A “Popular Choice” prize awarded through public voting is a great way to amplify publicity for your hackathon and engage the larger community. Though optional, it can be a useful for driving traffic to your challenge, as participants have an incentive to promote their submissions to their personal networks. We recommend making the prize value small so not to encourage gaming the system.
Judge selection. Choose reliable individuals who can commit at least a few hours to reviewing submissions. The typical judging panel usually includes a diverse mix of representatives from your company, professionals in a related field, and industry luminaries – we recommend no more than 5 - 7.
Judging Period Timing. Respect your judges’ time: make the judging period around 1-2 weeks long, and send them reminders as needed. Stay on schedule with your judging, since participants are eagerly awaiting the results.
Finalists. When there are numerous eligible submissions, hold an internal review (comprised of a mix of individuals from your organization) to narrow down the submissions to be reviewed by the judges. For example, we often send a max of 30 on to judges with the expectation that scoring will take about 3 hours.
Online judging process. Let judges know in advance that they’ll need to create an account on Devpost.com in order to be able to partake in the judging process on our platform. Our system will email them when the judging period begins, but you can also send them your own reminders outside of the platform.
Judging criteria. Judging criteria should be considered carefully. Key criteria could include items such as:
- Quality of the idea (including creativity, originality and fit with the target audience)
- Implementation of the idea (including user experience, design, and integration)
- Potential impact on the target audience
Judges using the online judging platform will be asked to rate using each criterion on a 1-5 star scale.
Offline judging process. If you choose, you can set up your hackathon to bypass the Devpost judging platform. By selecting “OFFLINE” when setting up your hackathon on Devpost you will skip the online judging period and simply be prompted to enter your winners. Typically, offline judging is used when judges will review projects via demos or presentations. This method is frequently used at in-person hackathons.