Recently we have an opportunity to make the biggest hackathon in our city. The excitement wore off, and the result exceeded our expectations at all. We decided to share with you our hints & tips on how to make a successful hackathon. Slightly humorously, although with lots of information that helps you to run your first hackathon without a hitch.
1. Stop being perfectionist
First of all, you have to eliminate your perfectionist attitude. It will kill your organisation effort. Fixing all duties in one step and one time is impossible. It is crucial to reserve at least three weeks in advance to have a space for task scheduling. Remember: nothing is perfect until it’s done.
2. Be ready for plenty of organisation things to do
Having the right organisation is essential for hosting a successful hackathon. Involve a team of people and assign them the tasks. This way all can run smoothly and fast. Collaboration is significant. Work with each other and keep everyone updated. By this, you will foster success in each organisation phase. Join the forces and be ready for any difficulties.
3. Find sponsorship
Hackathon is an expensive party, although lots of organisations or investors willing to sponsor your event. The benefits are mutual; sponsors will give you the money to cover the cost for the event in return for advertisement (wall advertising, official thanks during the event’s opening and closing session). For sponsorship, we have asked government agencies, companies, IT organisations, media, universities and private investors. Someone can refuse to give you a donation, despite this they might offer another help like volunteers, food or necessary equipment. Sponsors, apart from the money, can give you t-shirts, books, cups, pencils and other gadgets.
4. Boost your social media crowd
Build the hype across social media channels. Contact with all competitors, show them appeals and buzz that will happen during the event. Your goal is to popularise the competition among the community. The ways of working are various. At least be active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Registration process needs to be simple and easy. Communicate precisely what’s going to happen, what do you offer and what they can expect.
5. Media cooperation is not a joke!
At all. That is obvious you’ll search for sponsorship and media cooperation Keep in mind sponsoring requirements included in the official agreements. Supporters can expect their ads on the stage, play presentation about their organisation etc. If you fail with it, you can lose the money and pay penalties. Remember to check all conditions and be ready for action you should take.
6. Get used to doing things five minutes before kickoff ceremony
Only peace will save you. Don’t panic if there is an insufficient amount of chairs, desks or extension cord. Keep calm and try to be like a superman fixing all issues like wildfire. You can easily overcome any obstacles that may pop up. Yes, you have a superpower, and hackathon will prove it.
7. Be ready for an emergency situation
It happens when you have hundreds of things on your mind, and under pressure, you forget about something. Don’t be surprised if Wi-Fi goes out; you could manage to do a backup effortless. Don’t worry if there are not enough seats for participants. There is always a way out. Don’t expect that problems will not exist; take it for granted.
8. Charge the battery to 200%
From the participants’ perspective, the hackathon is soo easy and fun. You are taking your laptop, a cup of a coffee, and having fun. As an organiser, you have to deal with sponsorship agreements, competition rules, prizes, starter packs preparation, a place for hosting event, car parking, social media arrangements etc. Thus you have to charge your battery for at least 200%.
9. Be multitasking and multi everywhere
Simple as that. The best idea is to divide yourself and be in two places at the same time. Trust me you can do it.
10 Try not to overdose energy drink or coffee
I said this in all seriousness. Remember to inform all hackathon participants that coffee mixed with energy drinks are dangerous. They don’t want to spend the party in the hospital, either you. Drinking too much caffeine is easy. It does not apply for pizza which keeps the creative juices flowing.
Making a hackathon is not as easy as you might think, but the whole effort is well worth it. We love to promote creativity, collaboration, and innovative thinking. Feel inspired? Share your thought with us then!
Please visit our official hackathon facebook website for more information.
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