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SXSW Interactive 2013

How To Throw A Hackathon -- And Get Results

The number of hackathons has exploded over the past 18 months, with several of them being held every weekend in developer hotspots like Silicon Valley. But not all hackathons are created equal, and companies looking to attract developers to their APIs, SDKs or other resources often leap into them without a solid plan and strategy, and end up wasting their time and money.

This session will give you the tools you need to create an effective plan for your hackathons, and throw events that please developers and meet your business goals. We will cover:
- What hackathons are, why you should consider them, and what you should expect from them
- How to create a business case for your hackathons to get buy-in and backing from your stakeholders
- Creating the right goals and objectives, and reaching them
- Creating the right structure and incentives for your plan
- Ensuring you get engaged developers, rather than "hackathon tourists"
- Sponsorship, logistics, costs and more

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  1. How do I plan my strategy for developer outreach and marketing with hackathons?
  2. What are hackathons good for? What aren't they good for? How do I set expectations for my stakeholders?
  3. How do I build a business case for the hackathons I want to throw? How do I calculate their ROI? How do I get buy-in from managers and the suits?
  4. How do I organize a hackathon? How do I choose the right venue, and organize logistics? How do I find sponsors and partners?
  5. How do I make my hackathon a success?


  • Carlo Longino, Director of Developer Marketing Services, WIP


Carlo Longino, Director of Developer Marketing Services, WIP

Meta Information:

  • Tags: developers, apps
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Design and Development
  • Level: Intermediate
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