What are the benefits of a Hackathon Event?

The Benefits of running a Hackathon or Hack Day Event

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.

What are the benefits of running a Hackathon Event?

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.

What are the benefits of running an in-house Hack Day?

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.

What are the benefits of running an industry or sector Hackathon?

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.

What are the common arguments against Hackathon events?

1. “No actionable ideas ever come out of Hackathons.”
2. “People might steal ideas from one another.”
3. “Why should we help the competition?”

What are the top elements that make Hackathons go well?

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.

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Last Updated : March 6th, 2021