New to TV Hackfest? - A beginner's guide to attending a Hackfest Hackathon and six steps to success

written by: Liz Morrell

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apps-sanfran2Whether you’ve never been to a hackathon at all before – or just haven’t been to one of our Hackfests -- then here’s the lowdown on what to expect for those new to Hackfest with our beginner's guide to attending a Hackfest.

Our Hackfest events are industry hackathons that are free to attend and take place within the expo hall of all our industry events. All we ask from those taking part is the enthusiasm to create something amazing – and you may win a fab prize for doing so! Here’s a low down on what to expect from Hackfest and the six steps to success:

Step 1 – Register for the event

Registration is open and free. All you have to do is to head over to our site http://the-hackfest.com, select your hack and register for the event. Don’t forget then to put the date in your diary and get your creative juices at the ready.

Step 2 – Keep an eye out for our emails

Once you have registered we will be in contact via email to keep you up to date with all the latest news, challenges, briefs and prizes. Around two weeks before the event we will also load the event, prizes and briefs up to hackathon platform Hacker League to allow you to start thinking about what you might create and start meeting your fellow hackers and form teams early if you want. Around a week before the show you will also receive your email confirmation of attendance – bring this along to collect your pass on the day. This pass will also allow you access to all the free elements of our shows if you have time to have a wander.

Step 3 – Arrive feeling creative and social

Once you arrive at the event you will collect your registration badge at the check-in desk and head over to the Hackfest area where you will be met by a Hackfest representative, the sponsors and your fellow competitors. Use this time to meet and greet those that have already turned up. And don’t forget if you haven’t already done so now could be your chance to grab the best talent for your team so don’t be afraid of approaching people and asking if they want to work with you. The beauty of the hackathon environment is, after all, the ability work with new people to deliver on challenges you may not normally ever be set.

Step 4 - Listen to the sponsor presentations and briefs

Once you have arrived and registered and the general meet and greet is over the hard work will begin. The sponsors will present their briefs in person, explaining how their product works and what they want you to aim towards. After this will be your last chance to get into teams before the coding begins.

Step 5 – Get coding

Here comes the best bit – the chance to get coding. Our sponsors and representatives will be on hand to help seed ideas but also help inspire you if you’re stuck on how something works. You will have the two days of the show to code and we also encourage you to get together in the evening outside of the hackathon to carry on coding if you so wish. We provide plenty of energy drinks and food to keep you going during the event as well as comfy areas for you to relax in!

Step 6 – Present and hope you’ve won!

Perhaps the best part is presenting your concept. We’re not asking for a polished presentation (although you are welcome to use PowerPoint if you really want to!) but more a clear, concise but fun two minute explanation of what you did, explaining your concept to your fellow competitors, the judges and the rest of the audience. Although the pitch is brief this is your chance to really sell what you can do – whether it’s for fun, profit or simply showing off your skills – you never know who’s watching after all and our Hackfests tend to attract a lot of interest – from sponsors, potential investors and media alike. As a guide don’t bother explaining the full technical detail of how you created your app – most people in the room will get the how part -- but the functionality of what you created and what problem in the market it helps to solve. The judging will then take place with sponsor prizes presented later in the afternoon.

GOOD LUCK!!

UPCOMING HACKFESTS

Hackfests are an integral part of our events and attract a lot of interest. We have a number of events coming up with Hackfests running as part of them so make sure you keep an eye on our site http://the-hackfest.com for all the latest!

Apps World North America, February 5-6, 2014 -  San Francisco. If you haven’t yet registered for our American show next month there is still time. We are running two Hackfests – TV Hackfest and a general Apps Hackfest. Register for either by following the links above --  there are some great prizes on offer. The event is also now live on Hacker League.

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