Updated: Sep 30
It is very essential to promote your hackathon to attract participants, mentors, judges and sponsors. So, for that reason we made this blog post for you, where we will be exploring some tips and tricks for effectively promoting your hackathon.
Define your Target Audience
To promote any event, very first step is defining you audience. You need to identify your target audience. Who you are looking for? What skills and interests they have? What should be their background or industry? What are their demographics? What is their experience level? Where are they located?
Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you may approach them in a best suitable way. You may write message according to their skills, interests, industry etc.
For example, if you are targeting beginners you may write them about perks of your hackathon, career opportunities, prizes etc.
If you are targeting experienced professionals, you may write them according to recruiting them as mentors or judges.
Create a hackathon website/platform
It's an amazing idea to have appealing website which includes all the information for hackathon like registration process, schedules, venues, prizes, sponsors etc.
Ensure that your website is appealing and user friendly.
You may create a website using many platforms available like Wix, Wordpress, Shopify and others.
Some important points to keep in mind:
a) Choose a domain name that is relevant to your hackathon and easy to remember for everyone. b) Your website should be visually appealing and should be very easy for everyone to use and navigate through.
c) Write a nice a clear content which explains everything about your hackathon like what it is about, it's schedule, prizes and other things.
d) Do not forget to include registration form where audience would register themselves for the hackathon.
e) At last test your website on different devices, check all the links, CTAs if everything works well.
Promote your event on social media
Social media is a very powerful tool for promoting your events. You can create social media accounts for your hackathon on platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. You may use these platforms in order to share information about your hackathon to your audience, such as topic of the hackathon, sponsors, prizes, and registration deadlines.
Your social media can also be helpful to create hype and generate buzz around your event.
Additionally, you may also some social media platforms like discord, Github etc. which will not only promote your event but also will help your audience meet each other beforehand, create networks and teams.
Partner with organisations
Identify the organisations that are relevant to your hackathon like it can be local technology hubs, startup studios, or other relevant industries. Now, once you have identified relevant organisations you just need to reach them with a professional email or in person to discuss goals and purpose of your hackathon, and how it aligns with that specific organisation. Ensure that you are talking very clear and to the point explaining well what are you hoping from them like promotional support, or sponsorship or anything else.
Secondly, tell them how this going to benefit both the organisations. Also, discuss about the responsibilities, commitments from both sides.
You may also look for influencers who can be relevant to your hackathon theme and also have good no. of following on social media like Instagram, TikTok, Youtube etc. so that they can promote your event to larger audience.
You may offer them some incentives which can encourage them to promote your hackathon. Promotion can be anything like social media posts, reels, stories, live stream etc.
Do ensure that you share with them relevant content with key messages and brand guidelines.
At last, do not forget to track the engagement and reach of the content. Remember to thank the influencers and organisations for their support and consider building a long-term relationship with them.
Offer prizes and other benefits
Are you looking to attract more participants, increase engagement, or encourage innovation?
Offering prizes can be the best attractions for audience to participate in your hackathon.
You should choose prizes that are relevant to your hackathon it can be monetary like cash prizes or non monetary such as job/internships offers.
Highlight the key benefits in posts, reels etc. if you promote through the social media.
Prizes can be for individual or whole team. Be very clear about the selection process, evaluation criteria etc.
Email marketing can be very powerful way to promote your hackathon as it can directly connect you with potential audience. Some important points are mentioned below for the same:
a) Make a list of all the potential subscribers.
b) Do not forget to collect their email addresses.
c) Encourage people to subscribe to your email list or newsletter.
d) You can categorise your email list based on their interests, demographics, and behaviour. This will help you to create more targeted email campaigns.
e) Create an appealing email campaign that highlight key features, benefits of the hackathon.
f) Have a clear CTA, latest updates, important announcements, or any tips if you want to add.
g) Have an automated email feature that if someone subscribe they will instantly get newsletter in their mails.
You can use various platforms available for this like Mail chimp etc.
h) Send you users welcome emails, registration confirmation emails, and follow-up emails after the event.
i) Try personalising the emails like mentioning recipient's name and other relevant information.
j) Track and analyse the performance of your emails timely.
k) Monitor open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and unsubscribe rates.