Hackathon Planning
7 Key Features to Consider When Choosing Your Hackathon Platform Provider
Hackathon Planning

7 Key Features to Consider When Choosing Your Hackathon Platform Provider

Learn how to make your hackathons stand out with Devpost’s leading features and services.

If you're a hackathon planner or organizer, you know that choosing the right platform can make or break your event's success. But the right choice comes down to a lot more than the platform’s features.

If you really want to take your hackathons to the next level, look for a hackathon platform provider that can offer you a full range of services to help you save time on planning and get better results. Here’s what to look for. 

What Is a Hackathon Platform?

A hackathon platform is an online tool or software that helps organize and manage hackathons more easily.

Hackathon platforms simplify the logistics of hosting an online hackathon, making it easier for event organizers to plan and execute successful competitions.  

Why Your Choice Matters

Choosing the right hackathon platform and provider is the backbone of your hackathon’s success—especially if you’re planning a virtual hackathon. A global hackathon can attract thousands of participants from all over the world. And let’s be real, planning a large-scale hackathon on your own takes a lot of time and effort.

So, not only do you need to be sure to use a reliable platform, but you should also consider choosing a provider that can help you throughout the entire hackathon process. That’s why the platform you use is only half the equation. A full-service hackathon provider can offer much more support than the platform alone.

Support services like project management, marketing, and community engagement are not necessarily table stakes in the world of hackathon platforms. It’s important to choose a platform provider that offers more than just a landing page for your hackathon.

Hackathon Platform Features That Make a Difference

The hackathon software you use has to work. Full stop. But, there are features to look for when choosing a platform. Let’s get into it.

#1 All-in-one Platform

As a hackathon organizer, you don’t want to spend more time on the admin work than you have to. The same is true for hackathon participants. If the user experience is clunky or cumbersome, they’re likely to drop off before submitting their projects.

Devpost’s platform is intuitive and easy to use for organizers, participants, and judges (more on that below). Organizers can add key information like dates, project requirements, rules, prizes, judging criteria, and much more. 

The platform has all the features needed to run a hackathon including registration, submission, participant communication, reporting, judging, and winner announcement.

Communication between organizers and participants is straightforward with designated tabs for updates and discussions.

This streamlined experience enhances productivity and encourages active participation, giving you significantly better results.

#2 Intuitive Layout

Every hackathon is unique and tailored to specific goals and themes. A provider that offers a high degree of content customization allows you to use the platform to fit your event's distinctive needs. 

Devpost’s platform has an optimized layout that participants know, and that you can use to suit your company’s specific needs.

From branding elements to challenge structures, you can ensure that the hackathon aligns perfectly with your vision. You can craft an experience that resonates with your audience, fostering a stronger sense of engagement and enthusiasm.

#3 Public Project Gallery

Hackathons provide long-lasting benefits for your company. But without the right tools, it’s almost impossible to remember the details of exactly what was submitted. 

On Devpost, the project gallery displays all of your hackathon’s eligible project submissions in one place so they’re easy to access and search long after the hackathon is over.

A screenshot of the Devpost project gallery from a recent Atlassian hackathon.
A look at Devpost's project gallery from a recent Atlassian hackathon.

The project gallery will highlight your hackathon winners and you can search by submission details, sort projects, and filter submissions to find exactly what you’re looking for. Even after the hackathon is over, you can continue building relationships with developers by commenting on their projects.

#4 Built-in Judging

Think about this: Judging is likely the only hands-on interaction that most judges on your panel will have with the hackathon. You need it to run smoothly! Look for a hackathon platform that has judging features built in to simplify this process for organizers and judges. 

Submission review and judging are built into Devpost to give judges and hackathon organizers a seamless experience. Devpost gives you the power to review submissions and send only the eligible ones off to your panel of judges. 

Here’s how judging works on Devpost (in a nutshell):

  1. Add and display your Judges on your hackathon site.
  2. Start the judging period after you review your submissions.
  3. An email with instructions and access is automatically sent to judges.
  4. Judges can view their judging dashboard to review and score submissions.
  5. Hackathon managers can view the combined scores to choose their winners.
A screenshot of a mock-up view of the judging dashboard on Devpost.
A mock-up view of the judging dashboard on Devpost.

That’s it. Judges can review their progress at any time and can stop and pick back up whenever they’d like.

#5 Established Developer Community

A distinguishing factor that sets Devpost apart from other providers is the size and vibrancy of our developer community. In the last 13 years, our team has built a close relationship with Devpost users and we’re honed in on what they want from hackathons

Discover the benefits of working with a provider that has a large developer community. These advantages include opportunities for innovation, collaboration with your brand, and getting feedback from developers who use your technology. 

#6 Scalability

Hackathons often attract a growing number of participants as the event progresses. A platform with scalability at its core ensures that your event can accommodate this growth without any hiccups. Whether you're expecting 100 or 1000 participants, the platform you choose should be able to easily adapt to your needs. It should also provide the best experience for participants.

There’s no limit to the number of participants who can register or submit projects to hackathons on Devpost. Every participant will get the same experience on the platform—regardless of how many other submissions there are. The pricing on Devpost public hackathons is also not affected by the number of participants, so you don’t have to worry about hitting a cap or limiting the number of submissions.

#7 Top-notch Data Security

A hackathon platform should offer top-notch data security measures to safeguard intellectual property and sensitive information. Robust encryption, compliance with data privacy regulations, and secure storage solutions are the pillars of a trustworthy platform. Ensuring data safety builds trust and encourages engagement among participants, promoting collaboration and a secure environment. 

Devpost is SOC 2 compliant and follows stringent security measures across application security, data security, and Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

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Enhancing with Comprehensive Services

The real key to finding the right hackathon provider is to look for one that offers full-service support including project management, marketing services, and customer support. 

Project Management Assistance: Keeping You on Track

There’s a lot to know about running a hackathon, and it can be difficult to manage one on your own. Hackathon providers like Devpost offer full-service project management services to help plan and run the hackathon.

With Devpost, you can offload a lot of the day-to-day activities involved in managing hackathons. The Devpost Project Management team is highly skilled in planning and running hackathons. They can offer advice on maximizing your hackathon’s impact—whether that’s giving tips on how to attract more participants, helping you get more project submissions, or building a memorable hackathon.

As part of the overall management, the team can help establish the hackathon rules, review project submissions, help support participants, facilitate prize fulfillment, monitor participant questions, and oversee the entire event from start to finish.

Marketing Support: Amplifying Your Reach

There’s no such thing as too much marketing when you’re promoting your hackathon. Spread the word about your hackathon to as many people as possible. You never know where the next great idea will come from. 

Devpost has a community of over 4 million users. Our team can support your marketing efforts by promoting your hackathon to those users through email newsletters, social media posts, and engaging in online community groups.

Making the Decision

In the world of hackathons, your choice of platform provider is pivotal. By understanding your audience, prioritizing key features, embracing valuable services, and leveraging a thriving developer community, you can set the stage for a hackathon that leaves a lasting impact.