How to organize a Hackathon for your company?
1. What’s a Hackathon?
Hackathon is the contraction of the words \"Hacker\" and \"Marathon\". The purpose of a Hackathon is to decode a computer system as quickly as possible. The goal of this challenge, is to test and improve the safety system.
This type of event, which originated in the United States in the 1990s, has evolved over time and spread to other sectors with different purposes. Everything is allowed, as long as we break through the codes and can present new ideas and innovative solutions, thanks to the combined intelligence.
Nowadays a Hackathon has become a trendy event in which different teams compete with each other through intensive sessions in order to offer the best solution to a particular problem. And all within a limited timeframe, usually 24 or 48 hours. In addition to their own employees, the teams can be composed with other external creative talents.
A hackathon always ends before a jury of experts with the presentations of the strategies developed by the different teams, a deliberation of the jury and the announcement of the winning team.
Participation in the event is often free for the participants and sponsored by the organizations involved, depending on the discussed topics. The reward which is given to the winning team is one of the most important motivations for the participants.
In parallel with this session, it is common to also organize a number of workshops to distract and further inspire the participants.
2. Does the Hackathon meet the needs of your company?
- Your company is getting stuck on a specific subject and is in need of new ideas which are ready to use.
- You want to create an innovative atmosphere in your company and inspire your own employees to develop their own new ideas.
- You want to portray an innovative look towards potential customers, partners or competitors and you want to enjoy the extra media attention that the Hackathon will generate.
- You want to get in touch with the younger generation in your market area and thereby recruit the young talents.
The results of a hackathon are just as diverse as its participants. The presentations of the participating teams provide new ideas, ambitions and goals which lead to het creation of new projects.
Do you feel like organizing a Hackathon yourself?
We would like to draw your attention to the steps you need to take while planning this event!
3. How to organize a Hackathon?
Determine your goal, ask yourself the question what you would like to achieve by this event.
Innovation is the most obvious goal. The participants will start from an idea and develop a working concept in 24 or 48 hours. An idea which the company can hopefully use within their future.
You can also see a hackathon as the ideal way to discover new talent. If you allow external participants to join the hackathon, you will attract profiles that are truly passionate about their work. Someone who is willing to work 24 or 48 hours non-stop and without compensation is clearly motivated by the work itself. Based on the produced results, you will immediately have a good overview of the represented talent.
Strengthening the team spirit can also be the goal of your Hackathon. For example, you can bring together employees from different departments to find an innovative solution and thus strengthen the bonds between teams in a productive and creative way.
What do you need?
- An inspiring and accessible space to work.
- Relaxing spaces so that the participants can unwind.
- Enough computers to work on and logistical support.
- Sufficient and strong WiFi-connection.
- Enough power sockets.
- Whiteboards/ interactive flipovers.
- Food, drinks and snacks throughout the entire day / night.
Has this article inspired you to organize your own Hackathon?
The BluePoint conference centers are happy to assist you! They can provide you with all the necessary technical and logistical equipment as well as the best onsite support for a professional organization of your hackathon. In addition, They are specialized in using the latest innovative technologies that allow us to take your event to the next level!
We are happy to discuss all this with you during your visit to one of our sites in Antwerp, Brussels or Liège. So don\'t hesitate to make an appointment via firstname.lastname@example.org or +32 2 706 88 00.