Hackathons require you to gather various people to try to solve a problem. NFTs and Cryptocurrency like USDC are a hot topic right now, so they make for great hackathons. An NFT hackathon gives you a specific focus on increasing people's ability to access NFTs or creating NFTs. There are a lot of benefits to hosting an NFT hackathon, and organizing one is easy if you just follow this simple guide. 

What is an NFT hackathon?

NFTs stand for Non-Fungible Tokens. Something that is non-fungible means that it is unique and can't be replaced by anything else. An NFT is a unique digital creation that someone can sell to the highest bidder on the NFT marketplace.

The issue is that NFTs are becoming more popular than the Ethereum blockchain and Web3 systems can handle. Eddy Travia, CEO of Coinsilium Group, was an early investor in blockchain, but it needs more people looking at it to continue developing. NFT hackathons seek to create ways to improve Web3 capabilities and find ways for more people to interact with NFTs. NFT hackathons can also be used to produce larger quantities of digital products to sell as NFTs.

Benefits of hosting an NFT hackathon 

If you aren't sure about hosting an NFT hackathon, the following benefits might convince you why NFT hackathons are a good idea.

Benefit 1: Create Communities Outside Your Business

When you host an external hackathon where you invite people from outside your business sphere, you can meet interesting people. You can then develop relationships with those people and see what they bring to your business. If you connect with people in the NFT sphere, they can help bring that knowledge to your business and create a positive ecosystem.

Benefit 2: Get Your Brand Out There

Hackathons are great for getting information about your business out into the world. The more people you attract to your hackathon, the more people there will be talking about your company. Make it a point to emphasize your brand and mission statement at the hackathon, and you've just earned yourself some advertising.

Benefit 3: An Outside Perspective

If you own a blockchain technology company, your employees are probably working nearly around the clock trying to increase access to creating NFTs and existing in the NFT space as a whole. However, sometimes when you try to do something for a long time, you hit roadblocks and can't figure it out. Hosting a hackathon brings in people from the outside who might help you break through your problem.

How to run a successful hackathon on NFTs: A full seven-step guide

NFT developers fully understand NFTs and how projects are developed using NFTs. If you are hosting a hackathon focused on NFTs, you will want to invite several NFT developers and hackers to develop solutions for the NFT space. Follow the steps below to organize your first NFT hackathon.

Step 1: Venue, date, and goal

The first things you need to establish are a date and venue for your hackathon, along with what you want to get out of it.

Make sure the date doesn't conflict with other big events related to your business/NFTs. Plan it for at least a couple of months out to give people time to respond. Then, find a venue that is available on the date and will meet all the needs of your hackathon. Make sure to consider how many people will be coming and what your electrical and internet needs are. Finally, determine exactly what kind of products you want people to produce during your event.

Step 2: Judging 

Once you have all of your preliminary details figured out, the next thing you need to think about is finding judges and determining your judging criteria. This is where you have to figure out exactly what you want to achieve with your hackathon. You and your participants must know precisely what the judges are looking for to determine a winner.

Since this is an NFT hackathon, you will want your judging criteria related to NFTs. You could even break your winners down into trending categories such as best NFT payment solution, creating applications for a specific space like the open-source Rarible Protocol, or creating NFTs around specific themes like games. The latter would help you attract game developers.

When it comes to picking judges, the number you choose depends on the total number of participants. However, the people you pick should mix people from your company and those working in the NFT space. You can use well-known names in the NFT scene to help draw people to your hackathon. Make sure your judges arrive early on the day of the event so that you can go over their responsibilities with them. Keep in mind that if you were to do a different hackathon, like a fashion tech hackathon, you would want to find judges in that area.

Step 3: Anticipation

It's important to put your event out there to the furthest extent possible to try to recruit as many different people as possible to participate. Ensure you build a large web presence for your event on places like social media, Socrata, and Reddit. You can also go to local college campuses and put up posters about the event. Ensure all your messaging gives clear information about when and where the hackathon will be, who can participate, what the prizes are, and how people can sign up. If you manage to snag judges from the NFT space, make sure to emphasize that on all the messaging about the event.

Hackathons can be expensive, so while building anticipation for your event, you will also want to reach out to businesses to act as sponsors. People tend to be willing to shell out a little extra money or manpower to get their business name out there. If you can get companies who work with NFTs to sponsor, you run a greater chance of getting more people to participate.

Step 4: Acquiring what you need

At this point, your next area of focus is getting everything you will need for the day of the event. First, you want to make sure you order plenty of food and drinks for everyone. They will be working hard and need plenty of substance to get them through the day. On that note, make sure you provide plenty of caffeine to keep the participants going. If you are hosting an all-day hackathon, you will want to provide a light breakfast and foods like sandwiches and pizza for lunch and dinner. Make sure to ask about any food allergies at sign-up and ensure you have options for those people.

