How a hackathon can boost your organization

During our interactive video hackathon, one of the teams used hihaho to create a Murder Mystery Game. “Usually it’s all business, but now we had to think outside the box”, Freddy Kalwij says. If you’re wondering if a hackathon could be useful for your organization, this blog is for you!

During a hackathon, people have to come up with a solution for a problem, a product or, in our case, an interactive video within a limited amount of time. “It was a lot of fun”, Marin Groothengel says, who created a video that will hopefully impress real estate agents. “I especially liked how colleagues from different departments worked together. Usually, everyone is busy with their own tasks. But now, from beginning to end, designers, consultants and developers were a team that made time to create something special.”

After two days of hard work, with lots of pizza, coffee and Dutch stroopwafels, we had six demo videos that show the possibilities of hihaho. We all voted for our top pick, and the winner was… *drum roll* the Murder Mystery Game! It never occured to us that hihaho could be used like this, so we were completely speechless when the result was revealed.

Pressure cooker

“The hackathon was very inspiring, and also chaotic, of course”, Sander Muller says, who was part of the winning team. “It made me realize that it’s possible to create a lot in two days, and also how we could improve our tool.” Freddy Kalwij calls the hackathon a ‘pressure cooker’. “Because of the time limit, it’s not possible to be a perfectionist, and this forces you to be more creative.”

Everyone agreed that our hackathon was a success. This is why our management team has decided to organize a hackathon twice a year. “At first, we weren’t sure how the team would respond to this”, Ivo van Halen, COO, says. “But when we saw how driven and enthusiastic everyone was, it was clear that we should do this more often.”

5 tips

Here are some tips for creating a successful hackathon.
1. Plan the dates far ahead and make sure that everyone has cleared their schedule.
2. Let everyone pitch their idea at the start, so people can decide which team they’d like to join.
3. Buy loads of food and drinks and have lunch and dinner (in our case: pizza) together. A hackathon is good for team building, and this way, you’ll get even more out of it.
4. Make sure that everyone shows their final result when the time is up. This motivates people to put every hour to good use, instead of doing other things and postponing their project.
5. Let teams vote and make sure there is a prize for the winning team. We joked a lot about winning and this created a good atmosphere.

Below, you can see some of the results for yourself:


#1: Murder Mystery. The star of the day! It might be a bit tricky to solve this crime, so make sure that you look for all the clues in the different rooms! 


#2: An impression of South East Asia for travel agencies. My video came in second. I love traveling and I was happy I could put all my videos to good use!


#3: This video shows how to promote and sell a home.


#4: Dreamscape. A movie that lets the viewer decide what happens next. Note: the creators, Rick and Roos, said they wanted to start the story with an ambulance and a hospital, but it was not possible to film this. The main character is in a coma and you should help her escape her dream.


#5: FAQ as an interactive video. Anne-Wil Tollenaar had only four hours to create this video, which is quite impressive.


#6: Would you like to train for a job interview? This video shows what happens when you give a smart or wrong answer.


We hope our story inspires you to organize your own hackathon! Good luck and have fun!

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Ivo van Halen

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