Crack the Code: How to Attract Top Talent to Your Hackathon

While the goals for hosting your hackathon may vary -- maybe you're trying to solve the missing piece to your team's latest development, or generate interest in your product to gain that next round of investment, or even scouting out new programmers or designers to bring onto your team -- one factor is the same across the board: In order to have a successful hackathon, you must have the highest level of talent at your event.

Here are a few tips to attract top talent to your next hackathon.

1. Offer enticing incentives

It's unlikely that participants at hackathons go home empty-handed. While some events offer large cash prizes for the first-place winners, most have a variety of gifts to send home with their attendees. Offering branded giveaways, such as custom hoodies, quality headphones and branded waterbottles, tumblers or mugs, will not only keep them excited about their experience, but these items will also raise awareness for your future events when worn or used in front of their peers.

Related: 6 Cool Premium Hoodies Designed For Those Programmed To Be Cool

2. Invite inspiring guest speaker(s)

Inviting influential people in the industry to come speak or engage at your event is a great way to draw in your participants. Doing so gives them an opportunity to create valuable connections that can help advance them in their career.

3. Do your research

Finding niche audiences that align with the goals of your hackathon is key. For example, if the project is focused on mobile application development, promoting your event in front of graphic designers with little to no UX/UI experience will likely not yield the best results. Doing your research into the skills needed to achieve the competition's goal, and finding where audiences who encompass those skill-sets live online, will help you find the best channels for promoting and attracting the right talent for your event.

Have any additional thoughts on how to draw in top talent? Leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!