How to host a virtual hackathon


In recent years, with the increasing prevalence of remote work and the need for social distancing, virtual hackathons have become an increasingly popular way to participate in these events from the comfort of your own home.

Hackathons have long been a popular way for people to come together and collaborate on projects, share knowledge, and innovate in a competitive environment. 

Hosting a virtual hackathon can be a great way to foster creativity and bring people together from all over the world to solve real-world problems. 

However, organizing a successful virtual hackathon requires careful planning, coordination, and attention to detail.

In this guide, we will explore the key steps involved in hosting a hackathon.

Whether you are an experienced hackathon organizer or are hosting your first virtual event, this guide will provide you with the essential tools and strategies to ensure your hackathon is a success.

What Is A Hackathon?


A hackathon is an event where people come together to collaboratively work on software or hardware projects, often to create a functioning prototype or solve a real-world problem. 

Participants in a hackathon usually work in small teams and have a set amount of time to develop and present their projects to a panel of judges or a wider audience.

Hackathons are typically high-energy, fast-paced events where participants work long hours to develop their projects. 

They are often used as a way to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, and can be used in a variety of settings, including businesses, universities, and community organizations.

In recent years, virtual hackathons have become increasingly popular, allowing participants from all over the world to collaborate and innovate from the comfort of their own homes.

Benefits Of A Virtual Hackathon

A Virtual Hackathon

Virtual hackathons are a relatively new type of hackathon that has gained popularity in recent years, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

They are online events where people from different parts of the world can participate in hackathon activities without having to physically attend the event. 

This makes it possible for individuals who live far away from the event's physical location to participate, increasing diversity and bringing together a broader range of perspectives.

1. Accessibility

One of the primary benefits of these hackathons is accessibility. 

Participants can join the event from anywhere with an internet connection, which can significantly increase the number of people who can participate. 

This can lead to a more diverse group of participants, who may come from different backgrounds and have unique skill sets.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Another benefit is cost-effectiveness. 

In-person hackathons require renting physical space, providing food and lodging, and covering transportation costs for participants. 

They eliminate these expenses, making them more affordable and accessible for organizers and participants alike.

3. Flexibility

They also offer flexibility in scheduling. 

With participants joining from different time zones, the hackathon can be scheduled to accommodate everyone, allowing participants to work on their projects at their own pace and on their schedule. 

This flexibility can lead to better quality projects, as participants have more time to focus on the work at hand.

4. Ease Of Collaboration

In addition, they offer ease of collaboration. 

With the use of virtual collaboration tools such as video conferencing and shared project management platforms, teams can work together on projects, even if they are not in the same physical location. 

This means that participants can collaborate more easily with people from different parts of the world, leading to more diverse and innovative projects.

Overall, they offer a great opportunity for people from all over the world to collaborate and innovate in a cost-effective, flexible, and accessible way. 

As more and more people move towards remote work and collaboration, virtual hackathons are likely to continue growing in popularity.

How To Run A Hackathon Virtually?

How To Run A Hackathon Virtually

Wondering how to run a hackathon virtually?

Running a hackathon requires careful planning and execution. 

Here are the key steps involved when it comes to how to run a hackathon. 

1. Define The Theme And Goals

Choose a theme or focus area for your hackathon, and define clear goals for what participants should aim to achieve.

2. Set A Schedule

Create a schedule for the hackathon, including start and end times, as well as any specific deadlines for deliverables or presentations.

3. Choose A Virtual Platform

Select a virtual platform that can handle the needs of your hackathon, such as video conferencing, team collaboration, and project management. 

There are many options available, such as Oreed, Zoom, Slack, and Trello.

4. Recruit Participants

Advertise the hackathon through social media and other online channels, and encourage participants to register in advance.

5. Provide Guidelines And Resources

Provide participants with guidelines and resources for the hackathon, including any relevant datasets, APIs, or tools that they can use.

6. Organize Teams

Assign participants to teams, or allow them to form their teams based on shared interests and skills.

7. Facilitate Collaboration

Use virtual collaboration tools to facilitate communication and collaboration among team members, and provide guidance and support as needed.

8. Provide Mentorship And Feedback

Recruit mentors who can provide guidance and feedback to participants as they work on their projects.

9. Plan The Presentation And Judging

Set up a system for participants to present their projects virtually, and arrange for judges to evaluate the projects and select winners.

10. Celebrate The Winners

Announce the winners of the hackathon and celebrate their achievements with a virtual ceremony or other events.

