Hackathons/Handbook/Event week

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Gearing up for the best and most intense weekend of your year.

There is no way to fully prepare for all the spontaneous things you have to manage, but you can make sure you get as close as possible to planning the un-plan-able. 

Here are a few steps you can take to get as ready as possible: 

Create a plan of action for your team[edit]

Make a plan of action for the whole team for the event week. You have planned everything according to the timeline, but the closer the event comes, the more little things you will have to keep track of. 

It's a good idea to sit down for a big meeting with your entire team on the Monday before the event weekend, and make a detailed plan of action for the event week. 

General tips[edit]

When you create your plan of action, don't forget to talk it over with the WMF team! 

Your timeline and your plan of action are closely related – make sure that you don't miss anything from either.

If you need more helping hands to set up the venue, engage other participants to help you spontaneously, make it a fun activity. 

The most intensive days for organizers are: 

  • day 0 (day before the event) - main responsibilities for people who: set up the venue, manage registration desk, handle press inquiries
  • day 1 (first day of the event) - main responsibilities for people who: manage registration desk, give opening address, oversee program and sessions

Templates and examples[edit]

Einsatzplan (German for "plan of action") by WMAT, organizers of the Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 Vienna.

Make a packing list[edit]

Make a list of all the big and little things you need to pack. There's going to be lots of stuff you have to move to the venue. 

Phabricator task associated with this list: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T164629.

General tips[edit]

  • Transportation:
    • Consider hiring a transportation company
    • Make a schedule with the drivers/ car owners in your team
    • Or just take taxis to transport stuff from your office/ the shops to the venue
    • Have material shipped to the venue directly (sponsoring materials, printing materials, etc.)
  • Get supplies from previous hackathon organizers and the WMF team, e.g. generic logo banners and table signs.
  • Different teams need different lists! Make your own packing list, and update the following template with your learnings:

Packing list template[edit]

Registration and help desk[edit]

  • exhibition stand (as table for registration desk) 
  • card index box (for registration desk to sort name tags) 
  • Name badges incl. conference booklets and vouchers for drinks
  • plastic covers for name badges
  • regular lanyards
  • no-photo lanyards
  • Stickers 
  • T-shirts 
    • for staff
    • for mentors 
    • for participants
  • flyers for membership for chapter
  • flyers for sponsoring for chapter
  • all sponsoring material that was not sent to venue directly 
  • First aid kit (pain killers etc.)


  • goodies for mentors (e.g. Maria Theresia silver coins at Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 Vienna)
  • Stickers / branded give-aways 
    • with chapter logo 
    • with hackathon logo
  • branded goodies for all participants 
    • eg. post cards (at Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 Vienna)
    • eg. water bottles (at Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 Vienna) plus blank labels for water bottles
  • monitor-wipes (400 individually packaged, goodies for participants at help desk)
  • chocolate or other candy (goodies for participants at help desk)
  • bathroom supplies (deodorant, tampons, dental floss, etc., to be put in bathrooms (Those 3 in particular, and optionally more or more)

General supplies[edit]

  • Big trash bags (2 packages)
  • see-through sticky tape (for paper)
  • painter's tape (removable from wall without damaging it)
  • duct tape (makes cables stick to the ground)
  • 6 pairs of scissors
  • Post-its: 4 packages of each size: small (38mm x 51mm), medium (76x76), large (76x124)
  • White board markers 
  • 4 black permanent markers
  • 10 black markers for name tags and miscellaneous 
  • 50 sheets of blank paper with hackathon logo (to be used for table signs and other purposes)
  • 50 clear sheets (for signs to hang)

Technical supplies[edit]

  • extra power adaptors 
  • cables and electrical outlets (2 devices per participant)
  • projector connections of various types 
  • USB-sticks (to put slideshows of sponsor logos on screens in venue, plus for miscellaneous)

Hacking tables[edit]

  • colorful markers, pens and crayons (for participants to draw on tables)
  • wrapping paper for tables 
  • Table signs

Signs, banners, roll-ups, posters[edit]

Fun stuff[edit]

  • acoustic guitar (e.g. for dance and music sessions in the evening)
  • plushies and name tags for plushies
  • costumes for selfie station at party (e.g. like at Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 Vienna)