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4 Surefire Tips for Hosting a Hackathon

From a general perspective hosting any event requires a little bit of knowledge. However, for many ; hosting tech-based events is a relatively new process. Below are some resources you can use to quickly understand the scope of a Hackathon as well as a few tips that will help you plan and manage this process.  Just so you know I’ve dealt with the pains and rewards of planning tech based events both online and offline. More recently, I’ve delved into the Hackathon sphere. With the help of online resources, supporters, and a process I’ve been able to successfully execute and want to return the karma

Hopefully, this post will prove more successful than Jared’s Presentation of SCRUM <If you find it useful please share or save>


Hackathon Tip #1 : Stay Organized

As with any event planning process staying organized is key. Create a checklist that gives you tunnel vision. The planning process can be difficult to manage if you feel overwhelmed and don’t understand how accomplishing little steps daily will help you successfully

Hackathon Tip #2 : Create Actionable Goals

The business industry is enamoured with SMART acronym which is fantastic. However, let’s adjust for the startup mentality and create goals you can actually execute. Structure your day with small achievable goals like and then your week with an overall measure of your accomplishments. Some examples include:

  1. Contact Sponsors
  2. Set up participant portal
  3. Contact participants with new updates
  4. Create brochure kits or media kits
  5. Run advertisements / review ads

Hackathon Tip #3 : Be Grateful If You Have a Team

If you happen to be blessed with a team  be incredibly grateful because running a hackathon alone is what I’d called god-like status. In the past I’ve been blessed enough to have coordinators , colleagues , friends , and even family step to lend a helping hand. You might be saying well I don’t have staffing or a budget to hire anyone. This is the point where you

  1. Ask the community for volunteers
  2. Go to your local business office / Chamber of Commerce / University Clubs and request their participation
  3. Hire your husband to take over email responses
  4. Contact local media outlets
  5. Use automated ticketing systems , registrations , and marketing materials when possible
  6. Whatever it takes just don’t go it alone …

Your team does not have to be formal it just has to exist.

Hackathon Tip #4 : Keep Your Promotion Process Simple

Just like tip #2 you want to ensure your hackathon goals are actionable. This means if you’re familiar with a process or you have access to people who can promote your hackathon a lot more efficiently than you can using a specific medium reach out to those people. Some ideas I’ve used in the past include:

  • Contact Media
  • TV interview slots
  • Radio outreach or interviews for local publications
  • Facebook Event Advertising
  • Instagram Advertising
  • Email Lists
  • Contacting organization heads so they can promote it internally

The final tip I have which will remain unlisted forever is create systems that help you duplicate this process as you grow and learn. Every hackathon and event host becomes increasingly valuable when you’re able to quickly duplicate your process. Eventually as you host more events you’re execution process will become easier and easier.

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About The Author Andrea Naomi I’m fascinated by Startups so I’m helping build one. This blog is a composition of the thoughts and things I find interesting and useful. It’s also a brain dump and a book shelf.
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