After you have set up your placeholder website, your team should immediately start to work on the main hackathon website. This website should be carefully designed, keeping in mind that it will reflect your hackathon's goals and is the face of your hackathon to the whole community. Not just that, great design language helps set up a brand that will severely affect the perceived worth of your hackathon in front of the attendees.
Landing Page: The landing page consists of your hackathon name, logo, dates and most importantly the registration button for your attendees. Majority of the times, we have also seen organisers including their judging & mentorship interest forms on the website as well.
About the Hackathon: This section generally contains all the major information you want your attendees to know like the goals of the event, your motivation, a short reference of your team, etc.
Sponsors: This section is very crucial in terms of increase the brand presence of your hackathon as well as for the companies investing in it. Including the name, tiers and links to the sponsor website can be a great way to thank them for their support.
FAQ: An essential section for any newbie attending your hackathon. This will also help you to significantly reduce the load off your support emails.
Footnotes: This section generally contains all the important documentation of your hackathon including the rules, code of conduct, support emails and/ or any contact form.
Ideally, you’ve been updating your site on a rolling basis as more information and sponsorships are finalized. Adding in new sections about different improvements and updates is a great way to keep your hackers engaged and a motivation for them to check out the different offerings at your hackathon.
About a month before, you want to have the following sections in place for a great experience for your hackers
Schedule: This is a great way to increase visibility and to keep hackers informed what to expect at different times during your hackathon.
Link to your Hackathon Chat Channel: Set up a single channel of communication for day-of updates
Prizes: Get your hackers excited by revealing the prizes from time to time as they get finalised!
Tracks: Let hackers know about the different themes they can work upon during the hackathon.
Speakers, Judges & Mentors: It's best to include information about the different people attending your hackathon with different roles, to thank them as well as to let hackers know of their presence. This will also help on the day of to manage hacker interaction.
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 too early to open registration. Check out MyMLH for an awesome single sign on solution to make signing up for your hackathon really simple!