In terms of equipment, consider the following list of things:

  • A projector to introduce the event and potentially for people to use to show off their projects
  • Plenty of power strips to ensure everyone has a space to plug in a device or two
  • Enough tables and chairs for all the participants
  • Ensure you have enough bandwidth to support the number of people working.
  • Extra tech like cables and USB drives for people who forget to bring them

Step 5: The night before the event

When you decide on the venue for your event back in step one, make sure you can get in the night before to get set up. You will want to put up tables and chairs in advance, along with signs indicating important places like the bathroom and workspace. You will also want a sign telling people how to get on the internet at that location and another one with a breakdown of the schedule for the day.

Another helpful thing to do the night before is to make up name tags for the staff at your event. It's important your attendees know who can answer their questions. You might even consider getting some t-shirts for all the event staff to wear.

Step 6: The day of the event

During the hackathon, you will want people/mentors available to walk around the space and answer any questions. Make sure to have extra plans in place in case anything goes wrong. For instance, having some Ethernet connections if the Wi-Fi goes out and wiggle room in the schedule in case things run behind.

Step 7: After the event

After the hackathon has wrapped up, there are still important tasks to be completed. Email everyone who attended and thank them for coming. If you are planning any upcoming events, make sure to let them know about them. This is also a great opportunity to ask for feedback about how the hackathon went. You can then use that information to make your next hackathon even better.

Common mistakes to avoid when organizing NFT hackathons

When you are organizing your NFT hackathon, there are certain things you want to avoid doing, such as only considering static NFTs or dynamic NFTs. Here are a few examples of things to avoid when organizing your NFT hackathon.

Mistake 1: Not allowing a variety

When it comes to NFTs, there are static NFTs and dynamic NFTs. A static NFT cannot be changed once it is created, while a dynamic NFT can be changed after its creation. For instance, a static baseball card NFT would list the stats of a player as of the time the person created the NFT. A dynamic NFT, on the other hand, could be updated as new stats become available.

How to prevent mistake number 1

This is an easy mistake to avoid. Make it a point in your messaging about your hackathon event that you are encouraging people to consider both static and dynamic NFTs. You could even have specific judging categories for static NFTs and dynamic NFTs.

Mistake 2: Poorly defined goals

If it isn't clear what the goal of your hackathon is, you will not get the results you are hoping for. If the attendees don't have something specific to work towards, you will end up with products that don't match what you want. You want to have a moderately broad goal to encourage creativity, but you need to narrow it down in certain ways to keep participants on task.

How to avoid mistake number 2

If you follow the steps to organizing your hackathon above, you should have no trouble avoiding this mistake. One of the first things you should do is figure out your goals for the hackathon. Then, when you are advertising it, make it abundantly clear to the potential attendees what you are expecting.

Mistake 3: Lack of support

Even with a well-defined goal, it is still essential that you support the attendees of your hackathon. It is easy for people to fall astray when working, so you want to watch the participants to avoid that happening.

How to avoid mistake number 3

You should have staff dedicated to walking around and checking in with the participants during the event. They should be available to answer any questions and regularly assess what the attendees are working on. 

Two inspiring NFT hackathon ideas

While NFT hackathons are still pretty new, there are some great examples you can look at to help organize your own.

Idea 1: NFT Vision Hack

The NFT Vision Hack occurred from July-August 2021 and aimed to bring together talented creatives and engineers to push the boundaries of what people can do in the world of NFTs. This particular hackathon broke the competition down into the following categories:

  • Build on Rarible Protocol
  • NFT Payment solutions
  • A Scalable NFT Art Project
  • Gaming and NFTs

Idea 2: HackARThon

This hackathon occurred in October 2021 and was focused on bringing NFTs to a larger audience, while also helping artists control all the aspects of their art. Their secondary goal was to help fans engage with the artists they love in a dynamic way.

Looking for the right platform for your NFT hackathon? Try Hackathon.com

If you need a platform to host your hackathon, look no further than Hackathon.com. We have plenty of experience hosting hackathons and have connections worldwide to help your event be the best it can be. We can help you host an internal, external, or virtual hackathon, and you will gain access to our multitude of useful resources.

Final points

Hackathons are when you get a group of people together to create a product of some kind during a limited period. For example, you can use an NFT hackathon to find better ways to access the NFT space or create an assortment of products to be used as NFTs.

There are multiple benefits to hosting an NFT hackathon, including creating communities, getting your brand name out into the world, and getting new perspectives on a problem. Organizing and running a hackathon isn't a challenge if you follow the six simple steps outlined above. Look to the mentioned hackathons to get some inspiration and make sure to avoid making the mentioned mistakes.

Hackathon.com is a great place to get your hackathon set up, as we have plenty of experience and tools to get you going. Contact us today to start creating your hackathon.