including the appendix (if an appendix is attached), but excluding the title page and the table of contents.


The written entry must follow the specifications provided in the Written Entry Guidelines section of the DECA Guide for the competitive event. In addition to the Written Entry Guidelines, participants must observe all of the standards on the Penalty Point Checklist. These standards are designed to make competition as fair as possible. Additionally, the Written Event Statement of Assurances and Academic Integrity Form must be signed and submitted with the entry.

Sample Written ENTRY

Written entry strategies, content is king.

The written entry is the foundation of your competitive event. It's your outline for your project or plan, and represents your process to achieving your outcome. Choosing the right written event and the right company, event, idea, product or topic is so important, because you want to be passionate about the work you will endeavor in this process. Be thoughtful when making your decisions using some of these key considerations:

First, But Last

The executive summary is one of the most important parts of your written entry. Not only is it likely to be one of the first parts of your entry the judge reviews, it also provides an overall summary of your entry. It should be dynamic, concise and effectively highlight the main points of your written entry all while including a call to action. Often, it is best to write the executive summary last so that you can identify the most relevant components to include. Some tips for an effective executive summary include:

Review, Edit, Proofread

Once you have completed your written entry, review it against the written entry guidelines and written entry evaluation form to ensure you have addressed each item. If you believe items are missing or need improvement, revisit your written entry and improve those areas. You may also wish to ask consultants to read your written entry against the criteria and provide feedback. Often, that is the best way to determine if your written entry is clearly understood by someone other than you as the project creator(s). In addition, you should edit and revise your written work so that it is well-organized, professional, logical and error free.

Avoid Penalty Points

Penalty points can cause you to lose your chance for advancement quickly! Many times, they can easily be avoided. Some of the most common reasons for penalty points include:

Give your entry to a trusted advisor or peer to review against the Penalty Point Checklist.


The participants will present the project to the judge in a 15-minute presentation. The judge is role-playing a business executive. The presentation begins immediately after the introduction of the participants to the judge by the adult assistant. Each participant must take part in the presentation.


Each participant may bring a copy of the written entry or note cards pertaining to the written entry to use as reference during the presentation. Only visual aids that can be easily hand carried to the presentation by the actual participant(s)will be permitted. The participants themselves must set up the visuals. Wheeled carts, moving straps or similar items may not be used to bring visuals into the area. Set up time is included in the total presentation time. Participants must furnish their own materials and equipment. No electrical power or internet connection will be supplied. Alternate power sources such as small generators are not allowed. Sound may be used, as long as the volume is kept at a conversational level. Materials appropriate to the situation may be handed to or left with judges in all competitive events. Items of monetary value may be handed to but may not be left with judges. Items such as flyers, brochures, pamphlets and business cards may be handed to or left with the judge. No food or drinks allowed. If any of these rules are violated, the adult assistant must be notified by the judge.  

Presentation Strategies

First things first.

Consider your presentation your time to highlight the most important parts of your competitive event. In every case, you're trying to sell the judge that your idea, concept or plan is the best. Start with that in mind, and develop an outline for your presentation. Your ultimate goal is for the judge to choose your presentation. Consult the presentation evaluation rubric in the DECA Guide to ensure that your presentation includes information for all of the scoring criteria. You may also consider visual aids and if you'll use technology — but make sure they are relevant and meaningful to your presentation.

Brand Yourself A Winner

When creating your project and delivering your presentation, you are essentially developing a brand for yourself and your ideas. Make your presentation’s brand attractive and easy for your judge to remember by wrapping it in a strong visual package. Tie together all the elements of your project, from the charts and graphs of your written document, to your slide backgrounds, to the shirt you wear with a signature element, such as a particular color palette or pattern.

Stop, Look, Listen

A great portion of your presentation’s success isn’t dependent on what you say, but how you say it. Like any good speech, the judge may not recall every statistic, market segment or promotional idea that you deliver, but they will remember how you made them feel. That’s where confidence in your delivery comes in. Being excited, nervous and anxious about your presentation can cause your rate of speech to increase rapidly, making your words fly by in a blur. Always remember the power of pause. When practicing your presentation, incorporate pauses into your phrases. This will create a dramatic, ear-catching effect to keep your judge attentive to your presentation, plus it will emphasize important points and information. 

