The motivation of the audience. How to attract participants to the hackathon. Hackday experience

    In two previous articles, we talked about how to work with information partners and our experience with HackDay in general.
    Today we’ll talk about such an important thing as the motivation of participants.

    A few years ago, when we started making a series of hackathons, the market was not spoiled by a large number of events, and it was not worth the trouble to attract an active part of the audience, for the simple reason that there was nowhere to go. On the other hand, there was a problem in a large layer of less active people who did not attend events in principle. They did not understand what benefit they brought. It turned out that about 80% of the audience wandered from one event to another without producing any utility except for the appearance of a party.

    Nevertheless, even within active participants, there were always several groups that we contacted through different channels and motivated from different ways. Along with the growing market, the audience has matured. We managed to reach out and explain the usefulness of visiting HackDay's previously deaf audience. We got very high-quality participants (as we call them inside the team) who are able to generate intelligible ideas and bring to mind not only at the event, but also afterwards.
    If we classify the motivation of the participants, then we can say that it is professional and personal. Each participant who comes to the event is motivated both ways.

    Promises of professional motivation

    Our main participants are programmers (various technologies), designers, authors of projects. For each group, we make our own small announcements in specialized communities.
    Programmers are usually interested in applying their knowledge in conditions of rapid development and launch. They are interested in the experience of finding such a solution that allows you to make a project from an idea to a working prototype. A separate line is programmers who own a rarely used technology and who are interested in applying it to a working project.
    The inner world of designers is not entirely clear for us, and, as I wrote in a previous article, there are always not enough of them on HackDay, but in general we use the same words and hooks to attract them as for programmers with a difference in the style of treatment.
    Project authors usually desperately need a team or some of its missing members, which they find on hackathons and with whom they then go into a brighter future. The authors of the projects also need to communicate with the speakers and mentors of the event and receive clear feedback on business, technology, and marketing.
    And all together, these groups are interested in learning new technologies (programming, UX \ UI, marketing, etc.) in the educational program, which can be applied here and now, during the weekend.

    Promises of personal motivation

    Promises of personal motivation are some kind of a mess that helps potential participants break away from their usual environment and come to a hackathon. Perhaps this is a less specific, but more effective motivation, the root cause of participation. You need to write extremely simple and understandable things.
    What theses we usually use:
    - come and do something new and interesting. Works for programmers and designers. Both can be authors of projects;
    - make a project over the weekend for which there was no time;
    - spend time with the benefit of a circle of professionals. Difficult filed proposal to hang out;
    - get a large number of contacts;
    - Get feedback from other participants.
    All these theses are used together for 2-3 for different groups and for different announcements, depending on the resource through which they reach the audience, on the time remaining before the event.

    For announcements and articles you need to use a friendly, undefiled tone, in a simple language tell you why people need to participate in the event. Hackathon is the most informal format possible. And informality is a huge plus for shy authors, complex designers and introvert programmers.

    In the next article I will talk about the organization of the educational program: what topics to choose, how to combine according to the topics and timing so as to get the most out of the education.

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