Hackathons are gaining a lot of popularity around the world. They're the go-to for many organizations simply because of the energetic and fast-paced atmosphere that motivates the brightest minds to challenge themselves to create stunning solutions to solve today's problems. Of course, the competitive side also exists where participants want to outdo others. That said, hackathons aren't simple to host. A lot can go wrong, turning what is supposed to be a fantastic event into an utter flop.
To ensure your hackathons don't flop, here are some key tips you must follow to ensure success:
1. Plan Well before the Event
The idea for a hackathon has to come from the right people. Often, hackathons fail because they are devised by the wrong people, such as those who do not have the slightest idea of how to make it a success. They will not understand the basic foundations of running a successful hackathon. One of the organizers or a host must have experience in hosting and organizing hackathons.
2. Reach Out To Great Teams, Not Individuals
Great hackathons focus on teams with great ideas and are willing to dedicate time and effort to turn their ideas (and those of their teammates) into reality. Hosts need to reach out to great teams, not just individuals who've joined a hackathon because it sounds interesting. Great teams that start on the right foot, who work on their idea with full commitment, are in the best position to create successful solutions.
3. Invite a Sponsor
Sponsorship is crucial to every hackathon. They're the cornerstone that supports a hackathon and everything that comes with it. The sponsors bring the raw materials, the food, the venue, and the professional services, among others, that make a hackathon possible. They also make it special.
4. Get the Right Materials Ready
The sponsors do contribute resources; however, the hosts still have a lot of responsibilities to fulfill in terms of getting the suitable materials ready for participants to hack on.
A great hackathon provides the right food, giveaways, and t-shirts for participants. It also gives participants the right programming languages, APIs, libraries, and other software tools they need to build the project they want to.
5. Encourage Learning, Not Just Coding
Learning is often a part of a hackathon. That said, it should be a balanced mix of learning and hacking. There's a difference between learning and coding. Learning is about understanding, discussing, and sharing. Coding is about writing code.
6. Consider the Attendees and Their Skills
It's never a good idea to invite-only seasoned programmers and developers. Hackathons are events where attendees come with a wide range of skills, even if they love coding. Great hackathons consider the attendees, their skill sets, and their ideas and develop the right tools and resources needed to help everyone create a great project.
Plan Your Next Successful Hackathon!
A hackathon is a great event, but it isn't a walk in the park. There are a lot of things to consider, and there are a lot of moving parts. A lot can go wrong. That's why it's better to follow the above tips and ensure that your hackathon succeeds. While it may be a difficult task, it is certainly not impossible. Once you lay down all the right plans, ideas, and resources, you're more likely to end up with a successful event.
Hackathon.com is the largest online hackathon community in the world, boasting thousands of organizers with millions of members worldwide. If you need help with hackathon guidelines, ideas, and more to craft a successful hackathon, reach out to us today!