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The Essential Guide to Organizing a Hackathon

 

Have you always wanted to host your own hackathon? Want to separate the truly talented from your community? Got a problem that needs solving? Want a close-knit atmosphere of drive and positive energy to market a new product?

If yes, then a hackathon may be the right solution for you.

 

But how does one go about organizing and running a hackathon?

 

What is a hackathon?

 

By now you might have a good idea of what a hackathon is. This tends to be an event of any challenge-based coding event allowing people to come together and solve problems related to coding and programming. However, many hackathons are usually unorganized and badly prepared allowing for bad experiences to form and for hackathons to not truly take off.

 

Hackathons, also known once upon a time as hack days, started to truly become popular in India around 2012-13 and came to be known as an event for Software Developers worked on topics that may or may not be connected to their usual work.

 

At the college level, hackathons are internal meaning only college students can take part in. They might be external during college fests when students from other colleges visit and collaborate towards building a product ecosystem, growing brand visibility or building a hiring pipeline.

 

How Do I Run a Hackathon in 5 simple steps?

 

 

 

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Hackathon organizers are a mix of someone cool and connected to the college community such as a TPO, while having knowledge of programming and coding like a tech club head and a social butterfly knowing how to get the word around regarding the college’s hackathon.

 

So you see the value and wish to be your college’s one and only hackathon organizer? Great!

The success of a hackathon is all dependent on its organization and pre-event legwork. Here are some pointers to guide you:

 

  1. Pick a theme. A solid approach is exploring hot topics. Websites such as CodeChef, Github and GeeksForGeeks regularly discuss the hot topics in the programming universe. If building and growing your developer community is priority then keep your role neutral. Don’t name the hackathon after your college.
  2. Give yourself time to plan. Depending upon how big your college’s hackathon will be, always give yourself atleast 2-3 weeks to plan it. Employ the use of a platform that will allow you to take registrations and upload submissions for review.

 

  1. Book a venue – Land a computer lab or classroom without enough plug points, accessibility, space for all attendees and food for all participants. As a rule of thumb we always organize enough space for 20 over the registered number.

 

  1. Secure sponsorships: grow and add value to your college by developing a sponsor deck around the talentpool and student strength to help with paying for venue, food and prize money.

 

  1. Attend HackTalks 2017 – for college students and TPOs this is your free entry event to truly understand how to grow your hackathon community and to best organize your hack event with ease. Venturesity will leverage over 4 years experience in challenge based event organizing to bring to you an event and community that gives you the tools you require to simply develop and manage your own memorable event.

 

 

Register for free: hacktalks.org

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See you at the event!

 

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Rohit Gupta

I am Rohit of House Gupta. I excel at retweeting, irk at people calling themselves 'social media experts', love coffee, ardent fan of test cricket, player of the pull shot, hater of emoticons,
'In this life or the next, I shall have a verified Twitter account'.