Successful companies and communities plan and hold hackathons to solve consumer needs quickly. In this frantic environment, it’s important for organizers to ensure that hackathons fulfill their core purpose.
When you know what you’re aiming for, you can develop a plan that includes the goals of each team in the competition, a timeline for the competition, and ways to structure the judging process.
Also, think of ways to keep participants motivated to work hard and respect their time—perhaps by offering them food and refreshments or by setting a time limit per team or per round.
1) Why Are You Organizing This Hackathon?
Hackathons can bring together a lot of different people, each of whom can add their own qualities of creativity, intelligence, or technical skills to solve a problem. You need to decide on the problem you want to solve and identify the type of people you’re looking for.
For example, a hardware hackathon would attract designers, hardware engineers, software engineers, and manufacturing experts. If you’re looking for a new way to improve your website, you’d want designers, engineers, and developers.
2) How Will You Entice People to Join?
One reason people don’t participate in hackathons is that they aren’t convinced that they’ll be able to make something that works. A successful hackathon will attract people who can create amazing stuff in a limited amount of time. The best way to attract them is to offer interesting problems to solve and some incentives.
This may be things like prizes or company swag, or you may offer a chance to meet new people who are working in the same industry.
3) How Will You Make Participation Smoother?
A hackathon is a marathon, not a sprint, and so there’s bound to be some attrition. The more time teams receive for an idea, the better the results will be in the end.
It’s important that your hackathon not be set up like a race. You want to give participants the freedom to create and make mistakes so they’ll learn from them.
Make sure you have a clear idea of how long everyone has to work on their ideas, how many teams will be involved, and how many ideas each team will need to come up with to make the competition fair.
4) Will You Get a Sponsor?
Depending on the type of hackathon, you may be able to get help from sponsors. If you’re planning to offer cash prizes, you may find a sponsor to pay for the winners.
Another benefit of getting sponsors is that they’re likely to have some of their own developers work on their idea if you offer an opportunity to work with their engineers.
5) Will You Offer a Prize?
If you’re offering a cash prize, you might also want to consider other strategies to give participants a sense of achievement. You could provide a gift card to a restaurant or a discount code to a marketplace.
You could even give them a Hackathon Award Certificate, which will encourage them to keep working even after the hackathon is over.
Host a Hackathon Event
If you want to gain a competitive advantage in your industry, the first thing you can do is win a hackathon. The most important thing is to set your goals, define your strategy and perform a thorough market analysis before you do anything else.
Hosting hackathons is one way to grow your tech business. Hackathon.com will help you organize activities for hackathons so that you can connect like-minded people and cultivate creativity among aspiring data scientists and developers. Contact us today to get started on YOUR hackathon event!