By following these steps, you can run a successful hackathon virtually that engages participants, fosters innovation and collaboration, and produces meaningful outcomes.

Top 3 Virtual Hackathon Ideas

Here are three virtual hackathon ideas that could be organized:

1. HealthTech Hackathon

One virtual hackathon idea is the HealthTech hackathon.

This hackathon could focus on developing innovative solutions to address challenges in the healthcare industry. 

Participants could work on projects such as mobile apps that track symptoms, tools for telemedicine, or software that analyzes patient data to identify health risks. 

The hackathon could be hosted in partnership with healthcare organizations or research institutions and could attract participants from a range of backgrounds, including healthcare professionals, developers, and designers.

2. Sustainability Hackathon

This hackathon could focus on finding solutions to address environmental challenges such as climate change, pollution, and waste. 

Participants could work on projects such as mobile apps that track carbon footprints, tools for waste reduction, or software that analyzes energy usage in buildings. 

The hackathon could be hosted in partnership with environmental organizations or companies that prioritize sustainability and could attract participants from a range of backgrounds, including environmentalists, engineers, and data scientists.

3. Social Impact Hackathon

This hackathon could focus on developing solutions to address social challenges such as inequality, poverty, and access to education. 

Participants could work on projects such as mobile apps that connect underserved communities with resources, tools for supporting mental health, or software that analyzes data to identify patterns of discrimination. 

The hackathon could be hosted in partnership with social impact organizations or non-profits and could attract participants from a range of backgrounds, including social workers, developers, and designers.

Host Your Upcoming Virtual Event With Oreed

If you're in search of a reliable platform to host your upcoming virtual event, look no further than Oreed.

Oreed is an all-in-one event management platform that consolidates all event management capabilities onto one platform. 

It offers an array of features that can make your event even more successful, providing you with everything you need to ensure a successful event.

1. Easy Registration

Registration is a breeze with Oreed, simplifying the process and enabling attendees to make digital payments easily and efficiently. 

This streamlines the whole process, making it more efficient and stress-free.

2. Certifications And Accreditations

Oreed also assists with certifications and accreditations, acknowledging the complexities and time-consuming nature of the process. 

With Oreed's support, the process becomes smoother and less stressful.

So what are you waiting for? Book a demo with Oreed today.

Promote lifelong learning through Oreed by experiencing the most powerful all-in-one training and development intelligent platform that streamlines all your organization's learning, training, and development activities in one place.

Final Thoughts

Hosting a virtual hackathon can be a challenging but rewarding experience. 

With the right tools, planning, and execution, you can create a successful virtual event that brings people together to solve complex problems, build innovative solutions, and connect with like-minded individuals from around the world. 

Whether you're organizing a hackathon for the first time or looking to improve your existing events, the tips, and strategies outlined in this guide can help you make the most out of your hackathon. 

By staying organized, promoting engagement, and leveraging technology, you can create a memorable and impactful event that inspires creativity, collaboration, and innovation.


1. How do I host a virtual gathering?

To host a virtual gathering, you will need to select a video conferencing platform, such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams, and schedule a meeting or event. 

You can then invite participants via email or other communication methods, provide instructions on how to join the virtual gathering, and plan activities or topics to discuss. 

It is also important to ensure that all participants have access to the necessary technology and internet connection to participate in the virtual gathering.

2. What is a hackathon project example?

A hackathon project can take many different forms, depending on the theme and goals of the event. Here are a few hackathon project examples.

  • A mobile app that uses augmented reality to help people find their way around a city
  • A web-based platform that matches volunteers with local charities and non-profit organizations
  • A data visualization tool that helps people better understand the impact of climate change on their communities
  • An algorithm that analyzes social media data to identify and combat online bullying
  • A hardware device that helps people with visual impairments navigate public spaces more easily.

These are just a few hackathon project examples of the diverse range of projects that can come out of a hackathon. 

The possibilities are endless, and the only limit is the creativity and innovation of the participants.

Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter

Stay updated with the latest e-learning news and receive all the essential updates regarding the Oreed platform.

keep reading

Supporting your growth every step of the way

Our support superheroes are a click away to help you get the most out of, so you can focus on working without limits.



Support anytime, anywhere



Support anytime, anywhere


2 hour

Support anytime, anywhere

Book a demo

Welcome to your new training intelligent platform

unlock your organization's potential and prepare to become a global leader of the future

Book a demo