So if you’re just breaking into the business world, you may have heard the term “Case Competition” being used by people flexing their resume experiences.

So what is that? Well, a case competition is an event where individuals or teams have a set time frame to develop a solution for a given problem and present their ideas to a group of judges and compete for the winning title. As these types of events become more and more popular, what sets apart the mediocre competitions from the exceptional ones?

Our team of experienced event organizers have compiled a list of Key Success Factors (KSF) for hosting a successful case competition:

1. An Interesting Problem and Attractive Prizes

A key measure of success for an event is typically the number of participants/attendees. In order to attract a high volume of sign-ups, you first need to define the purpose and objectives of your event. This will allow you to narrow down your target audience and identify their needs. Make sure the theme of the case is aligned with the industry of your organization and your partners. Once you’ve established all of that, you will have an easier time selecting the case study/problem and prizes/opportunities that will attract your target audience. Keep in mind what the benefits of coming to your event will be for your participants, what value are you providing? Additionally, having clear goals and a well-defined problem will boost the effectiveness of your advertising and sponsorship outreach.

Some potential prizes you can negotiate with your event sponsor/partner includes:

  • Cash prizes

  • Company merchandise

  • Internship interview opportunities

  • Lunch/ coffee chats with executives of the company

2. Effective Marketing Strategy and Eye-catching Sponsors

Now that you have an attractive event, how do you sell it? A comprehensive marketing strategy is key. First you need to identify your unique value proposition so potential participants understand what makes your event special and worthy of attending (even if they have attended case competitions already). An example could be, heavily advertising any of the attractive prizes mentioned above. Or maybe, your competition has a special twist - such as a LIVE case where updates are given in real time - anything that will make attending this competition an unforgettable experience. Market to the right demographic and encourage those who are interested to help you share and spread the word. Don’t forget to showcase your event sponsors, judging panel, and testimonials from past participants if applicable.

3. The Right Team

The right team makes all the difference. At the end of the day, you are going to spend many hours over several months with these people in order to make your event a success. Thus, select people who you collaborate well with, bring different sets of skills to the table, and generally enjoy being around because your team is the one setting the atmosphere for the event. If your team is a supportive and energetic group, this will be evident to your participants in your marketing and on the day of the event, as well as foster the same climate throughout the competition.

4. A Flawless Operations System

Having the right operations system can make or break your event. The day of the event will be the busiest, most chaotic hours of your life and if you don’t have the proper structure in place, the event will suffer. Three key moments that require the most attention are:

  • Handling and organizing the influx of submissions all at once. In our experience, most competitions have their participants email in their team name, abstract, and slide deck. Hence, whoever is in charge of downloading and keeping track of these submissions better not mess up!

  • Creating a judging schedule. This includes making sure every team has a presentation slot, their slides are set up in the correct judging room, and each team knows when and where they are going.

  • Printing out enough rubrics for every team and distributing them to all the judging rooms, as well as collecting and tallying up all the scores into an excel sheet afterwards. This is a critical part of the event, because if scores get messed up, participants will be very upset. Additionally, this moment is extremely time sensitive as the scores need to be calculated so the advancing teams can prepare for the final round. No pressure!

The first three key success factors are very doable for most event organizers. However, the last KSF is tough to perfect every time. That’s why CaseCom exists, to make hosting a successful case competition achievable for everyone! With CaseCom’s intuitive and easy to use platform, we provide a fully digital operations system that takes on the manual labor from the point of submission, and makes organizing a case competition as painless as possible. All so you can focus on enjoying your event and making it the best it can be.

Want to learn more about CaseCom’s features? Check out the main site and read our previous article: "Why CaseCom Exists?"