How to Host a great Hackathon?
There are different types of concepts these days that are deriving a lot of importance. One such concept is of hackathon. Whether you speak of small companies or huge businesses hackathons are embraced by every business to ensure growth and better skills.
Hackathon is a combination of the words hack and marathon. It is an event of any duration wherein individuals come together to form solutions around a set brief no matter it is sustainable energy, web software, on-demand applications, safer travel, and food waste or pretty much anything you might think of. You know a good hackathon should be an opportunity for:
- Enhancing your skills and learning new ones.
- Permitting the entrepreneurs and startups to learn from experienced businesses and people.
- Engaging local businesses within the Startup community.
- Forming real change and raising awareness of both local and global issues.
- Forming future solutions and developing global innovation
- Gathering together and working with like-minded individuals.
- Celebrating already running companies, businesses and individuals who are forming a positive impact.
- Catering corporates and entrepreneurs with the chance to work together.
- Making new friends and business links
- Presenting corporates with the opportunity to learn from fast-paced and creative startups and tycoons.
What goes on during this program?
During the time of hackathons, the participants gathered from places and organizations work together in tiny teams, anywhere between three to six ormore depending on the event over a given time. They are given the aim to form a prototype solution around a set theme or topic. During this duration they are also assisted by mentors of the program, generally from the sponsors or even partners, who cater expert advice to the teams and their schemes. Certainly if you are going to conduct a hackathon then you have to think about proper hackathon planning.
Apart from working on their projects, participants can also take part into a series of helpful workshops, entertaining events, different refreshing breaks or ice cream sessions too that might be organized by the organizers. Well, at the end of the event, all the teams get the opportunity to pitch in front of a panel of seasoned judges and rewards and awards are handed out to the best teams, skilled contributors and most innovative solutions. The hackathon program is normally finished off with a closing ceremony wherein the start-ups and corporates and everything in between can fetch a drink and relax together.
What is the reason that people attend hackathons?
There are many reasons that employees, businessmen and other professionals go to participate in a hackathon. A few of the reasons are as under:
- To learn something new
- To develop their skills
- To meet friends and make new business contacts
- To get Prizes
- To form something cool
- To get hired
- To fascinate investors
- To work on interesting briefs or topics
- To simply change the world
- To get exposure of the industry
A few quick tips to organize a hackathon
There can be different ways in which hackathons can be organized but still there are some general points that might interest you.
Before you get started with organizing tasks, you have to select and define a pertinent and real issue to address. What is the issue you are trying to address? What do you want individuals to form? Make sure the brief you give is clear and the aim of the event is achievable.
You have to sell it beautifully
In case you wish great people to come then you would have to convince them that it is worth their time. Wonderful design, an easy to understand website, a clear application form and a comprehensive proof marketing plan are all a necessary part of the organizing teams promotional to do list.
Select a right venue
It is important that you pick a huge and open venue that permits people to collaborate in an easy manner. Make sure they possess the right bandwidth and on-site facilities to house an event of this scale. Moreover, look for a venue partner who are sincerely interested and passionate about the hackathon, once there is passion and interest; the program can go hit.
Be tactful with the date
You have to find out if there are any holidays on that day. Do you think people will be available to come in? Is there another event or for that matter hackathon going on that specific weekend?! These things have to be considered prior so that you don’t end up slashing with something that is even more grand or fascinating.
In a realistic manner, only a small percentage of hackathon projects head to real businesses. So, in case your aim is to get the next big Startup or idea worth investing in, it is the right time for a reality check. You have to make sure your aims of the event concentrate on the bigger picture and not only the sponsor’s goals. Once you are sure about the expectations you have, you can be more prudent in your tasks and execution.
What are the judgment criteria?
You have to know what to look for and pick a panel of judges that are professional in the profession. To judge is the make or break point of the program and you would definitely wish the participants and contributors to know that the winners really deserved it. What is the point if the winners do not at all deserve? Such a thing might leave a negative impression on the participants.
Bring an element of fun
It is not everything about winning, most of the people simply attend to have a great time, meet other people and learn fresh things. You can add up in entertaining and instructive events such as morning yoga, panel discussion with partners, city walks or so on. This will enhance the worth of event.
Thus, when are you going to plan your next hackathon? Whenever you do, keep these points in mind!
Author: Sohel Ather