Eye contact is another way to connect with your judge. Locking eyes shows confidence in the points you’re delivering and is another way to keep your judge engaged in your delivery.

A memorable part of your delivery that will greatly affect how your judge feels is your tone of voice. Your tone should vary depending on the subjects you’re covering in your presentation. For example, presenting a charity that your Community Giving Project supports may be most effective with a serious, earnest tone, yet in sharing your creative marketing  ideas for an Integrated Marketing Campaign event, an excitable, vibrant tone would be great for expressing your creativity. No matter what tone you use, make sure you vary your expression. Nothing will lose a judge’s attention more than a flat, boring delivery that gives them no feeling about your topic. 

While relying on your innate ability to “wing it” is never recommended for competition, writing down paragraphs of perfect phrases, word-for-word, doesn’t guarantee that your presentation will turn out trophies either. Note cards are a handy tool to remember specific numerical data and exact quotes, but using them as a crutch for your memory could reduce your confident delivery, especially in form of eye contact with your judges. Instead, commit your presentation to memory as best as possible. If you thought it, developed it and wrote about it, you should be able, with a bit of practice, to present it well. Use your visual aid to help guide your talking points, with illustrations, diagrams or other images to help cue your words. 

Just because you reach your last slide doesn’t mean it’s time to thank your judge, shake hands and flee the room. The time after your formal presentation is crucial for further interaction with your judge. Take this opportunity to clarify parts of your presentation, show more of your personality and impress your judge with an ability to provide thorough answers to any questions they may have. The best way to flawlessly answer these questions is to prepare for them in advance. Use your advisors and peers as practice judges for your presentation, and request that they each ask you at least three follow-up questions to your presentation. You begin to become more confident delivering answers off-the-cuff and will begin to learn the most commonly asked questions of your presentation. Should your judge not immediately ask any questions, ask for them! 

To leave even more of an impact on your judge, provide them with a handout before you walk out the door, such as a brochure or outline. Use this strategy to highlight important takeaway points from your presentation, further brand yourself and your ideas, and keep a presence in front of your judge, even long after your final handshake. Make sure to have a final statement or call to action to show your judge that you’re interested in following through.


Industry trends are patterns or current happenings that occur within a specific industry. Keeping up with the industry helps give you a pulse on issues and trends that are affecting the industry. This knowledge can help you develop creative, relevant and timely solutions for your competitive event.

How to Choose the Right Franchise

Founders should make raising startup capital part of the business plan, cheap ways to grow your small business, realities entrepreneurs rarely expect (and how to overcome them), rising construction costs drive franchise innovation, how to succeed as a small business leader, 3 simple tips to improve your pitch, why small businesses need new revenue streams, conquer the competition.

Not only do these interactive competition preparation tools help you expand your industry terminology, understand performance indicators and check your comprehension through exam items, they also help you prepare for DECA competition!

international business plan deca

Expand your vocabulary

international business plan deca

Broaden your knowledge

international business plan deca

Check your comprehension

international business plan deca

DECA Direct Online is your source for competition tips and career insights. Check out these articles and more on DECA Direct Online as you prepare for competition.

3 Written Event Competition Tips To Consider

The ultimate written event guide, 4 things you must remember while public speaking, deca goes lean in entrepreneurship.

DECA+ ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY ‍ A DECA+ subscription is required for each DECA chapter wishing to access the resources within the DECA+ site. The login is to be used only by the chapter and its members, and the login cannot be shared beyond the chapter. Under no circumstances may any of the content, including but not limited to exams, scenarios or sample written entries, in whole or in part, or any item within be published or posted on any website. Under no circumstances may any of the content, including but not limited to exams, scenarios or sample written entries, in whole or in part, or any item within be shared or distributed beyond the specific DECA chapter that has purchased the subscription.  Any chapter(s) which violates the DECA+ distribution and use policy will not be allowed to participate in the current school year’s chartered association conference or the International Career Development Conference. If any exams or scenarios are posted on a chapter or chartered association website in way outside of the distribution and use policy, the chartered association will not be eligible to purchase exams or receive scenarios from DECA Inc. for a period of one year for the first offense. Furthermore, further access to DECA+ by the chapter(s) in violation will be prohibited effective immediately for a period of no less than three years.

