10-12 teams, consisting of four students each, compete every year, in addition to a school advisor to accompany them.
The competition is centered on a 32 hour-long “case period”, which unfolds over the last three days of MMICC. The case challenges students with a business problem. Each team must come up with a strategy and organize their findings into a presentation. The participants work in their own hotel room for 32 hours. They move to the presentation site the next morning to rehearse for the last two hours.
The presentations happen on the last day of MMICC and are open to the general public. After 32 hours of work, the participants are asked to present their strategies and take questions from the judges. All twelve teams are required to present twice; once in the morning and once in the afternoon; each time facing a different panel of judges. They have up to 15 minutes to convince their audience, followed by a 15 minute Q&A.
The competition has been judged by a corporate-only panel since 2006. Executives from various businesses and fields of expertise are invited to judge. They come from banking, insurance, retailing, accounting and publishing companies, with branches or headquarters in Montreal and Toronto. They are senior managers, analysts, directors, consultants and entrepreneurs, who all participate as volunteers. Over the years, many have become long-time veterans and supporters of MMICC.
The teams are evaluated on their overall content, presentation and structure. A list of criteria is available (70% on content, 30% on presentation). However, these are only guidelines. The judges are only asked to rank the teams during a deliberation session. The session ends only when a consensus is reached. Three winners eventually emerge from these rankings. The winner reflects which team the judges would have hired as their consultants.
MMICC is the only international case competition not to have a preliminary round or elimination format. There is also no pool system. The judges get a chance to watch all the teams. Another particularity is that, in order to win at MMICC, a team must actually deliver not one, but two solid presentations. They must convince the panel on both instances, or else they cannot rank favourably.
Trophies for first, second and third place are awarded during closing ceremonies. Although all 12 teams may receive a ranking during deliberation, their order remains undisclosed. Only the top 3 are announced.