Boost Innovation - 6 trump cards to conduct an internal hackathon - HashedIn Technologies

Boost Innovation - 6 trump cards to conduct an internal hackathon

General - 11 Jan 2017
Kousick S

It’s imperative for any tech organization, be it a startup or an MNC, to keep sailing on the tides of evolving technology and nurture the instinct of innovation.

At HashedIn, we organize regular Hashathons(Hackathon at HashedIn) to keep our techies boosted with innovation and to learn new technology. While Hackathons by the term may seem to be exciting, it needs ample experience to conduct a successful one.

Here are the 6 trump cards from the experience of organizing multiple successful Hashathons.

Trumpcard #1: Set the tone early and mark the calendar

Getting the mindset of a techie to prepare for a Hackathon is crucial, making it vital to inform and spread the word of the event as early as possible.

To guarantee a good level of participation, be sure to schedule the event considering the following:

Look into your calendar to identify a day with the least vacation plan – As in many cases, vacations are planned a lot earlier (thanks to booming air ticket fares), and not many would want to replan. Identify from the delivery team on crucial delivery milestones / releases. If the event overlaps then it would become a nightmare for both organizing and the participation.

Trumpcard #2: Diversify your Theme

Yes, eyeing a theme for hackathon is challenging, but super important! The theme should also be diverse enough to help participants get into a pool of ideas. All projects/ innovations at the event may not always be converging to the specified theme. However, a theme could help streamline everyone’s thought process.

And importantly, before you could decide on a theme, ensure you discuss with groups of people in the organization to understand their perspective of expectations from the event.

Trumpcard #3: Engage people prior to the event

Though it’s an internal event and everyone is aware about it, not everyone has yet come up to the Hackathon swing. Advertising the event internally is key to success. Few significant steps to let your participants get into the mood:

Emails with catchy subject lines Stick posters/flyers around. Identify the place where you would get max traction Catch hold of groups during Lunch and breaks Visit individual team area and discuss Prepare your organizing team with a few innovative ideas, and help participants form a team to work on an idea

Trumpcard #4: Merchandise Goodies

After weeks of preparation and a whole night of brainstorming, participants would cherish to take back home something along with memories.

It’s absolutely pleasant to give away cool merchandise as goodies to all participants. This would ensure bonding between the employee and the organization gets stronger.

Though it’s an internal event and everyone is aware about it, not everyone has yet come up to the Hackathon swing. Advertising the event internally is key to success. Few significant steps to let your participants get into the mood:

Emails with catchy subject lines Stick posters/flyers around. Identify the place where you would get max traction Catch hold of groups during Lunch and breaks Visit individual team area and discuss Prepare your organizing team with a few innovative ideas, and help participants form a team to work on an idea

Trumpcard #5: Food and Energy Drinks

Food is a good friend to all, feed your participants at regular intervals throughout the event. Good food and refrigerated energy drinks would get your participants energized and active throughout the event.

Also, if your budget allows you to, then plan for a good dinner to wind up the event. I would say this is vital as it creates a post event environment for participants to gather and discuss about the completed event. It’s gonna be fun, trust me.

Though it’s an internal event and everyone is aware about it, not everyone has yet come up to the Hackathon swing. Advertising the event internally is key to success. Few significant steps to let your participants get into the mood:

Emails with catchy subject lines Stick posters/flyers around. Identify the place where you would get max traction Catch hold of groups during Lunch and breaks Visit individual team area and discuss Prepare your organizing team with a few innovative ideas, and help participants form a team to work on an idea

Trumpcard #6: Just before Show Time !

All teams have put in efforts, and not everyone would have got to where they had planned for at start. It would be worthwhile spending a couple of minutes with each team just before the end of the Hackathon to identify tenacity in their projects and help each one of them prepare for show time.

Feedback is vital, since this is an internal Hackathon, it would be appreciated if each of your team is given a turn to present to the judges and receive feedback.

Did I miss out on mentioning about Prizes ? – Hackathons are known for this. Yes, It’s integral to extol the winners with jaw dropping stuff. Never miss out on this.

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