7 tips on how to host amazing Hackathons virtually

7 tips on how to host amazing Hackathons virtually

Hackathon is the perfect, dynamic event that creates an innovative playground for the sharpest minds, coders, engineers, and technology enthusiasts to come together and propose new ideas or solve predefined challenges within a specified timeframe. Hackathons can be done virtually or physically and can be for internal organizational goals or for external outreach.

With a successful hackathon, organizations can identify the best talent for recruitment, simplify technology innovation and build a brand name. A successful hackathon creates an opportunity to bring different departments to work together towards a common goal.

 

PHYSICAL VS ONLINE HACKATHONS: WHICH ONE IS FOR YOU?

On the flip side, organizations are rethinking the conventional ways to host such hackathons and steadily shifting towards online platforms to host these events.  The main purpose is to maximize ROI with minimum intervention. It is a well-known fact that the logistics of carrying out a physical hackathon can be stressful and become significantly costly to implement. Fixing event dates, booking comfortable venues, expansive crowd management, and much more that goes behind hosting an event.
Furthermore, a physical hackathon limits the potential participation of enthusiasts from around the world.

Hosting hackathons virtually has proved to be more efficient and substantially more cost-effective when you have the right event partner that provides a fast, reliable, and easy-to-use platform.

TIPS FOR YOUR NEXT HACKATHON

Organizers must determine the initial factors before hosting a hackathon. Here are some decisions you need to make before hosting your next hackathon.

1. DECIDE THE THEME

All hackathon starts with an idea and a theme based on specific objectives. Identify these objectives early on to better conceptualize the event and set up an event goal. Build the theme around this goal and make sure to yield higher quality results that offer real solutions.

2. EXPECTED ATTENDANCE COUNT

Although it is much easier to know the exact participation count for internal hackathons, it may get a little tricky when you are hosting it for an external audience. Nonetheless, it is crucial to know the expected attendee count, even if it is an approximate number. Building virtual environments require cloud resources that need pre-setup and go thorough validation process that requires time. Not to forget, these resources cost money based on usage. This is why getting the participation count is important at the early stages.

3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLATFORM

Partnering up with the right platform is half the battle won. Choose the platform based on user-friendliness, fast onboarding, and easy configuration that requires the least of your involvement. The platform must have the capabilities to give you a comprehensive experience. You should be able to perform various stages of management, enable participation engagement, easily appoint proctors, have the option to collaborate efficiently. The capabilities of a powerful hands-on experience can make a huge difference and should be carefully considered before hosting a hackathon.

4. FOCUS ON MARKETING

Once you have the event framework ready, you are now ready to move on to the next step- naming the event and marketing. Do not take this step lightly, because having the right marketing strategy creates a big impact on the outcome of the hackathon. Get better participation outreach through various social media marketing, email campaign, and ads. Remember, a perfect hackathon requires quality participants and with good marketing, you will be able to broaden your chances quite significantly.

5. APPOINT MENTORS AND COACHES

A good hackathon is when you gain ground-breaking ideas. A great hackathon is when you give opportunities to participants to sharpen their skills. Appoint eligible mentors and coaches for participants interested in upskilling. It is extra helpful if the hosting platform you choose provides a systematic and organized way to perform such tasks.

6. CREATE PARTICIPATION ENGAGEMENT

Even though hosting a hackathon virtually has many advantages, it comes with few challenges. The lack of physical presence creates uneven and dead-end participant engagement. This poses a real threat for organizers, as the entire idea behind hosting a hackathon is based on collaboration. However, this challenge can easily be tackled with an efficient collaborative mechanism integrated into the platform that helps and encourages participants to engage with one another. There is various integration available to achieve this, check with the hosting partner for more information.

7. APPOINT PANELISTS AND JUDGES

Typically, at the end of a hackathon, judges are required to review participation submissions and present their scores. It is important to host it on a platform that offers an efficient way to do this because it can get very confusing and unmanageable to review based on many parameters.

 

HOW CLOUDEVENTS CAN HELP YOU GET BETTER RESULTS

CloudEvents integrated with powerful hands-on lab provider CloudLabs offers a comprehensive platform for organizers seeking to host virtual events. CloudEvents specializes in hackathons and has hosted hackathons for Microsoft, Solliance, VMware, and many more industry giants.

CloudLabs offers a customizable platform that gets you on board in minutes, processes your requirements and gets the ball rolling for your next hackathon. With CloudEvents you can host hackathons that create a lasting impact. Here is what CloudEvents offers:

Scalable

Host hackathons with any number of required seats as per your request with the option to request On-demand labs during the events as well.

Microsoft Teams Integration

To address the efficiency in participation engagement, MS Teams is integrated into the platform to create a seamless collaboration for participants, organizers & proctors/instructors using the pre-defined groups.

Virtual Breakout Session

To add more immersion, organizers can host virtual breakout sessions with MS Whiteboard, and take an interactive approach on how collaboration is done. Discuss ideas, resolve queries, or host lectures that create interest.

Dedicated Support

24*7 Support available pre, post & during the event at the reach of all participants, proctors & organizers with a response time of. Know more about CloudEvents: CloudEvents – Impactful Virtual Events, Technology Conferences & Hackathons

 

You can measure the success of the hackathon based on how close you are to the goal that you envisioned. As it goes without saying, a good hackathon is when both instructor and learner have gained something at the end. An immersive, interactive, and comfortable hackathon is what everyone desires, and it’s not that tough to achieve.

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