**Identify the problems**
**Promote the event**
**Select the participants and the projects**
**Build the teams**
**1 – Set the goals **
Why do you want to make a hackathon? That should be your first question. After knowing the answer, you should be capable of identifying one or more problems that you want to help solve. The next step is to define the goals of the event and the criteria for the projects’ selection. Here, innovation is the keyword.
**2 – Planning the hackathon in advance **
This is an event that will bring at least dozens of people. So, if you want to have success in it, planning in advance is essential. Whether it is an internal hackathon (to a company, for example) or an open one, you should get together the participants in an online or on-site brainstorm before the event. For the success of the projects’ development, you also should let the ideas to come from the participants. In this step, it is better to start having contact with the sponsors. They will provide financial support to the event and they’ll also spread the news.
**3 – Create and publish the “game rules” **
The Terms and Conditions of your Hackathon are essential to the proper running of the event. You should define the deadline schedule for the proposals and every other schedule and rules of the marathon. Creating a “Frequently Asked Questions” section on your website can be very helpful to spread the rules for all the participants. The rules should also be communicated by email for each participant. “How many participants one team can have? What are the criteria for selection? What softwares can we have access to?” Those are some questions to be answered on your conditions.
**4 – Guarantee energy and connection on the event **
This is a tech event and there’s not a hackathon without electricity and Internet. Make sure you have lots of power plugs and extension cords. A marathon like this needs a lot of power due to hundreds of computers connected and plenty of lights, coffee machines, and routers. Speaking of routers… a solid and fast Wi-Fi is also very important. The Internet access should be provided to the participants with a Wi-Fi password and also through ethernet cable connection to guarantee faster downloads and uploads.
**5 – The results **
There are lots and different types of hackathons and the final results can also be very different. “Should we create a moment of networking and promote new ideas? Should we have awards for the three new best ideas? Do we want the awards to provide the idea’s development and the setting-up of a startup?” All of these should have thoughtful answers, based on a deep research of the field.
**6 – Details matter **
A hackathon requires some team motivation! Besides the main meals, you can’t forget the tiny simple things. Having a place to chill and get a quick nap, maybe some sofas and poufs on the venue, some popcorn, chips, burgers or other snacks (with a vegan option) and, of course, lots of coffee can really make the difference!