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Opening and Closing Ceremonies

Every hackathon has an opening and closing ceremony. This is a great way to introduce your event to your attendees, and give them all the information they'll need. This is also an opportunity for sponsors to talk too. Some also have presentations from the hackers.

This normally works well inside a lecture theatre or auditorium that has enough seating for your attendees, sponsors, volunteers, and organisers.

Opening Ceremony

A general structure:

  • Welcome to the hackathon
  • Event schedule
  • Things going on at the hackathon
  • Safety information (fire alarm, etc)
  • Mentors
  • Devpost
  • Sponsors
  • Challenges


Your hackathon may have presentations for all attendees, or just the finalist. Make sure you have some dongles to ensure they can connect up to the display. USB C and Mini Display port are very common (MacBooks and Surface Pros), but it doesn't hurt to have others too! Most lecture theatres have HDMI and VGA already in them, which will cover most situations. Some also have a visualiser that is useful for hardware hacks. Contact Will if you need to borrow dongles for your event.

Some of the things people might want for their presentation:

  • Audio out of their laptop
  • Video from 2 laptops
  • Camera feed on a hardware hack

Closing Ceremony

General structure:

  • Prizes
  • Thank yous to the sponsors
  • Final thank you

Add a professional touch to your AV

Will Russell has a box of dongles and adapters to help you connect up any computer to your displays / projectors. On top of that, he can also help with your ceremonies and presentations, adding background music and smooth transitions.

Hackathons he has worked with:

  • HackTheMidlands 4.0 as A/V Lead
  • OxfordHack 2019 by providing the dongle box and running the presentations
  • DurHack 2019 by running the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as providing the dongle box
  • ManMetHacks 2.0 as Official A/V Partner

Contact Will by email or on Twitter to see how he can help.


DurHack 2019

Will ran the A/V for our opening talks and helped bring a couple of great ideas about how to add polish and flair to bring energy to the room. He was able to adapt to our needs on-the-fly and keep transitions smooth between speakers.

Will also did a fantastic job of running our finalist presentations entirely by himself. Having heard about his legendary(!) A/V skills at OxfordHack 2019, I had full faith that Will would pull through and keep our presentations seamless and on schedule – and he stepped up to the challenge and ran the presentations with no drama. I was able to step back and focus on other things while Will got teams quickly and effectively onboarded with the relevant A/V set up, and was able to professionally handle issues and special requirements. I would love to have Will at every event I'm at!

Robbie Jakob-Whitworth, Lead Organiser, DurHack 2017–2019

ManMetHacks 2.0

Will's constant devotion to our event and the AV solutions involved were far more than anyone could have expected for a volunteer. He created animated assets that adhered to the branding guidelines and looked stunning and really added to the experience of opening ceremony. He also helped form the basis of our opening and closing ceremony slides and made doing finalist presentations a breeze due to picture-in-picture really helping for hardware hacks.

I first met Will at HackTheMidlands 4.0 and after seeing what an impressive job he and the rest of Levitation Events did with the sound, lighting and visuals, I almost begged him to be a part of ManMetHacks. He was a perfect addition to the team and the event couldn't have run smoother if we had tried thanks to his dedication and hard work.

Tom Misson, Organiser, ManMetHacks 2020

Last update: February 22, 2020