Hackathon events (or “hack days”) are a fabulous way of getting the best from your community: a challenge, socialising and intense creativity all mixed to deliver and test bold ideas.
While many people might raise risks around holding Hackathon events, there are significant benefits, and this is reflected in the growing popularity of the hack day format.
1. Create and test ideas rapidly: Prove good ideas quickly, and reduce the cost of failure by closing bad ideas quickly.
2. Increase collaboration: Encourage cross-functional and cross-team collaboration. The rapid iteration is very efficient and intense.
3. Generate excitement: Participants explore adventurous ideas in an exciting and safe environment, where it is ok to try crazy tangents.
4. Boost talent attraction and retention: Generate PR buzz in the community, and improve staff morale.
5. Generate a competitive advantage: Boost your overall productivity with this lean approach to ideation.
1. Boost cross-department collaboration and community.
2. Generate new ideas or solve challenges rapidly.
3. Close down bad ideas quickly – i.e. “fail fast” so that your organisation saves resources.
4. Improve staff morale.
5. Contribute to a more enjoyable working mix.
1. Encourage new open standards.
2. Share solutions to common problems.
3. Raise the profile and stature of your organisation.
4. Improve your staff morale.
5. Generate a stronger, more innovative community.
1. “No actionable ideas ever come out of Hackathons.”
2. “People might steal ideas from one another.”
3. “Why should we help the competition?”
1. A simple, open challenge to excite everyone: “How might we … ?”
2. Slick and timely event management: Good resources, great MC, help, support, hot food and good coffee & refreshments.
3. Pre-formed teams: Encourage people to make teams before the event.
4. Maximize the Hack Time: Get started quickly and do not force people to sit through sponsors’ presentations. Get in, kick off, Hack!!
5. A great venue in a great location: Make it inspiring, bright, with fun stuff nearby for the evening.
6. Short demos and good prizes: Well organised demos, slick AV management, fun judges, and prizes with humorous categories.
Are you short on time?
Use these templates to help with business best practice:
From “green light” through to your event day, this guide helps you roll out your Hackathon. Avoid common issues, and get pointers for a great event.See: Hackathon Rollout Guide – Getting Ready: Generate Excitement and Avoid Mistakes (PPT & Keynote)
Keep track of your Hackathon Event tasks: This Hackathon Task Checklist is based on years of experience, and makes event rollout simple.See: Hackathon Task Checklist and Status Dashboard (Excel)
Requirements and Costs vary massively between Hackathon events. Use this Excel Hackathon Budget Template to select which line items you need, and then to populate with real figures for your target Venue, Participant count, and aspirational format.See: Hackathon Budget Sheet Excel Template
Running a 2-Day Hackathon – Use our Simple Steps and avoid common issues. Keep the event moving, and your participants happy!See: 2 Day Hackathon Guide – Simple Step by Step – plus the mistakes to avoid