also just shared this article with our community, thank you!
When we polled our attendees last year at PickHacks, we found that most people had heard about it in-person (through a class or through a friend), and flyers / e-mails weren’t a driving factor. Simple event flyers / e-mails with basic information get the job done, but they’re easily forgettable, especially when there’s competition with so many other campus organizations and events.
I think we can all agree that there’s a technical stigma behind hackathons, so in our outreach e-mails and flyers, we try to stray away from that and cater specifically the demographic (i.e. focusing on hardware when talking to EEs, focusing on the sales / speaking / management aspect to business majors), which allows our event to resonate more with those audiences.
In addition, our organizing board is extremely diverse, with a variety of majors and involvements (greek life, athletics, diversity organizations, you name it). As a result, we have “ins” to different communities around campus; for instance, we got some feedback that the lack of women at our event was discouraging, so we have new members involved in sororities, organizations like WiCS/Girls Who Code, and more. Regarding this topic specifically, I’m not a CS major (nor is our entire marketing team), so we use our personal stories as leverage to convince other non-CS students to attend.