international business plan deca

The Ultimate Written Event Guide

international business plan deca

Before serving as the 2018-2019 High School Division President, he was an international finalist, earning second place in the International Business Plan at ICDC in Anaheim. Andrew Weatherman took home DECA glass and now he’s taking the time to share his insider secrets with you.

Stage 1: Finding The Right Event

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: written events aren’t for everyone. They’re a super fun and different way to compete, but they sure aren’t suited for the average member. Written events are a process, and they require months of preparation, all-nighters, and a lot — a lot — of research. If you love solving a challenging problem on your feet, then I’d advise staying away from written events (go for role plays!). However, if you like having a prepared plan and the opportunity to rehearse, go ahead and try a written event!

Think a written event is for you? Great! Before you dive in and begin planning your paper, you must decide which event to compete in! The great thing is that DECA’s Competitive Event series offers a plethora of exciting events to chose from. Unfortunately, you can only pick one. In my opinion, choosing the right event is the most overlooked but vital part of the competition process. DECA breaks the written events into four categories: Business and Operations Research Events, Project Management Events, Entrepreneurship Events, and Integrated Marketing Campaign Events. Want to check out all DECA’s competitive event options? Take a look at the complete list in the DECA Guide. In this article, I’ll summarize each written event and add a little commentary. For more details, head to

Business and Operations Research Events 

Events in this category have a maximum page limit of 20 pages and allow for a single competitor, a partnership, or a team of three. There are five events that fall under the Business Operations Research umbrella: Business Services, Buying and Merchandising, Finance Operations, Hospitality and Tourism Operations, and Sports and Entertainment Operations. Business Operations Research events provide you the opportunity to conduct research with a local business/organization and present your findings to a judge at competition. These events follow a topic that changes from year-to-year. Business Operations Research events are a great way to connect with local business and understand how they work! If you like business research and strategy, Business Operations Research is a great fit for you!

Project Management Events

In my home association of North Carolina, Project Management events are the Holy Grail; if you want to prove that you are the best competing chapter, a great way to do that is to tackle the Project Management events. Like BOR events, Project Management events have a maximum page limit of 20 pages and allow for a single competitor, a partnership, or a team of three chapter representatives. There are six events that fall under the Project Management umbrella: Business Solutions Project, Career Development Project, Community Awareness Project, Community Giving Project, Financial Literacy Project and Sales Project. Project Management events provide the amazing opportunity to engage chapter members in school-wide/community-wide activities that cover the specific event. Many chapters already put on amazing school/community activities, and the Project Management events allow you to showcase your chapter’s awesome outreach/impact! I always recommend chapters of any size to pick an event and go for it! If your chapter is up to the challenge, you can do all six events! If you like event planning and management and want to have a tangible impact on your school or community, try a project management event!

Entrepreneurship Events

My favorite written event category, Entrepreneurship Events give you the opportunity to “explore entrepreneurial concepts from idea generation, business planning, to growing an existing business.” Unlike Business Operations Research and Chapter Team events, however, the events that fall under the Entrepreneurship umbrella have different rules from one another. The Innovation Plan is the shortest written event available, clocking in at a maximum page limit of five. The Start-up Business Plan is an intermediary, having a maximum page limit of eleven. While the Franchise Business Plan, Independent Business Plan, Business Growth Plan, and International Business Plan have a maximum page limit of 10. Unlike all other written events, though, the Business Growth Plan has strict rules on who can compete; since this event involves crafting a detailed growth plan and strategy for a business owned by a DECA member, all competitors must be “documented owners/operators of the business — a parents’ business does not qualify.” All events, though, allow for a single competitor, a partnership, or a team of three. Having a budding affinity for the world of entrepreneurship, I instantly gravitated towards these events. My sophomore year I competed in Start-Up Business Plan, and my junior year I competed in International Business Plan. If you have any interest in entrepreneurship, I highly recommend looking into these events!

