Every first-rate hackathon has an exceptional leadership team behind it. When selecting yours, think like a startup CEO: choose enthusiastic and smart people with complementary skills. Think your hackathon as your product and your team as the people putting it together. Here’s what a typical hackathon leadership team looks like:
Hackathon Lead Organizer: The person in-charge on all the happenings in and around the hackathon. They look after the entire team making decisions on what will be the next best steps in a particular situation.
Logistics Team: This team is responsible for all logistics of the hackathon like booking the venue, developing and making the schedule, ordering swag, prizes, food and other essentials for the event etc.
Finance Team: This team is responsible for securing sponsorships, making sure the vendors get paid according to the agreed timelines and managing the cash flow and budget.
Marketing Team: This team is in charge of promoting the event, deciding the marketing strategy, developing the website, handling social media etc.
Operations Team: This team is responsible for the hacker experience at the hackathon. Every aspect of what the hackathon looks and feels like, this team is entirely responsible for that. Keep in mind, hacker experience is usually the thing that can make or break your hackathon. We might like to call this the think tank of your hackathon team.
Leading your team
It’s vital to get your team onto the same page for your hackathon so you’re all working as a collective team rather than individual teams with different goals. To get there focusing on these specific areas would be highly beneficial:
Project management: Ensure that all tasks are tracked for the entire team to see, we encourage you to
Avoid confusion and increase efficiency by making one person responsible for each team, managing the different day to day task/s within it.
Assign each team to lead different tasks on your project management tool (Trello, Notion, Asana etc.) with deadlines.
Follow up with each of the individual heads to get status updates on their tasks to keep them accountable.
Team management: As you all integrate new team members, there’s a bunch for them to learn about from team dynamics to how to do their role. To start off, continue doing team building activities while relaying the importance of them to your team. In addition, reach out to everyone individually to join the team building activities to create a sense of accountability as well.
Staying Organized: Working towards organizing any event becomes difficult if there's any communication gap in your team. There are tons of ways to keep your hackathon planning team organized and on track. If your team is working remotely, it's even more important to have a system in place. The actual tools you use don't matter as much as picking them and sticking to it. As hackathon organizers, it can be easy to over-engineer your planning process. Keep in mind that sometimes the simplest solutions are the easiest for the whole team to adopt and use.
Some tools we've seen work well for organizing teams are:
Chat: Slack, Discord
Documents: Google Drive (G-Suite, if possible), Notion, Airtable