On November 24 and 25 Conestoga will welcome 250 students from 13 Ontario colleges when it hosts the 2016 Ontario Colleges Marketing Competition (OCMC). The annual event is a showcase for the province’s top marketing and business students.
Now in its 36th year, the competition serves as a stepping-stone from academia to industry by creating networking opportunities and real-world experiences where students can demonstrate their skills to industry professionals. As the host college, Conestoga chose “Ingenuity” as the theme of the 2016 competition - the event is “where clever ideas and creative leaders will be born.”
College teams will arrive in Kitchener on November 24 and face their first challenge that evening with the Quiz Bowl - a Jeopardy-style event involving 13 teams of 4 students. On Friday, November 25, 10 case events simulating real-world marketing challenges will take place throughout the day. Pairs of students will have 30 minutes to read, analyze and prepare a presentation on a marketing case and present it to a panel of judges drawn from the industry.
There are also two individual events on November 25: the Sales Presentation requires students to present a given product or service, and the Job Interview requires competitors to prepare for a position and participate in an interview.
A reception and awards ceremony to announce results and recognize the top three colleges will be held on Friday evening. In addition to the 250 students involved, Conestoga will also host 100 faculty, 60 business leaders and 100 volunteers. Competition events will be held at Kitchener’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.
“The OCMC is hosted by a different college each year with volunteer faculty assisting with the organization,” said Conestoga Business professor Lisa Symons. “Conestoga has been preparing for the competition for two years to give our visiting teams the best experience. We managed logistics related to accommodations, programming, scheduling and audio visual and IT requirements. Quite a bit of work has gone in to the planning and we are ready and excited to get the competition underway.”
As part of the preparations for the OCMC, Conestoga worked with Kitchener-based video production company Memory Tree to create a promotional video for the competition. The video won a Communicator Award of Excellence in Animation from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts in New York last April.
Conestoga's student team has also been preparing for the OCMC and hopes to hold on to its first-place title from 2015. Over the last 20 years, Conestoga has finished as one of the top three colleges 15 times. In addition to gold wins in 2015 and 2004, the college celebrated back-to-back first place wins in 1997 and 1998 and again in 2008 and 2009.
“Our students have been working with nine faculty coaches,” said Symons. “Try-outs for the team were held in September and coaches have been working with students ever since. They feel confident heading into the competition, but we have no idea how the other colleges will perform.”
The 2016 Conestoga OCMC team is made up of Business Administration - Marketing students John Barber, Chris Beauchesne, Kevin Bertrand, Sarina Dolch, Max Fischer, Marcus Gaughan, Andrew Glendon, Patrick Hartleib, Ashton Koch, Liana Little, Simon Oliveira, Sarah O’Neil, Harsh Parikh, Melissa Pelley, Scott Runstedler, Jack Reid, Scott Runstedler and Connor Stickle.
Conestoga’s mascot, Cliff the Condor, will welcome visitors and cheer on the Conestoga team during events on November 25. In the spirit of fun, mascots from the visiting colleges have been invited to attend as well.
Conestoga’s Business Administration - Marketing three-year advanced diploma program is designed for career-oriented individuals with an interest in the dynamic, challenging world of marketing. Graduates are prepared for leadership roles and careers in advertising, brand development, selling, online marketing, entrepreneurship, new media marketing, research and many other rewarding choices.