Integrated Marketing Campaign Events

This is a new event this year! The Integrated Marketing Campaign Events provide an opportunity for the participants to demonstrate promotional knowledge and skills needed by marketing personnel. There are three different events within IMC. Event includes a campaign that is related to any sports and entertainment event and/or company event. Product includes a campaign that is related to any hard/soft line retail products including e-commerce. Service includes a campaign that is related to any service or intangible product.  These events have a maximum page limit of ten pages and allow for a single competitor, a partnership, or a team of three. If tests aren’t your thing, I recommend staying away from these events. The test will factor into your overall score, and a low test score could spell doom for your Glass hopes. If you are a strong test taker who wants to compete in written events but still wants a taste of series events (and has an interest in the marketing field), definitely check these events out!

So Which Is Right For Me?

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the numerous written events offered, you are probably overloaded with potential options and don’t know which to pick. Surprisingly, this is a great problem to have! Unfortunately, there is no binary solution. No formula, advice, etc. can make that decision for you. Go with your gut; ask teachers and fellow members, but the end decision is yours, so own it.

“Choose something you are passionate about. The less passionate you are about your topic, the less productive you will be.”  –Ben Smith; Wisconsin DECA VP of Event Management.

When I decided to compete in a written event my junior year, it was a no-brainer: I love presenting and researching, so of course, I had to go the written route! The tough decision, though, was what event to pick. I knew I had to go for an entrepreneurship event so that automatically narrowed the field. The previous year, I competed in an ten-page event, and I thought that limit was too restrictive, so I had to go for a twenty-pager. Honestly, the decision was only between two events — Independent or International. Like I said, I love researching, and I really wanted to squeeze the most out of this event as I could. That said, I chose the International Business Plan because it gave me the opportunity to research the culture and business/entrepreneurship environment of another country.

Stage 2: The Core

Now that you have a better understanding of what written event you’d like to compete in, we can move onto the skeleton of your event: the core member(s). This is the stage that you DO NOT WANT TO SKIP. You can slack on any other stage and produce a winning project, but if you chose to slack on this stage, then you can kiss your Glass hopes bye.

Team or No Team — That is The Question

Every DECA written event allows you to compete solo, as a partnership, or as a group of three. Like every project or idea, the team is the backbone and will make or break everything. Choosing your team, or not choosing one, is the single most important decision you will make during your project. Your partner/group members, though, must be from your home chapter.

Flying Solo — Pros and Cons

If you are the type of person who wants absolute control over every aspect of your project, this is the route you need to take. Personally, I chose to fly solo. If you lack innate self-initiative and are a weak presenter, I urge you to not even consider this option. Flying solo feels great — you never have to deal with conflicting schedules, you can work on your own time, and you make every decision. But, that also opens you up to some pretty (potentially) devastating negatives. When it comes to presenting, you have the full load of work; you can’t rely on someone else to cover certain parts. When it comes time to make a decision, you have full say, so if you don’t consult outside help, you’re getting a very biased view. You have no one to hold you responsible to any deadline, and if you start to lose interest, you will have to find a way to reel yourself back in.

Teaming— Pros and Cons

If you have a strong core of one or two chapter members that possess wildly different (applicable) skill sets and mesh well, forming a team with those members is a great way to go. From the paper standpoint, the team route (when executed well) decreases the workload and dependence of all members. From a presenting standpoint, each member can cover certain parts of the pitch, which should allow for better (and impressive) flow and transition (plus you can wear matching outfits, and that’s pretty cool). However, this route also opens itself up to (potentially) devastating negatives: team communication has to be at maximum level during the project (I recommend Slack if you have a team of three); arguments can break out over trite team decisions. If done well, teaming can be a perfect option, but any slip up during the project could spell doom to all of your hard work. Tred with caution.

