Alright, where did I leave off with DECA? I don’t know how you guys feel about this onslaught of DECA posts, but I love retelling the story of my entire trip. It’s like reliving my experiences all over again!
My partner and I slept in the same hotel room together, and our second day started off with waking up super early in anticipation of the text coming from our advisors, which would tell us whether or not we had qualified for finals in the International Business Plan category! The text was supposed to come around 6 am, and it just so happens that when you leave your phone on vibrate, and then place your phone on top of the metal base of a lamp overnight, your phone will vibrate really, really loud. That noise is what woke me up at 6, and I rolled over to check my phone to see that we had, in fact, made it to the final round for our presentation! After that, we had two hours until our alarm was set to go off, but neither one of us could get back to sleep, no matter how tired we were from the night before. We were too excited, and a little bit nervous!
We already had our two roleplays scheduled for that second day, and now we had added our final presentation to the plan, making our day jam packed! And also more stressful. Our roleplays were scheduled for 10:40 am and 3:00 pm, respectively. Originally, this was the perfect schedule because we would get to sleep in, head to our first roleplay, finish right in time for lunch at 1 o’clock at The Broadmoor, then move right into our second roleplay. However, once we made it to finals for our other category, we got scheduled for a 4:15 pm presentation in a building on the opposite end of The Broadmoor property from where our second Travel and Tourism roleplay was being held. Between the amount of time that it would take to get checked in, prep for
roleplay, and then to talk to the judges for our Travel and Tourism roleplay, there was no way that we were going to make it in time for our final presentation unless we ran across the hotel property. Now, we did have some experience sprinting places in order to make it to things on time (i.e. Outback the night before), and so while we were stressed out, we just had to be on top of our time and hustle over in enough time to prepare for our presentation.
Since there was no hope of us going back to sleep, me and my partner got up and showered and walked out to breakfast. I mentioned in my first DECA post that the nicest part of staying at the Doubletree compared to The Broadmoor was that we were provided with complimentary breakfast for the two mornings that we were there. The first morning, they were offering a fruit platter, sausage links, scrambled eggs, hash browns, banana bread, and a full juice and coffee bar! The selection was simple, but there was plenty of food to fill me up. That was necessary, as we weren’t going to be able to eat lunch until 1 pm that day (since The Broadmoor had scheduled our lunch for us and all of the DECA kids). After breakfast, we had to get ready and put on our professional dress so that we could drive to The Broadmoor early and sit and wait for our roleplay to start!
While we always plan ahead and arrive at our roleplays early, the bad thing about this is that the waiting area in The Broadmoor ballroom has no places to sit, so we had to submit to sitting on the floor for over an hour while we waited for our prep time to be called.
Our first Travel and Tourism roleplay consisted of an outdated amusement park called Garden of Stories that seemed to be a mixture of a botanical garden and a park for kids to experience classic children’s tales, such as Humpty Dumpty or Jack and the Beanstalk, firsthand. However, the problem was that kids these days don’t actually know these stories, and so the park needed a rebranding in order to become profitable again.
That’s just an insight into what a typical Travel and Tourism roleplay scenario looks like. After we were allowed thirty minutes of prep time, we presented our new ideas in front of two judges. We were feeling confident afterwards! The judges didn’t give too much away, but it did at least seem like they were interested in our remodeling plan for the park.
We were let out from our first roleplay just in time for lunch! Every year, The Broadmoor hosts two lunches for the DECA students in a ballroom with a full, fancy, three course meal. When we sat down, there were salads in every spot at the table, with water and iced tea for everyone, and bread for when the entrée was served. The salad was a generic garden salad that first day, and once we finished, our plates were replaced by attentive waiters with chicken breast on rice with asparagus and carrots. It was sooooo yummy, and much better than having to find somewhere to eat out for lunch! Once we finished with the main course, we ate the dessert, which was a fudge chocolate mousse inside of a brownie cup with a raspberry on top. It was heavenly!
The dining room even had a coffee and tea bar set up, so I poured another cup of coffee that day, if only because the hotel offered hazelnut syrup for the drinks. It was delicious! I can’t comment on how great the rooms are at The Broadmoor, but I can tell you that the food and the coffee is wonderful.
Since our second roleplay was set for 3 o’clock, we had to head straight back to the ballroom and play the waiting game again. We were feeling more relaxed this time since we had already gotten our first roleplay out of the way!
The second roleplay scenario consisted of an airline that was attempting to increase its membership by creating a new mileage program that was targeted towards a specific generation. There were three that we were able to pick from: Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. The goal was to create a new mileage program and a way to promote this program for the needs of one of these age groups. My partner and I chose to focus on advertising towards the Generation X group. Since all of the DECA students are Millennials, we assumed that all of our competitors would choose the Millennial generation. We wanted to take a risk in order to separate ourselves from our competition!
We felt like we had achieved yet another successful roleplay, but now we had to book it across multiple buildings of The Broadmoor in order to make it to our final presentation for our International Business Plan on time! We did get there on time, in case you were wondering, and we even arrived early enough that we could run through our presentation one last time.
I mentioned in the first post that we presented in front of four judges this go around, and we were feeling extremely happy after our presentation because the judges only had one question, and after we had answered that question, one of the judges actually nodded and gave us a thumbs up before we shook hands and walked out! We were also excited because we were done! No matter how the rest of the conference turned out, we had qualified for finals for our paper and presentation that we had put so much time into creating and working out all of the kinks.
We had the rest of the night to relax, and the same group that had gone out to dinner at Outback the night before went out to Chili’s with us. Again, this was by no means fancy, but it was right across the street from the Doubletree. We didn’t have any meetings planned for the second night, so we didn’t have to worry about trying to rush through our dinner again!
Thank goodness for that, because if we had been in a hurry, we would have been late once again. By the time our group of eight had gotten there and sat down, our waitress came over and brought us our drinks and told us that there was a group of 25 and a group of 65 that had just walked in ahead of us, so our food was going to take a while to cook. After we ordered, our food took over an hour to come out, but we didn’t mind as much because we had nowhere to be and we were just enjoying chatting with the group while we waited. Also, our waitress continued to bring us an endless supply of chips and queso, and by the time that our food came out, we had gone through almost eight baskets of chips between the entire group! Needless to say, after waiting all of that time and scarfing down chips, we weren’t exactly hungry for our main meals; however, we had a good time nonetheless.
Once we got back to the hotel, we were planning on going to the pool,; however, when we arrived, there were about 45 DECA kids in the tiny hotel pool hot tub (which not only looked entirely too claustrophobic for me, but also, germs). The actual pool was also full of kids chicken fighting. We walked into the pool area, said hi to a few people, and walked right back out. It worked out well, though, because we got to spend the rest of the night in the hotel room just hanging out and getting to sleep early, because we were exhausted after our busy day.
That ends the second day of the 2017 Colorado DECA State conference. It was a very eventful day! I will be uploading the story of my third and final day soon, but while I am getting that prepared…
Don’t Forget to Make It Meghan!