Hackathons advance corporate and industry-wide innovation by promoting purposeful experimentation. Hackathons foster creativity and problem-solving abilities that may not usually emerge in a workday by exposing companies to many practical new ideas and concepts.
1. Don't Restrict Hackathon Attendees to a Specific Industry
The most critical stage is to gather a broad group of problem-solvers who do not work in the sector you intend to target with the hackathon.
For instance, if your hackathon focuses on Built Environment problems, recruiting people who do not work in this area might be advantageous. Why? Because they will not be bound by how things have traditionally been done. This increases the likelihood of a more "out-of-the-box” solution.
Consider employing unorthodox marketing techniques to recruit participants to accomplish this. Don't rely on the traditional trade press that your sector relies on.
Try advertising your Built Environment hackathon on a Finance news website, for example. General event platforms like MeetUp.com and Eventbrite are also effective in attracting foreign participation. Also utilizing sites like Hackathon.com can get your event in front of a community of people with differing interests.
2. Hold Hackathons That Last Long Enough to Create Something Impactful
If your hackathon lasts only one day, then it's unlikely to generate any impact. This is because, in one day, it can be near impossible to solve complex problems that have the most chances of generating real-world impact.
To be impactful, your hackathon should be longer than a day. Consider making it at least two days if in-person, and at least a week (preferably more) if you are virtual.
We have noticed that hackathons that last a week have a more remarkable ability to generate innovative ideas. This is because people used to working in their day-to-day jobs have time to think about problems they usually don't have time for.
Most in-person hackathons tend to last over a weekend. This gives people the freedom to participate without worrying about their regular day-to-day work.
3. Offer Prizes That Make Real-World Impact Possible For the Winners
The prize you give out in your hackathon can make a significant difference in the impact your hackathon generates. If the prize is a trophy, then it is likely that the impact generated will be minimal.
Swag (freebies) prizes can be fun to have, but also make a minimal impact.
Prizes that give winners what they need to succeed can significantly impact the industry. For example, a prize that gives the winning team free office space to work in for a year will have a significant impact. Why? Because it gives the winning team a chance to try out their solution in a real-world environment.
4. Ensure Your Hackathon Mentors Are Capable of Supporting Impactful Ideas to Their Completion
Hackathon mentors are people that have enough experience to give you valuable advice and real-world insights on your hackathon idea. They can help you understand what works and what doesn't.
Without mentors, you are likely to build something that has little impact. But with mentors, you are likely to approach your hackathon with a different perspective. You are likely to build a product that will generate real-world impact.
Hackathon mentors are also usually passionate about your industry and are willing to invest time and effort in helping you.
Make an Impact Today
Hackathons aren't limited to the technical expertise of participants. They also bring together people from different industries with different perspectives. These people can help you build a product that has a real-world impact.
If you enjoyed our hackathon organizing tips, take it even further by contacting us to help you organize your own! Hackathon.com is the go-to place for hosting hackathons for corporate events or signing up for one. Get more info on our services and be "in the know" on the latest events by getting in touch with us today!