[Peer Group Takeaways] Marketing your Hackathon (09/25)

Howdy Folks!

I’m here with a set of Peer Group takeaways :slightly_smiling_face: If you haven’t been on a Peer Group yet, they are our weekly calls where organizers from around the world talk about similar challenges that they’re facing with hackathon planning. RSVP here!

I always learn so many cool new tips from organizers on these calls and want to share some of the biggest tips from this session with you all.

Here are the takeaways from our Marketing session

  • Understand the people you’re serving. As marketers, you need to understand your audience and their needs. Understand the different reasons why people attend hackathons (e.g. competition, meeting new people, learning new skills), then you can structure specific marketing messages to those different groups of people. Use your hackathon as a solution to their needs and desires!

  • Direct your marketing. When doing social media or flyer marketing, target specific audiences to relate to them more rather than a general wide cast marketing. By doing this, you’ll be able to appeal to the needs and wants of your potential hackers!

  • Build more content for social media. Social media and word of mouth account for ~60% of the reason why hackers initially heard of your hackathon. Build out more content that your audience can relate to, like stories or tips about getting an internship!

I’d love to hear from folks on the forum, what are some of the ways you create an awesome hacker experience at your event? @mdunn09045 @yeung.g @luisocampo @phillipsw1 @jamie.liao what are your big takeaways? any that we missed that you’d like to add?


Hi Mary,

Thanks for posting this! I was great to see y’all again as I recognized hackers from different events and other peer-groups.

I think this group emphasizes the importance of grassroots advertising on social media. While flyers on campuses can get you so far, more hackathons are trying to target their audience individually. It’s an essential tactic as beginners are the target demographics, and may or may not have a first impression on hackathons.

Word of ear and ambassador programs are the most reliable form of marketing. Our team at HackWITus has a list of professors we outreach to and run 5-minute classroom pitches about our hackathon. This method proved to be useful as our registration count doubled.

It’s essential to network with other organizers and collaborate on side events. As an upcoming Localhost organizer, I want to reach out to other organizers and hackers outside of my campus. Engaging at Hackcon and having social get-togethers is an effective way to build community and get more hackers to you hackathon.