Hello everyone. Following last week’s post What do you need to run a successful hackathon? – 10 tips this is the second in our two part series on hackathons. It has been our pleasure to host around 40 hackathons at Impact Hub Westminster and in this blog we share some insight on how you should promote your hackathon – below are 8 tips to set you up for a successful hackathon.
1. Eventbrite – Create an event on Eventbrite and write a concise and engaging descriptive paragraph that will appeal to your target audience of developers and designers. Include any registration and/ or technical requirements.
2. Web Presence – Create a simple website for your hackathon. A one page site will be fine – post details of your hackathon and then after your event you can post details of the winning teams and projects.
3. Social Media – Think of your hackathon as a product launch and create a Content Marketing & Social Media strategy that incorporates regular distribution of your hackathon details on the most appropriate platforms for your audience; this is likely to be Twitter but also LinkedIn and YouTube.
4. LinkedIn – Join relevant groups of developers and post details of your hackathon there. Note – There are groups for .net developers, Java developers, C# developers, PHP developers, games developers etc. Plus there will be groups related to the scope of your challenge – environment, mobile technology etc – post details of your hackathon being careful to avoid being too sale-sy or corporate.
5. YouTube – Thanks to smartphones YouTube is now a very accessible platform. Create three videos and publish them at weekly intervals in the run up to your event. This will build momentum and excitement. After your event you could create a video interview or Google Hangout and interview the hackathon winners. Once recorded your interview will be great Content to promote your next hackathon.
6. Influencer Outreach – Identify prominent hackers / bloggers or individuals of interest to your target audience and ask them to spread the word about your hackathon. These approaches work better as reciprocal arrangements so first consider what you can do in return for their help.
7. Developer Outreach – In addition to LinkedIn identify places online & offline where your target audience congregate. This could be online forums & developer meetups – ‘Hacker News meet up’ is a great example. It could also include leafleting in the Computer Science department of local universities or particular bars near Old Street Roundabout to give a very specific London-based example.
8. Hackathon Watch – Recently we have discovered a landing page for a new site called Hackathon Watch. From their Twitter bio it appears as if they will store all info relating to hackathons and site visitors will be able to view all hackathons in their location. It’s not yet clear whether listings will be only US based or global. This should develop into a great resource for hackathon organisers & developers. You can sign up to Hackathon Watch’s landing page here.
We hope you have found this information useful. We would be happy to host your hackathon and/ or promote your hackathon for you. Feel free to give us a call on +44 (0)207 148 6723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.
Follow us on twitter @hubwestminster for more information on hacks.
Impact Hub Westminster Team