Search for a hackathon site. Hackday experience
The successful logistics of the event will largely depend on which site you choose to host your hackathon. When choosing, it is necessary to take into account a huge number of requirements, which is justified by the subsequent convenience for teams, as well as choose a room taking into account the available budget. How to choose the best combination - read under the cut.
Site and Partner Budget
Let's talk about the budget first. Most likely, you will pick up a site for yourself on a free affiliate or shareware basis. In the first case, everything is clear - the platform is given to you for free use, and the company that provided it receives the status of a partner or sponsor. You will need to indicate her status in press releases and announcements.
Conditional payment means that you must cover the direct costs that the owner will incur - these are the costs of electricity, overtime for cleaning staff, security guards, and others, depending on the premises. And in this case, you give the site or its owner the status of a partner. Reasonable expenses for the premises in this case - no more than 35,000 rubles. Sometimes you can agree on a percentage of the sponsorship money raised.
If your budget allows you to rent a site for money, you will only need to consider the technical requirements. But, frankly, for several years I have never seen a hackathon site rented at full cost, even if the organizer is a large company.
The rental price depends on the city and your budget, but, according to internal feelings, you do not need to pay more than one hundred thousand rubles.
The most convenient options
To facilitate your work, first of all, try to negotiate with business incubators and coworking , if they meet the technical requirements described below. Collaboration with them is good for them, you and the city. Your participants are their future customers, so they are easy to meet. As a rule, motivated people work there who will help you with organization, information support and can also become speakers and mentors.
In addition, their premises are being built taking into account similar technical requirements.
They will probably work with their contact base to attract serious speakers and mentors from the outside. They, just like you, are interested in a more visible and successful event. They are interested in strong projects and - do not forget - good indicators for the report, because most of them are government institutions.
Local universities - a possible option in the absence of the two above. They have great facilities on premises, perhaps you will find a motivated employee on their side. But a university is a huge number of approvals with disloyal officials up to permission to connect a third-party laptop to the projector, entry lists, running infrastructure (with rare exceptions).
HackDay has a negative experience in organizing events on the territory of the university with the exception of Voronezh. Perhaps in your city you will be able to find an excellent university by all standards, but I would recommend that you first go through incubators / coworking.
All other options are among the least convenient, and you especially need to carefully state the conditions and technical requests.
- the presence of one large hall for opening and a demofest for the expected number of people;
- the availability of space for the work of the expected number of teams - one open or several rooms with the ability to set tables and chairs for work;
- space for lunch and coffee breaks, minimum for issuing hot / cold dishes. Hot water, tea / coffee, cookies should be constantly available.
- 1-2 separate audiences for the educational program. One stream can be held in the main hall, if it does not interfere with working teams.
Technical requirements and equipment
- all rooms should be equipped with sockets sufficient to withstand the required number of working machines of participants;
- Internet available anywhere in space. Preliminary testing is necessary to determine the thickness of the channel. When calculating the channel and speed, we assume that 300 people simultaneously load a page of moderate gravity. The main load on the channel will be at the opening and closing;
- projectors in the opening / closing hall and in classrooms;
- sound mixer in the main room, 3-4 wireless microphones that do not light if turned on simultaneously;
- 1 laptop connected to the main screen;
- 100 chairs and 30 tables in the pantry;
- the presence of 2-4 coolers.
- free access, the ability to get without preliminary lists;
- the presence of fixed cleaners and garbage removal;
- round-the-clock access or access up to 23 hours (everything else is small);
- guard without a watchman symptom;
- preferably the city center.
I will dwell separately on the centrality of the room. Being out of center and especially in a place where you need to get by two buses will cut off up to 30% of potential participants in cities where the audience is spoiled by events and will have minimal impact on the city, where hackathons are new. This is a subjective opinion based on experience.
In the next article, we will talk about the varieties of hackathon formats: hard and free, with and without mentors, programmers, business and cinema.