Deadline for submissions:
APRIL 3, 2017 at 11:59pm EST


Who can join the contest and how many students can be on a Team?

There is a maximum of four students per Team. Students must be attending a Canadian University in any discipline at the undergrad level. To qualify, each Team’s project submission must receive an endorsement by a Mentor before it can be entered into the contest. Multiple Teams from one Canadian University are allowed.

In the past Teams have ranged from 2 to 4 members.

Teams can be made up of students from different programs or different Universities.

What can the top three Teams expect at the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference?

The top three Teams will be promoted before and throughout the conference. The students will have the opportunity to attend all educational sessions on APRIL 24, 2018.

Once it is time to present, each Team will be given 10 minutes on stage to showcase their hotel concept to a panel of judges and to an audience of 500 conference attendees. The judges and audience will jointly choose the first place, second place and third place winners. The winner will be announced on stage, at the conference. Further details about collecting prize money will be available upon request.

The top three Teams should expect to have a good time, and to meet and network with industry leaders!

If my Team is chosen to present at the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference, can my Mom and Dad come watch and cheer me on?

Yes! We would love to meet your parents! Big Picture Conferences will arrange for complimentary passes for your family.

Email Enney Hoang (enneyhoang@bigpictureconferences.ca)  for more details.

What is the deadline and how do Teams make their submissions?

The deadline to submit your completed form and full presentation is WEDNESDAY MARCH 28, 2018 at 11:59pm EST via Dropbox to Enney Hoang (enneyhoang@bigpictureconferences.ca).

Your presentation may use any format that works best to showcase your concept. For example, feel free to use photos, pictures, pptx, pdf, prezzie, videos, blogs, etc.

Take special note of the size restrictions for your presentations;

  •  if sending WORD document/ PDF, no more than 25 pages,
  • if sending a POWERPOINT or PREZZIE, no more than 25 slides,

Can my submission be longer than 25 pages/25 slides? What is included in the 25 pages?

In order to be fair, it is asked that everyone follows the guidelines and keep within the size restrictions.

The 25 pages includes your references and appendix. It does not include the cover page.

Will this contest be featured on social media?

Of course! Students and schools can follow contest details through our Facebook page Twitter at hashtag #HotelNEXT, and on Instragram at @HotelNEXTCanada. View our Pintrest board for inspiration, or join the LinkedIn group to get updates.

Will I get extra credits at school for entering this competition?

No, unless the competition has been incorporated into the school curriculum. Typically this competition is an activity above and beyond classroom work but is an exceptional career-building opportunity. The top three Teams will receive considerable exposure to Canada’s top hotel industry leaders at the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference (CHIC), and will have the opportunity to showcase their talents and network with industry leaders at the conference. Not to mention that all the top three Teams will be eligible to win a cash prize, and will have their expenses paid to attend CHIC. In addition, all student Teams who enter the competition will be recognized on this contest website and press releases.

What is a Mentor?

We have a number of mentors who have generously donated their time to help you. Visit our Mentors page to connect with them via email, phone, or on social media! They can help you with questions about design, feasibility and much more! These Mentors have specifically been chosen for this contest as they are kind, friendly, and approachable people who want to help! Don’t underestimate this fantastic resource of industry professionals.

Can the same mentor endorse multiple Teams’ project submissions?

Yes, the objective is for a mentor to endorse well-thought out project submissions that satisfy all the criteria on the scorecard.

What resources are available to students?

Here are also some links that students may find useful:

General Real Estate Trends
Hotel Association of Canada
Hotel Industry Fact Sheet
EY – Hospitality Trends 2015


The STR SHARE Center is offering assistants to students involved in the #hotelNEXT competition.  They may provide different types of hotel information and data to include a:

  • Trend Report: historic hotel performance data (occupancy, ADR, RevPAR), as well as hotel supply, demand and room revenue for cities or specific groups of hotels
  • Pipeline Report: current hotel development project details and information on existing hotels in a city
  • Census Database: specific variable information for hotels in a city, including things like address, number of rooms, meeting space, etc.
  • Property & Room Counts: current count of existing hotels and rooms within a city by brand, class, size, or location

They ask that your school be a member of the SHARE Center in order to provide information which requires the completion of a simple free trial enrollment form.  If you would like to discuss your data and information needs for the competition or have questions about the SHARE Center, please contact them at sharecenter@str.com.

Is there an example that I can see?

Yes, please contact Enney if you would like to see an example from past #hotelNEXT Winners!

Who will be doing the first-round of judging to determine the top three contestants?

Big Picture Conferences will invite a small group of industry representatives to take part in a Selection Committee.  We will have a long lunch scheduled in April 2018 in Toronto where the final decision on the top 3 Teams will be made.

Who is the Selection Committee?

The Selection Committee is a group of people who have not been approached to provide guidance to #hotelNEXT team.

The Selection Committee for 2018 is led by Charles Suddaby. Joining Charles will be Russell BeaudrySamantha Charlesworth & Anil Taneja. 

2017 Committee: Charles SuddabyRussell Beaudry, Robert BruinsSamantha Charlesworth & Lindsay Wright.

2016 Committee: Charles Suddaby, Sara Glenn, Sandeep Gupta, & Jeff Hyslop.

Who will be doing the judging of the top three student Teams at CHIC?

Announcing our first Judge from JHAC is Ray Halani.

Please stay tuned more Judges  TBA.

Check out our past Judges.

Who will the industry mentors be, and when can student Teams use them?

A list of top industry mentors is available here. Student Teams may use these mentors to discuss the concept early on in its development, or to get feedback once the concept is nearly complete. Teams may contact one mentor or all of them. They may receive one-on-one support from this mentor for one hour, in whichever way is feasible for both parties (in person, by phone, by video-conferencing, etc). Remember, these mentors were specifically chosen and want to help you out!

What is the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference (CHIC) and what is Big Picture Conferences?

The Canadian Hotel Investment Conference is an annual conference, first launched in 1997, which has established itself as the definitive source of information, insight and opinion on today’s Canadian lodging market. This conference is owned and operated by Big Picture Conferences (BPC). BPC is dedicated to connecting people through the synergistic production of business networking events. BPC develops program content, organizes quality speakers, and coordinates marketing services while managing venue arrangements, registrations and finances.

Big Picture Conferences (BPC) is dedicated to connecting people through the synergistic production of annual conferences and networking events for the Canadian hospitality industry. BPC delivers ‘turnkey’ events by developing program content, organizing quality speakers, coordinating marketing services while managing venue arrangements, registrations and finances.

What is the audience like?

CHIC has over 550 expected attendees and they include hotel owners, investors, developers, and “C-level” (COO,CEO,CFO,CIO) executives, designers, architects, consultants, legal advisors and lenders.

You may be used to presenting in front of other students and professors, but this is totally different. These are 550 of the Canadian hotel industry’s executives, there is no ivory tower here.

Can the student Teams that didn’t qualify in the top 3 attend CHIC?

Yes, there will be an opportunity to attend and volunteer at CHIC.

Please contact Enney Hoang, Event Coordinator at Big Picture Conferences.

How do I choose a market and what is defined as a mid-sized city?

The market can be real or fictitious. It is intended to be a second-tier market –  similar to Halifax, Quebec City, London, Barrie, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton or Victoria but not a primary city such as Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal.

If the numbers work, can the old building be demolished to build a new one?

Yes, if students can show that it makes economic sense.

Submit your Entry via Dropbox