How to 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.

Getting the Word Out

We've outlined below strategies you can use as you're spreading the word about your event.

  • 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

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

    • 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 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 or instagram ads.

  • Get pre-event press coverage

    • Tell your school’s paper and ask for a press release