Set Up A Placeholder Website
Until an event has a website, it doesn’t exist to most people. Publishing a basic website the second you’ve committed to hosting a hackathon will help you drive interest to it, capture potential attendee email addresses, and answer questions from interested students:
The first iteration of your site should include:
Dates and venue (if you have them)
A pre-registration form. (A few good options for this include SendGrid and LaunchRock.)
A designated email address to answer potential attendees’ questions
Links to your event’s Facebook page and Twitter account
A date when visitors should check back for more info
A basic FAQ about your event to explain things to someone who has never seen or been to a hackathon before. A good FAQ example: MLH Prime
A page just for sponsors, including:
An email address for sponsorship inquiries
Some information about your event and your team
You should update this site on a rolling basis as you land speakers and sponsors, create your schedule, confirm transportation offerings, etc.
As early as possible, celebrate what differentiates your event.
It's never to early to open registration. Check out MyMLH for an awesome single sign on solution to make signing up for your hackathon really simple!