How to hack your way to a successful hackathon!

You don’t need to have a technical background to organise a successful hackathon! All you need is some creativity, event management tips and the right attitude!

1. Pick a great theme

You can pick themes that surround a particular technology such as sensor technologies, the Internet of Things or Virtual Reality technologies. Or you could get participants to hack towards achieving a certain goal. For instance, the National University of Singapore organised a hackathon called Commuthon in collaboration with SMRT that was geared towards improving commuter experience in 2014.

Check out some hackathon ideas others have already experimented with here:

2. Clear communication

Hackers tend to be very forgiving if you are not able to provide certain things at the hackathon as long as you communicate the message to them effectively! What they do expect however is you being able to reach out to them effectively using various communication channels such as social media, e-mails and websites (you should be a master of digital communication). You can use channels such as Techinasia, EventNook, e27,, etc.

Reach out through startup communities as well! Startup communities in Singapore include Open Coffee ClubStartup Club, and the SEN meetup.

Provide ample amount of information, such as getting to the venues and back, changes to the schedule, what to bring and expect, etc. Clear communication sustains engagement.

3. Venues

A venue decision should be made in consideration of sleeping and showering arrangements, connectivity, accessibility, ambience, size, pricing, power socket presence and AV (especially for demos should be functioning). Make provisions for hardware hacks that may require electric testing or isolation.


Make sure to ask for necessary accommodations for people who may be less able to access the venue. Insurance such as against  fire and theft, as well as for you as an organiser should be in place and communicated if they aren’t.

Security will also be important especially since people will be bringing expensive valuables like laptops and perhaps their own high-tech toys. While participants have the responsibility to take care of their own items, prevention is better than cure and you wouldn’t want a lost item to ruin your event.

4. Sponsorship

Sponsors can come in the form of a venue sponsor, food sponsor, prize sponsor and more! However, sponsors tend to expect to have some airtime to pitch themselves to your attendees. The more sponsors you have, the more likely will your event be overrun by corporate messaging and in-your-face advertising. As an organiser, you need to be able to balance both. Try to help your sponsors be relevant to the hackathon. Find sponsors that can provide useful APIs or deploy experienced staff to serve as judges so that they can boost their brand in a less intrusive way.

5. When?

Check for clashes. Don’t organise a hackathon on the day of another prominent startup weekend in the vicinity. Many hackers tend to be very active in attending hackathons and you will significantly reduce your turnout if there are clashes.

Try to organise your hackathon over the weekend to maximise turnout as most hackers are full-time employees or entrepreneurs as well!

6. Food

Over-order on food especially if it is an overnight event. When these hackers are in the zone, eating becomes last on their priority and making sure that there is ample amounts of easily accessible food is important to prevent any health mishaps. It helps greatly if the food you serve is easily eaten as well! Avoid soupy or dripping stuff to lighten your cleaning upload later.

Check for special dietary requirements as well during registration for the event.



7. Network

Wifi should be able to accommodate at least 4 devices per person, there should be minimal firewalling and malware checks, and you should have backup ethernet and cables available in case of a wifi unavailability.

Organisers should also make sure to absolve themselves of liability if there should be intrusion caused over the network and individuals should secure their own devices.

8. APIs

Check the APIs beforehand, make sure they are available in at least 3 major languages and get technical people to present them because questions will be highly technical. Make sure to compile comprehensive API documentation for the convenience of the attendees.

9. Pay attention to negativities in the room

Any discriminatory language, bitter feelings, cheating, etc. should be put to a stop before they grow out of hand. This requires the event organiser to be on their toes in making sure they can pre-empt and mitigate issues on the event day.

There should be a conducive and collaborative atmosphere in the room. Some form of respect for privacy is appreciated and make sure to encourage spontaneity and fun as well!


10. Hack submissions

Make it as easy and straightforward as possible. You can check out some third-party services like Hacker League,, or to help you organise submissions.

Make sure to test run the AV equipment required for effective demos. Technical glitches at a hackathon filled with technical experts just do not speak well of your event.


