The day of the event

The specifics will differ a lot based on your venue and how you’re organizing the event, but the following is a good set of “rules of thumb” for how to run different phases of the event.

Setup and logistics

Show up early or come the night before and set up your venue. Specifics of what you’ll need will depend on your venue, but here are some guidelines:

The Event Kickoff

The kickoff sets the tone for the whole event. There’s no need to be overly formal, but a structure like the following works pretty well:

Pitches and team formation

Some more enterprising individuals may already have an idea what they want to build. This phase gives them a chance to pitch their idea and recruit to their cause. Ask people to line up if they want to pitch an idea, and give them thirty seconds to describe the following:

Use a timer to keep everybody honest. After their pitch, have them go stand by a table or pick a corner.

After pitches, give everybody a few minutes to self-select what teams they want to join and make introductions. If a team doesn’t reach critical mass, the individual who pitched the idea can be given the chance to “go it alone” or join another team.

Keep things moving

Once people start working, keep them focused:

Judges at #acApps2012

Team demos and judging

Get your judges ready, call everybody back into the main room, and get ready for teams to show off their work.

After the demos, move all the judges into another room and have them discuss each team and rank them. It’s okay to be a little subjective - it’s hard to judge based on scores alone.

Once the judges are done, gather everybody together again and announce your winners! It can also be great to have social time afterwards, but keep in mind some people will prefer to just go home.