After you have your essentials and eligibility set up, it is a good idea to start getting familiar and start setting up your hackathon site. There are a lot of areas on your hackathon site to customize so this article we will cover most of them. The sections include
- Overview page text
- Rules and resources tabs
- Sponsors / promotional partners
- Judges and judging criteria
- Overview video (Optional)
The dates you set up on your site govern your entire hackathon. There are 3 important sets of dates which you should set as soon as they are approved. We highly recommend not selecting 12 AM as this can cause confusion for participants, try to stick to business hours. Remember: you can edit the time zone of your hackathon in the Essentials tab.
- Submission Period. This is when your hackathon is accepting registrations and submissions. When this deadline is reached, it blocks participants from editing and submitting their submissions and blocks new registrations. Your Submission Period can be set in the Submissions tab under Edit hackathon on your manager dashboard. Note: You can launch your site before your submission period starts, but you will only be accepting registrants (not projects) until the Submission period starts.
- Judging Period. This is how long your Judges have to review and score all of your eligibility submissions. We recommend a Judging period of at least a week and adding a 1-day buffer before and after the Judging Period to review submissions and calculate the winner. You can set your Judging Period in the Judging tab under Edit hackathon on your manager dashboard. Note: to be able to Save your hackathon site, you may need to add temporary information to this tab.See more about setting up your Judging below.
- Winner Announcement. This is the deadline you are giving yourself to announce the winners. You can set your Winner Announcement date in the Prizes tab under Edit Hackathon on your manager dashboard. Note: to be able to Save your hackathon site, you may need to add temporary information to this tab.See more about setting up your Prizes below.
Overview page text
Your Overview page will be the hackathon’s landing page and should have all the information needed for participants to get interested, compete, and get started. We provide 3 specific text fields to ensure all hackathons display this necessary information. All of these text fields can be found in the Hackathon Site tab under Edit Hackathon on your manager dashboard.
1. Main Description. Your description should be a brief overview of the hackathon and answer the following questions:
- Who is running the hackathon?
- What is the goal of the hackathon?
- Why should someone join your hackathon?
Note that our user testing sessions indicate that users are more likely to participate in a hackathon when they have a clear understanding and trust in who is sponsoring. Make sure your logo stands out and that you incorporate concise, clear info about who you are as a company! Providing a brief history, company values, or what sets you apart goes a long way!
2. Eligibility. In this section, you should provide a brief of your eligibility requirements, such as age and country of residence restrictions.
3. Submission Requirements. In this section, you should outline what you want participants to build and submit in your hackathon. We suggest a What to build or Main Requirement statement and a list of items you want to be sure participants include in their submission.
Regarding What to Build: In order to provide participants with a world class experience, it's important they know exactly what is expected of them. By listing a 1-2 sentence description of what they need to build, they are better prepared for success! Establish a benchmark, inspiring them to aim high. If your tooling necessitates or promotes particular skills or proficiency in specific programming languages, communicate this explicitly to participants before they begin on their projects.
Please note: eligibility and submission requirements need to be listed in your Rules to be enforceable. These text fields are just a way for you to highlight these important items.
Rules and Resources Tabs
Rules and Resources are some of the most important areas of a hackathon site and they both have their own tabs. Rules govern the entire hackathon, while the resources help participants build amazing projects. By adding text to the Rules and Resource text fields Devpost will automatically add these tabs to your hackathon site. To add and edit, you can find these text fields on the Hackathon Site tab under Edit Hackathon.
Here are some important notes for these sections:
Rules. Every participant is required to accept your rules upon registration. Your rules should be a legal document outlining every possible detail of your hackathon. Your rules should contain the obvious (dates, eligibility, project requirements, submission requirements, etc.) but they should also include the nitty-gritty legalities that will help your legal team sleep at night. This includes, but is not limited to, prize paperwork due dates, intellectual property, and rights to promote projects. Please try to make them comprehensive and user-friendly so that they will be clear to people who are looking to enter your hackathon.
Please note: In-person hackathons must also include a code of conduct.
See more about best practices regarding crafting rules.
