What makes a great hack event?

From the founder of BBC News Labs and the #newsHACK hack event series.

Answer

  1. An inspirational shared challenge.
  2. A great venue, at a great location.
  3. Maximum “hacking” time, and minimum interruptions.
  4. Focus on making it a joy for participants; support, refreshments, attention.

By . Published: 2019/08/14 9:01:57 PM, Last Updated: 2019/08/15 8:38:09 AM

More detail

1) An inspirational shared challenge

Choose a problem that all participants are interested in solving, so that you have a shared mission. You can use a “How might we …?” question to frame the challenge. Be sure to keep it broad and unrestricted.

2) A great venue at a great location

Avoid bland hotel spaces, and industrial estates out of town. Think: natural light, unusual, spacious, within buzzing communities, good transport links.

3) Maximum “hacking” time, and minimum interruptions.

Get the participants in quick, and kick off rapidly. Avoid making participants sit through sponsors’ or stakeholders’ presentations (do those as trade stands at the side of the room instead). Do not interrupt your participants

4) Focus on making it a joy for participants

Provide comprehensive support – whatever you can afford: Technical, Expert, User Testing, Artistic, Physical materials, etc!

Refreshments are really important – make sure they are always available, and ensure that the catering provides good, hot, diverse food.

Hack events are only good when they are done well!

A hack event design is easy to screw-up. Avoid common pitfalls and find out more about designing a great hack event here.

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FAQ Created: 2019/08/14 9:01:57 PM, Last Updated: 2019/08/15 8:38:09 AM By .