Promote Your Event

When promoting your hackathon, it’s useful to keep in mind that most events have a 50 to 30 percent drop-off in attendance. Given these stats, it’s your goal to over-market and overbook!

Tell Your Hackathon’s Story

What’s your hackathon’s "brand?" How is it unique? Why would you want to attend?

  • The more tailored your message, the better. Make it school-specific.

  • Use the same messaging to stay consistent and build momentum

  • Highlight hackathon benefits perks and the ease of attending: it’s free of cost, transportation will be provided, etc.

It would be great to include a short case study or example "about us" page from a successful hackathon here to show, rather than just tell, organizers how effective branding works.

Get The Word Out

  • Invite students from other schools to attend

    • Select at least three schools within six hours of your campus

    • Look at schools that have previously hosted MLH hackathons

    • Don’t overlook community colleges — they’re often rife with promising participants

  • Reach out to student groups and departments on all campuses

    • Groups: ACM & IEEE, SWE, SHPE, etc.

    • Departments: computer science, design, engineering and applied math, physics

  • Speak in-person during the first 5 minutes of relevant classes and student group meetings on your campus.

    • Explain what it is, why they should care, when and where it’s being held, and how they can get more info.
  • Launch a social media campaign

    • Make a Facebook event page and twitter account. Invite and connect to all your friends and members of on and off-campus hacker groups. Check out the Florida Hackers Community for some examples.

    • Ask other hackathons to tweet about you

    • Consider Facebook ads.

  • Get pre-event press coverage

    • Tell your school’s paper

Resources to get potential pre-event coverage in local and tech media

  • Reach out to parent groups (more useful for high school hackathons)

  • Share our Parent Hackathon Guide with parent organizations that are interested in hearing about events for their children.


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