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In round one, all contestants negotiate between four and eight short negotiations. Their top four scores go through to the live leaderboard. At the end of round one, the top thirty-two contestants proceed to a series of knock-out rounds, each involving one negotiation, until the final two negotiators compete to become world champion.

View Knockout Table

Round 1

Overview:  During Round 1, contestants negotiate a minimum of four times. Points from each negotiation are fed onto the live leaderboard. Contestants can negotiate a further four times if they wish, however only the points from the four highest scoring negotiations will count towards their total score. 

Scheduling a negotiation: In round one, the total amount of time required to prepare and negotiate each case is approximately 35 minutes. Contestants can schedule their negotiations at a time and day that is convenient to them from a selection of pre-allocated times.

On the day of the negotiation: At the scheduled time for the negotiation, contestants click to join a waiting room. They are then automatically paired at random with other negotiators. Once matched, contestants are given access to the online preparation room. In the rare event that there are an odd number of contestants and no match can be made, contestants are asked to reschedule to an alternative time or day.

Preparing for your case: In the preparation room contestants gain access to their case notes and instructions. They are given a set amount of preparation time that starts for both negotiators as soon as they are matched and enter the room. At the end of the preparation time, a live link takes both negotiators through to their seat at the virtual negotiation table and the negotiation begins.

The negotiation: The negotiations in round one last no more than fifteen minutes. Contestants need to negotiate one or two variables depending on the case. At the end of the negotiation, the result is entered into the deal sheet. For an agreement to be reached, both parties must agree. Failure to reach an agreement will result in a no-deal.

Points: Points are automatically allocated based on the deal that is agreed. A no-deal results in zero points for both parties. All points automatically feed through to the live leaderboard. If contestants choose to negotiate more than four times in round one, then only their top four scores will be taken to the leaderboard.

At the end of round 1: The top 32 contestants proceed to round two and the knock-out phase of the competition.


Round 2 onwards

Overview: At the start of round 2, pairings are allocated randomly.

Negotiation Cases: Cases are allocated at random and will get progressively more challenging with increased complexity and variables as the competition progresses.

Scheduling negotiations: From round 2 onwards, contestants must ensure they are available on the scheduled dates below. A time slot is allocated to each pair in order to accommodate time zones where possible. For rounds 2, 3 and quarterfinals, if a contestant is unable to make an allocated time, then every effort will be made to find an alternative (on the same date). However, should no alternative be possible, the contestant forfeits the round and is knocked out.

Preparing and negotiating: Preparation and negotiations will follow the same format as with round 1. However, more time will be given to prepare and negotiate as the cases become more complex.

Points: In round 2, 3 and the quarterfinals, contestants complete the online deal sheet and points will be allocated according to the result that is agreed. The negotiator with the most points proceeds to the next round. In the semifinals and finals, the negotiations will be judged live by at least two negotiation consultants from The Gap Partnership. Judging criteria is provided as part of the case briefing and the judges' decision as to who wins is final.

The live final: The final is streamed to a live global audience. For this reason, finalists are given a fixed time that is non-negotiable. At the end of the final, after a period of consideration by the judges, a winner is crowned Negotiation Champion.


If you have any questions or would like to find out more about how the competition works or when it will be available to run in-house in your organisation, please do contact us.

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