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  • The Challenges of Hackathon Organizers

    The Challenges of Hackathon Organizers

    It takes a lot to make a hackathon!

    If you are a frequent visitor, you already know that besides the participants we need many more components to make a hackathon: mentors and judges are some of them.

    Today, we’ll talk about who makes the hackathon happen, those behind the scenes, “behind the camera”: the guys from the organization!

    Shawee does make it sound easy, but it takes a lot of steps before you, dear participant, get in front of that beautiful “welcome” banner.

    Check out the walkthrough that makes “hackathonic magic” happen:

    Choosing  the challenge:

    Starting from the beginning, a hackathon is only a hackathon when there is a theme, a challenge that participants have to face and perhaps win.

    When designing/choosing a theme, we have to considerate the purpose of the hackathon makers and how it can be linked to the principles and image of the company that is offering the event.

    Prizes:

    With the theme decided (and agreed by all parties involved), it’s time for the fun part: the prizes!

    Once again, it is considered what best fits with the performing company and, now, with the chosen challenge.

    What’s worth more to the hackathon goal? An award that prioritizes experience or value? What are the benefits of each of the options?

    Find the answer and the prize will be set!

    Recruiting the team:

    As we said there at the beginning: […] there are many components in a hackathon. And this is the time to recruit them!

    Time to find partners, sponsorships (if there’s no organizing company), call mentors and jurors.

    The “match” factor repeats here too. People invited to participate in the hackathon as sponsors, mentors and/or judges must have content that fits the theme of the event and adds to the participants’ learning as well. That’s why it’s often the employees of the contracting companies who lend their expertise through mentoring.

    Hands-on:

    With everything pre-set, its time to put the theory in practice!

    Where: Choose a place that will accommodate the desired number of participants and have the necessary infrastructure for a hackathon (comfortable space, the best internet and everything that allows a satisfying experience); a place that is accessible by as many transports as possible and meets all accessibility criteria;

    Food: Find locals suppliers who are good and have menu options for all types of dietary restrictions;

    Experiences: Welcome kit production, facilitator recruiting and creation of decompression and crisis management experiences.

    Time to disclose:

    Information about the hackathon has to reach these that interests us: the participants! And what better way to do this in the 21st century than through social networks?

    Disclosure should focus not only on the most assiduous people in the hackathons ecosystem but also on those who identify more with the theme of the event than with the format and itself.

    After all, there is always a first time for everything!

    FAQ

    Hackathons also have an answering service to the participant. Before, during and after the event! 

    To provide the best experience, you need to be the most transparent with anyone who applies, participates and lives the hackathon from start to finish. And, of course, communication is essential to that.

    Summarized, these are some of the challenges faced by the organizers.

    The result is worth the effort!

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