Throughout the duration of the hackathon, expect fluctuations in the numbers of visitors. Generally, we see spikes in site visits following major marketing initiatives like Devpost’s interest based email blasts or newsletters. For submissions, they almost always are submitted during the final day or two of the submission period. This makes it really hard to gauge number of submissions, but we have some tips on how to improve your eligible submission numbers:
Resources. Make sure your tools and supporting resources are clearly laid out for participants and as an extra bonus, try to make your resources accessible for as many skill levels as possible. The goal should be to enable anyone to use your tools from start to finish and make sure that their building journey is as minimally frustrating as possible. Resources can include inspirational projects, getting started repositories, tutorials, office hours and more.
User Support. Answer your participants’ questions promptly on all of your available support channels. This includes the manager email you added to your hackathon site, the discussion forum, or any live chat tools you have set up. Ideally you should be checking these channels and responding to them within 24 hours on weekdays. These support channels are a great way to keep a pulse on how your hackathon participants are doing.
Updates. There are a number of default reminders that are built into the Devpost platform, which you can edit and disable, but it is important to add your own relevant updates throughout your hackathon. These updates can remind participants about your resources, help you share a relevant inspiring story, notify participants about available office hours, give submission tips, or anything you think will help your participants be successful. Here is an article on communicating with hackathon participants.
Early Submissions. On the rare chance that a submission is entered far in advance of the deadline, check if it is eligible. It is good practice to contact the submitter and inform them of any possible reasons for it being ineligible. Check out this article on messaging the submitter.