Planning a hackathon can be resource-intensive beyond regular event planning where you just have to order some catering and put up some décor. A hackathon is more of a niche event in terms of the setup and running of the event, so don’t miss the details! They are important.
Customer Journey Maps are a fun tool that stem from design thinking. Using a Customer Journey Map can help you truly understand your hacker audience and shape their experience at your event. It pushes organizers to think about not just the ins and outs of the event itself, but the emotional rollercoaster that happens when folks are coming to an event.
Here are a few details that you want to be mindful of when planning your hackathon:
#1: Social awkwardness
Every event has some. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a family event or a workshop, there will always be moments where you can count on having to ease over emotions.
A hackathon is a gathering of strangers coming together to work intensely on problem-solving and finding shortcuts to obstacles many in our community face, which means that emotions are bound to run high.
Plan to have communal spaces at the hackathon that provide an opportunity for people to interact, perhaps even providing additional events that foster relationships prior to the hackathon itself. Add activity elements that make the experience more playful as people start to navigate the event space to find challenges to hack, such as fun nametags, quirky signage, bright colors and high-energy volunteers to direct guests.
#2: Hurdles happen
In a magical hackathon world, there are minimal event planning hurdles and projects are completed on time with powerful impacts. The truth, however, is that beyond the typical event planning debacles, hackathons face additional hurdles that need to be tackled when it comes to team dynamics and project process.