7 Things You Can Do To Prepare for a Hackathon

Here are 7 ways that can help you organize a hackathon.

Hackathons are now gaining popularity in India as many students and professionals find these events very helpful in developing and learning new ideas. They find this as an opportunity to hone their skills in developing and coding. A hackathon is also a great way to develop your creative mind and pitch ideas to different investors and other tech enthusiasts in order to earn money and seek investments in their projects for further workings of the project. Hackathons are also renowned among investors as they can find new innovations and help budding developers and coders who are planning for a startup or have an amazing idea that can give them success and attract investments. These events act as a good meeting between tech investors and skilled engineers who share their knowledge with each other. If you want to organize a hackathon then here are the steps that will ensure your success in this event.

Steps to be Successful in Hackathon

A hackathon is a good way to promote your organization or institute as it can attract tech enthusiasts and many other people who have an interest in technology and investors who are interested in investing in new technology. This is also a way to find new talent for coders and developers. If you want to make your event successful and also get better results from the event then you can follow the below-mentioned steps to make it happen.

Step: 1 Attend Other Hackathons

If you want to organize a hackathon then you need to attend other hackathons of different organizations as a participant or as a volunteer and experience how hackathons are organized. Participate in hackathons to understand what is expected from a participant. You can also volunteer and experience the management behind an event and also gain experience on how to handle a situation. While working as a volunteer you can learn about tools used and platforms that are used to promote the event and other things. You can also meet people who already have experience in organizing an event and learn from them. You can also learn how to topics that can attract more audience.

Step 2: Find an Interesting Topic

For your hackathon find a topic that is trending or that will attract more audience. This will help for both internal team building and also for attracting more participants. If you choose a trending topic then it becomes easier for participants to mentally prepare. It also makes it easier for strangers to work together as they already know about the topic and helps them create new ideas for the event and also the topics that can be given to the participants. This will also help volunteers to solve issues. The main focus should be team spirit and this will help them to take on new tasks and roles that have never been taken before. This can also increase team bonding and this will also increase communication and understanding among the team members. This is a very crucial part as it will help the event run smoothly and efficiently.

Step 3:  Plan the Event Properly

Planning is a crucial part of any event that has to be organized. If there is a proper outline of what has to be done then and event is half successful. This also eradicates confusion among team members and one goal is set for the whole team. This also clears the minds of participants. The planning of the events should be made months before the actual event. If you are planning the event away from your organization then look for hotel rooms and other accommodations. Also check for WLAN, technical devices food quality and other services. Also, have a scan of the conference room where the event is going to be conducted. If you are planning an online event then collaborate with online meeting platforms like Google Meets, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. The test runs for these platforms should be done way before the event and also just before the event starts to ensure seamless communication between the participants.

If it’s an offline event then look for co-working spaces, conference halls or rooms that are technically equipped. The premises should have a positive vibe so that the participants can use their creativity to the fullest and also feel comfortable when on the premises. For backup always keep a contact that can help for technical support if in case there is any issue regarding the technical devices used in the event.

Step 4: Agenda and Rules of the Hackathon

Inform the participants about the schedule of the event and also the location of the hackathon. For location give them proper guidance on how to reach the location and also brief them about the rules of the event so that they can plan accordingly. Inform about breaks and also helpdesks for laptops or any technical device issues and other things that help them solve their queries. For the rules inform them about what tools are allowed, what is the time frame of the event and the time frame allowed. Keeping breaks is necessary for an event for a refresher for both participants and the audience. Inform them prior to the event about the process of registration.

Step 5: Promote the Event

To make any event successful and attract more audience it is necessary to have a promotion campaign that reaches audiences that are interested in tech. Your target audience should be tech geeks and investors too. Plan the dates of the event way before the event and do not change it. Make sure that the dates you are choosing do not clash with a major event or a time when most people are in the mood for holidays or vacations. The reason behind this is that it may cause fewer participants.

Use all channels and media to promote your event. If it’s an internal hackathon communicate through the most used medium of communication and also make an official announcement. If it is an external hackathon then use pamphlets, visit other organizations and also use advertisements to promote your event. If you have collaborated with a brand then take their help and put their name on every medium to attract more audience.

Step 6: Appreciate Ideas and also have a Voting Poll for the Winner

Before the start of the hackathon announce to the participants that the winners will be decided based on the jury’s selection and public voting. To make the choosing process transparent you can ask the audience for a voting poll for the ideas that they liked the most. Choose the winner based on the highest vote and the idea that is approved by the jury and then also celebrate their winnings to boost their confidence.

Step 7: Take Feedback from the Audience

After the event has concluded request the audience to share their feedback and also ask the jury and the participants to share their feedback. Taking feedback is necessary so that you can keep in mind the feedback and improve in the areas that were not appreciated. Improve on those areas the next year. You will also learn a lot from these feedbacks like what the audience wants and how to manage more efficiently.

These are some steps you can refer to prepare yourself to organize a hackathon and learn new things from these events. Hackathons are a very good event that allows organizers and participants to learn new trends and hone their skills.