Hackathon Planning

6 Tips to Boost Post-hackathon Results

Learn what to do after your internal hackathons to maximize success.

So, you just wrapped up managing a successful internal hackathon—congrats! Now, as the dust settles, it’s time to shift gears and focus on what to do after a hackathon. 

How you wrap up a hackathon can be as important as planning if you want to maximize the impact of your event. The best hackathons we see at Devpost apply some (or all) of the tactics below.

#1 Share the Final Projects Across Your Organization

For many people, watching demos at the end of a hackathon is one of the highlights. It’s always inspiring to see your colleagues’ ideas and what they’ve created. However, if you weren't in the room or watching a video, you'll miss out on this experience. In today’s hybrid culture and busy workload, it’s likely that many of your colleagues missed out. 

Correct this by sharing the hackathon projects widely across the company. Drop the link to the project gallery to a company-wide chat channel, your company’s intranet, or connect with your internal communications team to share it across the organization. It’s also something you should have mentioned at the next all-hands meeting. 

Always remember that the serendipity of hackathons relies on projects and ideas inspiring others. That can’t happen if team members aren’t aware of what was built.

#2 Request Feedback From Participants

It’s important to get feedback from your participants while the event is still fresh in their minds. Ask them about their experience—from discovering the hackathon, finding teammates, coming up with ideas, building their projects, and demos. Also, ask them what other opportunities they can see using hackathons. For example, would running a hackathon with a key customer or partner be of value?

Pro tip: Make sure to also get feedback from mentors and judges. 

This feedback will not only help shape your future events, but it will also help with your reporting (more on that in a minute). 

#3 Celebrate the Best Projects

Regardless of whether or not your hackathon has prizes, it’s likely that some projects stand out from the rest. 

Celebrate these projects widely with your organization. Opportunities for doing so could be internal blogs, podcasts, signage, demoing, podcasts, etc. Your goal is to showcase the top projects—highlighting both the project and the people who created it. This can lead to further work on the project and also show that you are encouraging a culture of innovation.

#4 Connect Projects and Teams With Product Managers

Outside of sharing projects widely with your organization, there may be some projects that are worth highlighting to specific project managers or engineering leaders. These might not necessarily be the projects that “won” the hackathon but they might still be interesting ideas that provoke new ways of thinking. 

One way to plan for this is to include technical or product ‘tracks’ within your hackathon. Let teams select the track or tracks that their project matches most closely. 

#5 Report Hackathon Results to Leadership

Using both data from your hackathon and feedback from participants, prepare a report for your company's leadership. Typically we find the following data points helpful:

  • Number of participants
  • Number of projects/teams
  • Teams within the organization represented (with numbers)
  • Regions/offices participating (with numbers)
  • Ask / Theme / Challenge
  • Top projects
  • Summary of feedback from participants with key quotes
  • Any next steps on the projects
  • Plans for your next hackathon

See how Okta engaged more employees and increased its number of hackathon participants with Devpost for Teams.

#6 Plan Your Next Hackathon

The best way to grow the culture of innovation within your company is to make hackathons part of how you work—not a once-a-year event. Use the energy generated by your most recent event to kickstart the next one. 

Consider hosting different types of hackathons. Options include:

  • Technology-specific events—e.g., AI hackathons
  • Design hackathons
  • Bug smash events
  • Idea hackathons
  • Team-specific events

Make the Most of Your Hackathons

The benefits of your hackathon will last long after the event is over. The energy created by your hackathon presents a number of great opportunities for your company. Improving team collaboration, crowdsourcing ideas, and fostering an innovation culture are just a few of the benefits of a successful hackathon.

Your post-hackathon planning is just as important as your pre-event planning to help get the best results. Taking the above steps will enable you to maximize them.

Looking for more support with your pre- and post-hackathon planning? Talk to our team of hackathon planning experts and we’ll help you run your best hackathon yet.