About EventNook:

Event Mangement Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

Contact us:
Phone: +65 6681-6571

Hip venues for your next professional networking event in Singapore

BannerEvery professional networking session tries to strike a balance between a sophisticated ambience, a conducive environment for networking and plenty of drinks to go around. So how can you set your event apart? The event venue can help make your networking event that much more memorable, and Singapore has loads to offer event planners organising professional networking sessions.

1. Acid Bar

180 Orchard Road
Peranakan Place, Singapore 238846

Housed within a quaint restored shop house, Acid Bar draws you in with its intimate ambience and soothing melodies.

Designed for both the casual and sophisticated; naked Edison lights add to the to-be-seen vibe of this hidden joint. Fused with its inviting acoustic rhythms – from jazz, pop and rock to classic evergreens and alternative numbers – by its resident bands, this venue will make your networking event classier and more fun!

If you want a relaxing, cozy and musical networking session with great food and drinks, then Acid Bar is the place to have your next professional networking session!

2. Canvas Singapore

20 Upper Circular Road
#B1-01/06, The Riverwalk, Singapore 058416
CANVAS aims to develop a content-rich environment, providing a unique social gathering and entertainment lifestyle space. The furniture can be moved around, you have state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and team, as well as a great bar.
 CANVAS is creatively programmed with international, regional and local artists in digital art, music, installations, street art, photography, fashion, and film, to create a highly artistic and unique venue. It is one venue that will wow your networking guests.

Canvas transforms from a daytime art gallery into a forward-thinking nightclub, delivering a truly different lifestyle experience to its patrons.
A truly unique and flexible venue, EventNook also hosted its own networking session- Chill Out with Event Professionals here in July!
Outdoor networking for when the sun goes down. The wall extends to a projector as well!



1 Bayfront Avenue Singapore
SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3, Singapore 018971

KU DÉ TA provides a backdrop and atmosphere that is spectacularly unparalleled and unforgettable. Set against the Singapore skylight, make your networking session truly cosmopolitan with this breathtaking venue.

Designed and crafted to optimise the stunning 200-metre-high views of Marina Bay Sands, while providing a versatile space for intimate or grand functions, Ku De Ta is another venue that will leave a lasting impression amongst your guests.

The backdrop is also a great setting for conversations to spark, as well as give off a professional and sophisticated flair.

Whether it’s an all-business gathering by day or a celebration by night, Ku De Ta has the space, capacity, custom menus, staff and professionalism to deliver a truly extraordinary event.

4. Plug-in @ Blk 71

71 Ayer Rajah Crescent
#02-18, Singapore 139951

Plugin@Blk71Not located at a prime location like the other venues on this list but if you are looking to plan a startup networking session then this will be a great fit. Open to startups working at Blk 71, this place holds its own networking sessions every week for its own startups!

Photo Credits:

Located in the heart of Ayer Rajah Crescent which houses the highest density of Singaporean startups, you will be in close proximity to your guests if your networking session is targeted at startups.

It has a casual setting and can be very flexible to your needs. It truly embodies the startup culture and your guests will feel right at home to strike up meaningful conversations and build lasting relations.

5. Switch by Timbre

73 Bras Basah Road
#01-01/02, Singapore 189556

The Timbre venues pride itself for being the performance place for local artists. Booking out the venue will give you great staging equipment required for any presentations or spontaneous karaoke sessions, sure to make your networking session a very musical and lively one!

With a seating capacity of 250, you don’t have to worry about jamming all your guests into uncomfortably close quarters. There will be seats all around so that guests can network comfortably. And Timbre is well-known for its food and beverages as well. This will make your guests want to stay longer and mingle!


Looking for your next event venue in Singapore?

with EventNook’s newly launched venue directory FREE and get access to the best venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong for any type of event (corporate function, weddings, parties, product launches, etc.)

Organizing or Planning an event?

Try out EventNook for online event registrationevent ticketing and onsite event registration and check-in!
Contact us:
Phone: +65 6681-6571