I recommend setting aside a few weeks at the start of school to survey new DECA members and observe returners (summer changes some people). If you take this step early, there is absolutely no reason to rush to rash and impulsive decisions. If you decide to form a partnership or team, take a week to just talk — doesn’t have to be about DECA. No matter the skillset or promises offered by anyone, you must mesh well with your team (this isn’t necessarily a start-up; no need to be a Steve Jobs). Also, a word of wisdom: I’ve gotten burned by (looking back) ludicrous promises by teammates. Don’t be blinded by outlandish promises; they are almost always too good to be true.

Stage 3: Planning and Research

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, think you are too good or too smart for planning and research. If you have that mindset, stop reading right now. Even though I have harped on the importance of research and planning, I have purposely left this stage relatively short. Find the methods that work best for you/your team.

I’ll be honest — I’m the most unorganized person you’ll ever meet. I’m not a big planner. That said, I still had a rough sketch and timetable for my event. It wasn’t much, and it doesn’t have to be much. A simple print-out of the event guidelines, a few dates/ranges scribbled here and there, and that was it. I’m a driven guy, so I could count on that drive and desire to win to push me. If you need a little more planning (this works well with teams, but can also work well for a single person), try Trello — a free online to-do board where you can collaborate with others, assign tasks, set due dates, and add notes. I’m not a big fan of agendas, but many groups find it very helpful to set a meeting agenda whenever they are going to be working on the project. 

For a Glass-worthy paper, you will spend twice the amount of time researching than you will actually writing the paper. That said, researching is supremely important. I still have a folder on my computer full of PDFs from research for my IBP, paper revisions, audio from meetings and calls, charts and graphs, etc. I even found an amazing e-book with a few chapters especially pertinent to my paper, emailed the publishing company, and received a hard copy (free of charge) in the mail a couple of weeks later. When I conducted research, I always brought a notepad with me, so I could jot down any tidbits, figures, etc. that could’ve brought potential benefit to my paper. I get easily distracted, so to combat this during my paper time, I went to my local library to do all of my work. I think this helped a ton when it came to getting stuff done in an efficient manner, and I would recommend you (or your team) find a quiet “paper place,” somewhere you go when it’s time to finally get down to business.

"Thoroughly document your [research] while it’s going on. You won’t remember everything you did when trying to write about it.”  –Lena Kellogg; LV DECA President

Stage 4: The Paper

After weeks (read: months) of planning and researching, it’s finally time to start seriously drafting your paper. A word of advice: don’t get too attached to your first (or second or third) draft; it won’t be great. As a serious competitor, you need to channel your inner critic; try to read your paper through the lens of that advisor and make changes just as a harsh third-party would. That’s how winners work. 

A quick pro tip: no matter if you’re working alone or as a group, enlist the help of your advisors, friends, trusted family and outside sources to give you feedback on your paper. However, make sure to explain to them that they need to be 100% honest in their critical feedback. People you know will often give you sugar-coated advice, and this will do more harm to your project than good. 

How Important Is My Paper?

Depending on your event, your presentation and paper score may vary. The paper in a 20 pager will count for 60% of your score, making the paper that much more important. Below is a chart that breaks it all down. Credit to Annie Hulse of Oakton DECA (VA).

Executive Summary (ES)

This is the most important part of your paper! Judges won’t always have time to read your entire paper, so they will read your summary in-depth and skim the rest. Therefore, it is paramount to have a killer ES. I can’t stress this enough. 

Start with a bang, sell the problem and solution (but hit hard on the problem), and focus on what makes you stand out. 

When writing the summary, which should be done after everything else is complete, imagine that your ES is the only thing your judge will read (because it could be), and you need to sell them on your idea with that ES alone.

Let The Score Sheet Be The Blueprint

You may have been told that a certain section isn’t important. You might think, “Oh, by rearranging these sections, I’ll certainly stand out!” That’s a common thought, but also an erroneous one. 

You should be in a committed relationship with the guidelines of your event. Read them before writing, then again while writing. Read them between drafts and before bedtime. Know the guidelines better than the people who wrote them. This is a competition, and the guidelines were provided for a reason. Judges are sticklers for judging a paper off the guidelines. A vital thing to do at this moment would be to print out the guidelines of every event that you are considering. In your paper (and presentation) include the exact vocabulary from the rubric and guidelines in your writing.

