Setting the Stage: Crafting an Engaging Hackathon Brand

Creating a captivating and meaningful brand for your hackathon is a vital step in capturing the attention and fostering excitement among participants. The brand sets the stage for the entire event, providing a clear focus and tone that resonates with your intended audience.

Aligning with Your Organization's Vision and Values

When developing the theme and name for your hackathon, it is essential to align them with your organization's overarching mission, goals, and values. This alignment ensures that the brand connects deeply with your target audience of employees, igniting their passion and enthusiasm.

The chosen theme should be energizing, memorable, and spark a sense of creativity and anticipation. It should pique participants’ curiosity and inspire them to sign up for the hackathon journey.

Coming up with a catchy name for your hackathon

A catchy name, like Burger Hack (for McDonald’s) or Destination Digital (for BMO), acts as a powerful identifier and draws interest to your event. The name should be unique, easy to remember, and reflect the core essence and spirit of your event.

However, hackathon organizing committees don’t just stumble across a catchy name by chance! Facilitated brainstorming sessions with the creative minds of the core organizing team, the event's marketing and graphic design team, as well as external Onova innovation consultants, can help expedite the generation of high-quality name ideas.

The best name suggestions from the group go through two more rounds of anonymous “blind voting” — until only one name for the hackathon is left standing.

An example of an early brainstorming session we had for the name of the BMO Hackathon

Mission: Branding BMO Destination Digital

For a detailed insight into our branding and design process behind BMO Destination Digital, read this blog article here — which outlines our 4-Step Branding Process

Marketing the Event:

To ensure maximum participation and engagement, there are a few important steps to follow:

1. Define and understand your target audience and their priorities:

Tailor your marketing messaging and distribution channel strategies accordingly to this.

2. Create visually appealing and informative promotional materials (such as videos, banners and an event landing page):

Develop a compelling and clear value proposition and highlight the unique benefits and opportunities of attending your hackathon (such as prizes or the chance to pitch solutions to senior leaders) in your marketing copy.

3. Leverage a variety of marketing channels:

Utilize internal company news boards, email campaigns, and LinkedIn to reach your target audience effectively.

4. Showcase testimonials and success stories:

If applicable, use previous hackathons' testimonials and success stories to establish credibility and generate interest.

5. Sustain ongoing engagement with regular updates and reminders:

Employ tools such as email, Microsoft Teams, or Slack to provide timely updates, send reminders, and create a sense of anticipation and excitement through calendar invites and countdowns to the event.

A snippet from one of our final “teaser storyline” emails that went out to all participants

Interested in seeing how we can support you and your business in your innovation initiatives? Book an introductory call with Victor Li, Founder & CEO of Onova.
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