Top 5 learnings from running a hack.

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Last week, we had the pleasure of running no less than two hacks – one with a bunch of fisherman (yes, you read that right) at the RNLI College in Poole, and the other was with students at Budmouth College in Weymouth as part of BIMA’s D-Day.

Both events were a massive success with people sharing brilliant ideas across apps, wearable tech, digital experiences and social experiments – the team came away absolutely inspired – we just wanted to do it again!

Continuing that spirit of sharing – if you’re looking to host a hackathon or workshop sometime soon – here are the 5 elements we found the most helpful in making both events so brilliant.


  • Invite the non-Digerati

    Just because you’re looking for digital ideas, doesn’t mean you need digital experts in the room. With technology playing a huge part in everyone’s lives, you’ll be amazed where and from whom the really cool ideas come from. Over 90% of our attendees last week confessed to “not being very technical” but surprised themselves with the brilliant ideas they came up with that were perfectly possible.


  • Prepare some ice-breakers

    Even the most confident of delegates can be stumped at the start of the ideas process. Get the conversation going with a few things to inspire. Whether its a list of questions for the team to go through or perhaps pre-loading a phone or tablet with apps / sites to look through – 1or 2 things to like or critique will get people talking quick-smart.


  • Step away from the devices!

    Whilst devices are good to inspire, don’t rely on them and the wifi facilities too much throughout the process! You’d be amazed by what you can design with a few post it notes and marker pens – and you can only fit so many people around a laptop.


  • Sleep or Eat on it

    Creating the next big thing in digital can be tiring (although we have to admit the students had a bit more stamina than the grown ups!). Sometimes stepping away for a bit to eat or even to sleep on the ideas discussed can bring people back with brighter ideas and fresh perspective. Don’t work them too hard!


  • Everyone’s a presenter

    Ensure every team pitches their ideas to the group – and that each team shares the spotlight when it comes to the presenting. Even if they say they don’t want to – they’ve worked hard for the idea they’re sharing and will thank you for making them get up on stage in the end.