Content or Appearance

An age-old debate between researchers and perfectionists: should my paper be content heavy or aesthetically pleasing? Personally, I have seen more success from a hybrid. Include the most important details, and be thorough on those details for every section. Elaborate on the vital portions, but don’t slack on the visuals. Include meaningful, colorful graphs to break up large chunks of text. When appropriate, substitute text for bullet points or flow charts. Once you decide on a logo and font, maintain a consistent color scheme and font usage. Make sure, though, that you don’t add visuals just to add them. They should add substance to your paper. A respectable content-to-visual ratio for every page is roughly 75:25.

Penalty Points

Penalty points can literally ruin everything. In my state, if you get more than 10 penalty points on your paper, you can kiss the top 10 goodbye. Triple-check your paper for penalty points before you submit it, and enlist the help of a few classmates. 

Some common mistakes that lead to penalty points are as follows: exceeding the number of pages, leaving out a section, not having all pages numbered, not using current guidelines (see, I told you guidelines were important). Penalty points are awarded for careless errors, and they’re very easy to avoid if you pay close attention. 

Stage 5: The Presentation

No matter how good your final paper is, the presentation will be the single factor that differentiates you/your team from the competition. Most associations require that papers be submitted a few weeks prior to the state conference. If this is the case, focus on your paper until the due date — don’t even think about your presentation. Once you’ve turned in the paper, turn your full attention to the presentation. 

Script or No Script?

When it comes to presentations, there is the inevitable question of whether to script it out or not. Honestly, this is a personal decision. It is often said, though, that if you are going to memorize your presentation all the way through, you need to have it down to the “Happy Birthday” level, meaning you would be comfortable belting out your script in the most stressful situations. 

Make your presentation aesthetically pleasing! A nice tool to use to create materials (if you aren’t fluent in Photoshop) is Canva. At competition, you’ll find that PowerPoints are the outliers. A lot of competitors opt to go the trifold, or more obscure, path. However, the time you take to set up and take down your materials counts in your total time, so practice setting up and taking down before showtime. 

While visuals can certainly help your overall presentation, they should be appropriate and engaging. When presenting, you should interact with your visuals in a way that makes sense. If you are using technology, don’t count on WiFi or outlets. When I presented, I used a traditional PPT and a clicker. I also made business cards with my name and company logo, and I handed the judge a card before I wrapped up. Nice touches like this definitely leave an impression on your judge. Think of the exterior things that could go wrong on the day of your presentation. Prepare back-ups or alternatives so that there are no disasters that could derails all of the work you’ve put into your final project.

Judge’s Questions

You have 15 minutes to give your pitch. However, you shouldn’t use the whole time presenting. After your pitch, the judge(s) will likely have some questions. These questions are not meant to trick you. The judge will usually ask for clarification on parts that you glossed over or will ask in-depth questions on a certain topic. While you’re not obligated to leave time for questions, it’s always recommended. I ran tight on time during my final IBP pitch at ICDC, and I have always wondered if that was the difference between first and second. Learn from my mistakes – leave the time. 

Don’t be nervous when answering questions. You are the authority on the subject. No one should know your problem, market and solution better than you. One way I prepared for questions was by pitching to others and fielding questions from them. There will likely be parts of your presentation that make perfect sense to you but confuse someone else. 

When answering questions, give a concise but full answer: don’t spend too much time on any one question, but make sure to completely answer the judge’s question. Most importantly, have a respectful tone when answering. I know, you probably feel like you covered that section that the judge is confused about very well, but a rude or impatient tone will not support your cause. 

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Advice from DECA Competitive Event Judges

This April, DECA members participating in the competitive events program will appear before a volunteer judge to present on current business trends in various events and formats. In this article, hear from two of our dedicated volunteer judges as they provide insight on their experience serving the past 20+ years.

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Standout Creatively in Prepared Events

Top-tier DECA competitors know to hit all the competition event indicators, but it’s those little touches that elevate a well-prepared presentation to a DECA glass-winning presentation. Color, typography, layout and that perfect personal touch are your secret weapons.

