Hackathon To-Dos
Part 1: Sponsor Playbook

The Lob Team
www.Lob.com
@Lob
Hackathons are a great way for companies to
reach developers, designers, and other hackers.
As a company, when you commit ...
1. Engage Engage Engage

I cannot stress the importance of this as it relates to sponsors. Even though
you probably have a...
2. Bring Swag

Bring as many stickers, t-shirts, stationery, and other fun things as you can get
your hands on. Hackers lo...
3. Send Technical Evangelists

This one is absolutely crucial, especially for companies that are trying to
evangelize tech...
4. Make Sure Your Product is
Easy to Use

Have clear documentation/instructions on your website that is immediately
access...
5. Bring Signage

Make sure you bring banners, table throws, and whatever signage you can
get your hands on. Hackathons ar...
6. Provide Real-Time Support

All companies should always make sure to beef up their customer support
efforts, but this is...
7. Offer Creative Prizes

For those companies that have an API, offer up a prize to the team with the
best integration. Fo...
8. Provide Snacks & Fuel

When midnight rolls around, hackers start getting tired and burnt out. Even
though the event org...
9. Bring Business Cards

Many people will say that business cards are becoming obsolete, but it is still
the easiest way t...
10. Meet Other Sponsors

When it comes to sponsorships, there is an innate sense of competition.
Sponsors are competing fo...
Questions or Thoughts?
Tweet @Lob
support@Lob.com
www.Lob.com/blog

www.Lob.com
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10 To-Dos for Hackathon Sponsors

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Hackathons are a great way for companies to reach developers, designers, and other hackers.

As a company, when you commit to being a sponsor at a hackathon, it is important to make the most of your presence.

Here are 10 things you should consider before you sponsor a hackathon.

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10 To-Dos for Hackathon Sponsors

  1. 1. Hackathon To-Dos Part 1: Sponsor Playbook The Lob Team www.Lob.com @Lob
  2. 2. Hackathons are a great way for companies to reach developers, designers, and other hackers. As a company, when you commit to being a sponsor at a hackathon, it is important to make the most of your presence. Here are 10 things you should consider before you sponsor a hackathon. www.Lob.com
  3. 3. 1. Engage Engage Engage I cannot stress the importance of this as it relates to sponsors. Even though you probably have a nice spot in the venue with a table set up dedicated for your company, you should be spending a good chunk of your time during the hackathon walking around, meeting hackers. Ask about what they are working on, offer your help in any way, and tell them about your company. The large majority of hackers at these events won’t know you are there if you stay at your table all weekend. www.Lob.com
  4. 4. 2. Bring Swag Bring as many stickers, t-shirts, stationery, and other fun things as you can get your hands on. Hackers love swag (who doesn’t?) and bringing awesome stuff accomplishes two things: 1) builds your brand and 2) attracts attention. Things like stickers have a viral effect and helps your brand recognition during and long after the weekend is over. When you have swag at your table, people will immediately gravitate towards your table and more often than not, listen to a quick pitch about your product. If you don’t bring anything, you’re going to miss these opportunities. www.Lob.com
  5. 5. 3. Send Technical Evangelists This one is absolutely crucial, especially for companies that are trying to evangelize technical integrations such as APIs. It is very important to have someone on the ground for the duration of the weekend that knows your product inside and out and can help to debug and answer any questions hackers have at these events. www.Lob.com
  6. 6. 4. Make Sure Your Product is Easy to Use Have clear documentation/instructions on your website that is immediately accessible. MongoDB hands out a small, aesthetically pleasing journal that is ripe with FAQs and helpful tips on how to integrate with their product. They hand this out as part of their swag pack and it’s awesome. You have to remember that hackers have to build out a functional product in as little as 24 hours so if your product is confusing to use, they will more than likely give up and use something else. www.Lob.com
  7. 7. 5. Bring Signage Make sure you bring banners, table throws, and whatever signage you can get your hands on. Hackathons are usually held at big venues, so unless you have a visual presence that commands attention. We have seen this done really well by the team at Sendgrid. They have a visually appealing stand-up retractable banner and sometimes they will put it on top of their sponsor table so that you can see it from anywhere in the building. www.Lob.com
  8. 8. 6. Provide Real-Time Support All companies should always make sure to beef up their customer support efforts, but this is especially true when it comes to hackathons. There has to be a way to interact with company reps in real-time. So if you can’t send people to be physically there, make sure to let everyone know that they can get answers from you in real-time via a support phone line, email, olark, twitter, and other mediums. www.Lob.com
  9. 9. 7. Offer Creative Prizes For those companies that have an API, offer up a prize to the team with the best integration. For companies that are recruiting, offer up a prize to best overall hack or some other general category. Prizes don’t necessarily have to be expensive. iPads and gadgets are always a hit, but often times what’s more valuable may be some sort of unique trophy, or perhaps even a private dinner with your team. www.Lob.com
  10. 10. 8. Provide Snacks & Fuel When midnight rolls around, hackers start getting tired and burnt out. Even though the event organizers generally do a great job of making sure there is always enough food, you can never have enough frappuccinos, red bulls, chips, and candy. www.Lob.com
  11. 11. 9. Bring Business Cards Many people will say that business cards are becoming obsolete, but it is still the easiest way to hand out your contact info. We have found that hackathon participants ask for your personal business cards because it is always nice for them to be able to follow up with you after you met the at the event. You will meet lots of interesting and talented people at hackathons, so be sure they have a way to contact you afterwards. www.Lob.com
  12. 12. 10. Meet Other Sponsors When it comes to sponsorships, there is an innate sense of competition. Sponsors are competing for talent, hack usage, and attention. Although this is true, you should be building relationships with other sponsors. If you go to enough of these, you start running into the same people. The two most recent hackathons we have been to were MHacks and hackTECH. At both events, we saw several cool apps that used a combination of sponsor APIs such as Pinterest + Lob, Sendgrid + Lob, and others. www.Lob.com
  13. 13. Questions or Thoughts? Tweet @Lob support@Lob.com www.Lob.com/blog www.Lob.com

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