Resources. You are asking your participants to build software and depending on your requirements, it might be pretty complicated. To help your participants and your hackathon’s success, be sure you list any resources that might help participants build an amazing project. This might include links to documentation, resources, how-to videos, webinar schedules and anything else you think would help. Your resources tab can be made into a beautifully formatted page like these examples:
- The Worthy Web App Challenge
- NanoString Spatial Omics Hackathon
- AWS Artificial Intelligence Hackathon
Learning a new tool or resource is a daunting task and can turn even the best developers away if it seems complicated or time consuming. Providing guidance, moral and technical support, and resources to new developers strengthens your entire developer audience. Be inclusive to potential net new developers! What tools would you need if you were just getting started?
Sponsors / Promotional partners
You can list logos of sponsors and partners supporting your hackathon. You are also able to add different sections to divide different types and levels. Additionally, you can link off to their websites.
Since you have already set the date of your winner announcement, you can now start adding prizes. You can add prizes for your hackathon by navigating to the Prizes tab under the Edit hackathon tab.
Set the prize currency for the value and then go ahead and add your first prize. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- A prize cannot be divided across multiple projects, but multiple projects can win the same prize.
- You can have multiple items within a single prize
At the end of your hackathon, after judging and calculating who your winners are, you will need to select projects for each prize.
When adding a new prize, be sure to give it a unique name, enter all of the required information for each prize, provide a small description, and select if it is an opt in or sponsor prize. Some of these are obvious but here are some important points:
- Cash Value. This required field allows you to enter the total monetary value of the prize. Upon entering all of your prizes, the total prize value will be seen on the Overview page of your hackathon site — this total prize value is calculated by the sum of all the Number of winning projects multiplied by the Cash value of each prize.
- Number of winning projects. This required field allows you to enter the amount of projects that can win the specified prize.
- Optin award or sponsor prize. Selecting this will add a question to your submission form for submitters to opt in to competing for this prize. After the submission gallery has been turned on, you will see all the opt-in prizes listed on the the gallery as filter options and this information will be available in the data export:
Judges and judging criteria
Since you have already set your judging period dates you will need to choose online or offline judging, then add judges, and judging criteria. This can all be done on the Judging tab in the Edit Hackathon area in your manager dashboard. Once added or edited, remember to Save at the bottom of the page.
Let’s walk through this:
- Offline judging. Offline judging means that you can run judging however you want. This can be through excel downloads of the projects, in person presentations, or any other judging method. Check out how to pull project information for judging offline.
- Online judging. Online judging enables judges to receive automated email notifications when the judging period starts. If a judge does not have an existing Devpost account, it will direct them to sign up for Devpost. From there, judges can login and review projects based on the judging criteria you set. This also opens up more functionality when managing submissions.
- Adding Judges. Adding judges for online and offline judging is similar, but online judging requires email addresses for each judge. You are able to add an image for each judge and we recommend cropping your image to a square before uploading so your image correctly fits in the automatic circular frame. Read more about starting the judging period.
- Adding judging criteria. Before participants start your hackathon, they want to know that their hard work will be reviewed and judged fairly. Don’t be too cryptic with your judging criteria and show participants who is responsible for judging your hackathon. Here are some great examples of sites with clear, descriptive judging criteria:
Here’s a good place to start when it comes to Judging Criteria:
- Technological Implementation
Does the project demonstrate quality software development? Does the project thoroughly leverage the required tool? How is the quality of the code?
Is the user experience and design of the project well thought out? Is there a balanced blend of frontend and backend in the software?
- Potential Impact
How big of an impact could the project have on the target community? How big of an impact could it have beyond the target community?
- Quality of the Idea
How creative and unique is the project? Does the concept exist already? If so, how much does the project improve on it?
The criteria you set for online judging will be what's used to rate each project (on a 1-5 scale) when judges login and begin deliberating.
A compelling video can bring your hackathon to life and inspire the public to enter. If you decide to make a video, we encourage you to talk about what motivated your organization to create the hackathon and why people should participate. You can paste a URL to a hosted video in the Hackathon Site tab under Edit Hackathon on your manager dashboard.
This video will automatically show under the Overview Hero and before your Main Description.