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Your Guide to Understanding DECA ICDC's Competitive Event Process and Transcripts

If you're looking for more information on DECA's International Career Development Conference competitive events process and transcripts, look no further! Explore these frequently asked questions and answers.

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3 Tips to Conquer Competitive Event Exam Anxiety

Do you get nervous before taking an exam? With these three easy methods, you will be able to overcome your test anxiety and stroll into your classroom or competitive event feeling confident that you will ace that test!

Discussion Questions

Classroom connection, career cluster:, instructional area(s):, performance indicators:.

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Business Operation Events

​ entrepreneurship events  , integrated marketing campaign events.

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Competitive events program.

As an integral part of the classroom curriculum, DECA’s industry-validated competitive events are aligned with the National Curriculum Standards in the career clusters of marketing, business management and administration, finance, and hospitality and tourism.

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Earn the DECA Glass

A spark of competition drives DECA members to excel and improve their performance. Whether you have just 10 minutes to put together a creative solution to a case study or 15 minutes to make your pitch, DECA's competitive events let members experience what it's like to be a business professional. DECA’s competitive events can be grouped into three broad categories— role-plays and case studies, prepared events and online simulations. Within each category and type of event, DECA offers a variety of options in each of the four career clusters — marketing, finance, hospitality and management — as well as entrepreneurship and personal financial literacy.

DECA's role-play and case study events involve a multiple-choice career cluster exam and a role-play or case study provided on-site with a judge. They are classified by industry and career cluster. See the DECA Guide for exact offerings and guidelines.

Principles of Business Administration Events

Principles of Business Administration Events are for individual first-year DECA members. The member is asked to explain several core business concepts.

Individual Series Events

Individual Series Events are individual member events that pose business challenges with role-plays set in specialized career areas.

Team Decision Making Events

Team Decision Making Events challenge a team of two participants to analyze a case study in a specific career area and develop a solution.

Personal Financial Literacy Event

The Personal Financial Literacy Event is designed to measure members’ ability to apply reliable information and systematic decision making to personal financial decisions.

DECA’s prepared events require a written project as well as a prepared presentation, and some require participants to take a career cluster exam. All of these events should be started early in the school year because of the preparation involved. See the DECA Guide for exact offerings and guidelines.

Business Operations Research Events

Business Operations Research Events challenge members (individually or in teams of up to three) to design and conduct research to present findings and a strategic plan on a topic that changes annually.

Project Management Events

Project Management Events encourage members (individually or in teams of up to three) to use project management skills to initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control, and close a project.

Entrepreneurship Events

Entrepreneurship Events allow members (individually or in teams of up to three) to explore entrepreneurship at a variety of stages.

Integrated Marketing Campaign Events

Integrated Marketing Campaign Events challenge members (individually or in teams of up to three) to develop an integrated marketing campaign in a specific category.

Professional Selling and Consulting Events

Professional Selling and Consulting Events allow individual participants to demonstrate knowledge and skills needed for a career in sales or consulting.

DECA’s online events challenge members in online business simulations. Using an online program, members compete against other members in their region from their seats in the classroom to earn the opportunity to compete at the international level.

Stock Market Game

Participants in the Stock Market Game develop and manage an investment portfolio. Each participating team manages all aspects of the portfolio including stock selection, buying and selling. The goal of the competition is to increase the value of the beginning portfolio.

Virtual Business Challenge

Participants in the DECA Virtual Business Challenge (VBC) operate a web-based business simulation utilizing a competition version of the Virtual Business software. The VBC qualifying rounds are conducted via the internet, where participants will vie for chartered association, regional and overall rankings.


Featured resources.

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Official Competitive Events

Learn more about each competitive event. Below is the official list of competitive events for DECA’s International Career Development Conference. Please check with your chartered association advisor for competitive events offered in your chartered association.

