2022 Merit Awards Finalist Guide

This year’s Merit Awards will hold its project presentation and judging sessions via Zoom, while the event itself will be held in person.  Below is a brief overview of the finalist process and requirements for this year’s Merit Awards. For more detailed information on a topic, view the relevant tab.

Important Details

Finalist Presentation Schedule

Click Here to view schedule and zoom room links.

    • Day 1 – 3/17
    • Day 2 – 3/22
    • Day 3 – 3/30

Live Awards Event
Radisson BLU Chicago
Thursday May 5

Event Registration
Coming Soon






Presenter Requirements

  • Present your project to a panel of judges (Zoom)
  • Participate in post-presentation interview (Zoom)
  • Submit a Project Poster via Email

Presentation & Judging

This year’s Finalist Presentations will be held virtually via Zoom. Each project team has been assigned a presentation time, which will be communicated to you.  You will receive an email with the link to your zoom room several days before your presentation date.  Following your team’s presentation, one member of your team will remain in the Zoom room to participate in a 5-minute interview that will be used for promotional purposes.  Please make sure to view the Presentation & Judging tab on this page for more specifics.

Schedule and zoom links can be found here.

Project Poster

Each project team must submit a project poster digitally, which the CBC will then print.  Two (2) 20” x 30” storyboards will be placed on display at the Merit Awards Dinner, on May 5, 2022.

The posters must include the following:

  • Title and location of project.
  • Name of project team (owner, architect, general contractor, and engineers).
  • Brief project description, including statement of the project’s impact on the community.
  • Minimum of one color photograph of the project.

Please send your digital mock-up for these storyboards to esimcox@coachmarketingltd.com by April 5, 2022.

Presentation Process

This year’s Finalist Presentations will be held virtually via Zoom.  Each project team has been assigned a presentation time.  A few days before your scheduled presentation, you will receive an email with the link to your presentation’s Zoom Room.  Please make sure to forward this to any members of your team who will be participating in your presentation.

Click Here to view schedule and links.

Each presentation will proceed as follows:


Your project team will join the zoom conference room 15 minutes before your scheduled presentation time. During this time your team can coordinate and get ready for your presentation.

  • A CBC rep will be in the room with you to help resolve any last-minute tech issues that may pop up.
  • Please do not attempt to access the room any earlier than 15 minutes before your presentation’s start time, as the room may still be in use from an earlier presentation.
  • At your scheduled presentation time, the judges will enter the Zoom conference room.
  • Once all judges have arrived, a moderator will verbally give you the go-ahead to begin your presentation.


Once you begin, your team will have 20 minutes to present your project, leaving 5 minutes for questions.

  • You’re free to present your project however you’d like, including pictures, videos, or a PowerPoint presentation.
  • You will be able to share your screen during your presentation.
  • There is no limit to how many members of your project team can participate in your presentation, but we do recommend coordinating with each other ahead of time.


Once your presentation concludes, a moderator will announce the start of a Q&A Session.

  • The moderator will call on any judges with questions, one at a time.
  • The judges will ask their questions live via video.
  • Following the Q&A Session, the judges will leave the zoom room to attend the next presentation.

Post-Presentation Interview

Following your presentation, a member of the CBC marketing team will enter your Zoom conference room to conduct a 5-minute interview with a member of your project team.  Only one team member is required to participate in the interview (with a max of 2), and the footage captured will be used for promotional purposes.  Questions asked during this interview may include:

  • In no more than 15 seconds, tell me about this project.
  • What made this project special?
  • Were there any challenges unique to this project?
  • How does it feel to have contributed to the architectural legacy of Chicago?
  • How did you feel when you found out your project was a Merit Award Finalist?
  • What would it mean to become a Merit Award Winner?


Looking and Sounding Your Best…Virtually

As long as you have access to a computer with a webcam and microphone, you have everything you need to participate in The 2022 Merit Awards.  But to help you look and sound your best, here are a few tips and best practices we recommend when presenting online.


  • Make sure you setup in a private or quiet room, free from distractions, and with a reliable internet connection.
  • Avoid sitting in front of bright backgrounds (such as windows).  This can cause your camera to automatically dim the image, making you harder to see.  Instead, try and position a light source in front of you, so you are well lit, and the center of attention.
  • Speaking of backgrounds, remember that people can see what’s behind you.  Make sure what they can see is clean, and non-distracting.
  • Camera placement has a big impact on how you look during a video conference.  Position your camera or laptop screen on a sturdy surface (not your lap) with the camera around eye level.
  • Before appearing on camera, close any unnecessary windows, tabs or programs that you may have open on your computer.  It also may be a good idea to see if your computer has any pending updates a day or so before your presentation, just in case.
  • When presenting, sit up straight, speak clearly into your microphone, and try to avoid checking yourself out too much on the computer screen, keeping your eyes on the camera.