How to make virtual workshops and hackathons engaging and fun!

Organizing remote events is hard. Organizing virtual hackathons or workshops with many teams is even harder!

If you are thinking about hosting a virtual event or hybrid event, you might be asking yourself… - Do I need 100 Zoom accounts to create 100 Zoom links, that are available at the same time so that different groups can work at the same time? - How can the mentors and sponsors interact with participants, without sneaking into the Zoom calls? - How can I differentiate my event from other hackathons?




Hackathons are a little harder to organize virtually than your normal business meeting or webinar. Hackathons are more dynamic, they require people to split up in groups, then get together again. Mentors and Advisors want to jump from group to group to offer help and support. Participants want to meet with other groups and also build up a network. That being said, traditional tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom don’t really work. That’s why many Hackathon Organizers turn to 2gthr.


A virtual Hackathon deserves a special virtual location.

2gthr offers virtual offices and virtual spaces for events. Multiple conversations can happen at the same time, in different rooms, and participants can join conversations simply by clicking on the room they want to be part of.

Virtual hackathon spaces on 2gthr usually have one or more areas for the kickoff, 1:1 booths, workshop rooms, and most importantly co-working areas for the teams. All teams are able to work at the same time in the same tool without joining another tool for video conferencing! When it’s time for group sessions or announcements, everyone gathers on the main stage again.



How to set up an online hackathon

Let’s look at how hackathons can be organized on 2gthr:



Check out this space! https://app.2gthr.online/address/mediumhackathon


1. Kickoff and announcements — Let the fun begin!

To kick the event off, the organizers can either use our presenter mode to give an overview or they can go live on Youtube. The attendees then join the kickoff via Youtube, or watch the embedded live stream in 2gthr. In this area, everyone is muted and can talk to each other and also ask questions with the chat. Also content from other streaming services such as Twitch, Facebook, and Streamyard can be streamed to 2gthr.


2. Team and Mentor Spaces — Where ideas come to life!

For the teamwork, every team just jumps into one of the empty booths where they can work together. No need to switch to another conferencing or collaboration tool. Instead of 100 links, there is just one!

Sponsors and mentors can have rooms too! For teams, it is super easy to get in touch with their mentors when they had a question or when they were stuck. This way, mentors can simply join with one click — Without the hassle of looking for the right link to join the group.

If necessary, the teams can also split up in smaller groups or catch up with other teams 1:1 in one of the smaller spaces — Just like in the real world.


3. Breaks & Final Presentations on the Main Stage!

During hackathons, everyone comes frequently together again on the Main Stage. During the lunch break, the organizers sometimes share updates and answer questions.

The final presentations also happen here. Often, the organizers take advantage of 2gthrs Moderator Mode: The presenting team gets on the stage while everyone else is muted. This way there are no interruptions. If someone wants to ask a question, they can either use the chat or raise their hand to be called on stage. If you want to learn more about our moderator features, click here.


4. The Pub Quiz Afterparty — The best part!


The 2gthr Bar! https://app.2gthr.online/address/demo_lounge


The best part is usually the networking breaks and the social events! At one of the events we hosted, attendees really loved the Pub Quiz on 2gthr with Kahoot.it. In the evening everyone got together for a pub quiz and a few other games! Meeting in a cozy space with a virtual drink is more than deserved after a day full of work.

Did you know you can create your own bar on 2gthr as well? It’s one of our most used maps and we love it too! Invite your friends and let a fun evening begin! https://app.2gthr.online/create




Here's how the virtual Pub quiz looked like in 2gthr from international online hackathon unihack.cz.


2gthr is more engaging than traditional video conferencing

Even though Microsoft Teams and Zoom have breakout functionality, 2gthr feels more natural. You see what’s going on, everyone sees who’s there and it’s easy to join a new conversation — deliberately, without being assigned automatically. The organizers love 2gthr for the level of customization!



As a host, your priority is to make the event special and inspiring for everyone — we collaborated closely with the organizers to make the event a success.

Here are a few more examples of the maps we’ve used for hackathons:





If you are looking for a virtual space to host your hackathon or a large workshop — don’t even think about your usual conferencing tool! Surprise your audience with 2gthr!


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