Accounting Applications Series

Apparel and accessories marketing series, automotive services marketing series, business finance series, business growth plan, business law and ethics team decision making, business services marketing series, business services operations research, business solutions project, buying and merchandising operations research, buying and merchandising team decision making, career development project, community awareness project, community giving project, entrepreneurship series, entrepreneurship team decision making, finance operations research, financial consulting, financial literacy project, financial services team decision making, food marketing series, franchise business plan, hospitality services team decision making, hospitality and tourism operations research, hospitality and tourism professional selling, hotel and lodging management series, human resources management series, independent business plan, innovation plan, integrated marketing campaign-event, integrated marketing campaign-product, integrated marketing campaign-service, international business plan, marketing communications series, marketing management team decision making, personal financial literacy, principles of business management and administration, principles of finance, principles of hospitality, principles of marketing, professional selling, quick serve restaurant management series, restaurant and food service management series, retail merchandising series, sales project, sports and entertainment marketing operations research, sports and entertainment marketing series, sports and entertainment marketing team decision making, start-up business plan, travel and tourism team decision making, virtual business challenge-accounting, virtual business challenge-entrepreneurship, virtual business challenge-fashion, virtual business challenge-hotel management, virtual business challenge-personal finance, virtual business challenge-restaurant, virtual business challenge-retail, virtual business challenge-sports, contact deca staff for more information..

international business plan deca

Become a DECA Insider

Get the latest news, important notifications, weekly case study and more delivered in your inbox with DECA Direct Weekly.

international business plan deca

Become a DECA Insider

Get the latest news, important notifications, weekly case study and more delivered in your inbox.

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.


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  1. The Brook Hill School



  4. International Business

  5. What is Seed Funding & Tokan Farming ? Why PVCMETA || PEARLVINE INTERNATIONAL

  6. i8 Earnings, Business Plan, Load Central Activation, Account registration


  1. International Business Plan | DECA Inc. Competitive Events

    International Business Plan | DECA Inc. Competitive Events High School International Business Plan IBP Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship Overview The International Business Plan Event involves the development of a proposal to start a new business venture in an international setting. Any type of business may be used. Participants 1 to 3

  2. Participants will demonstrate INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PLAN

    DECA GUIDE 2022-23 | 85 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PLAN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PLAN IBP The International Business Plan involves the development of a proposal to start a new business venture in an international setting. It may be a new business or a new product or service of an existing business. Any type of business may be used.

  3. International Business Plan | DECA+

    The International Business Plan Event involves the development of a proposal to start a new business venture in an international setting. Any type of business may be used. file_download Guidelines person Participants 1 to 3 description Written Entry Pages Allowed 20 timer Appear Before a Judge Present plan timer Interview Time 15

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    DECA is an integral component of classroom instruction providing classroom teachers with enriching educational programs and resources to enhance learning. Learn more 224K+ More than 224,000 DECA student members, teacher advisors, alumni and professionals around the globe join DECA each year to develop the next gen workforce.

  5. The Ultimate Written Event Guide | DECA Direct Online

    Unlike all other written events, though, the Business Growth Plan has strict rules on who can compete; since this event involves crafting a detailed growth plan and strategy for a business owned by a DECA member, all competitors must be “documented owners/operators of the business — a parents’ business does not qualify.”

  6. Independent Business Plan | DECA Inc. Competitive Events

    Independent Business Plan | DECA Inc. Competitive Events High School Independent Business Plan EIB Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship Overview The Independent Business Plan Event involves the development of a comprehensive proposal to start a new business. Any type of business may be used. Participants 1 to 3 Written Entry Page Limit 20

  7. DECA International Career Development Conference

    The DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) is the culmination of the DECA year. More than 20,000 high school students, teacher-advisors, business professionals and alumni gather for several days of DECA excitement. View Registration Guide April 22-25, 2023 Orlando, FL Conference Highlights View Registration Guide Competitive Events


    PANTHER CREEK HIGH SCHOOL DECA. PC DECA ... International Business Plan. IBP Template. ... Franchise Business Plan.

  9. Competitive Events | High School | DECA Inc.

    Within each category and type of event, DECA offers a variety of options in each of the four career clusters — marketing, finance, hospitality and management — as well as entrepreneurship and personal financial literacy. Role-Plays + Case Studies Prepared Events Online Simulations