Finding a venue
When looking for a venue, you want to pay attention to the following:
- Placement of electrical sockets
- Quality of network access
- Enough chairs and tables for hackers to use
- Overnight access (if it's a 24 hour hackathon)
In most cases if you are a student hackathon you'll end up running in one of the following:
- An Engineering Building
- A Business School Building
- A Students Union Building
Ideally, you shouldn't end up paying for a venue unless you are running an extremely large event.
You may however be asked to pay for cleaning or porter and security fees for your event as below.
If you cannot find a venue on campus and your university is in a major city you might find a local tech company willing to host you.
Getting a building for a whole weekend will take a lot of work. Your university will be very hesitant if they have not previously hosted a hackathon before.
It is NOT something you can sort out in two weeks. You will be bounced between different people trying to find who handles it as you cannot book though your normal room booking system.
To give a time frame, for CovHack we were trying to get our venue booked for about 4 months.
How security is handled really depends on your university. They'll have staff on anyway, but they may need to arrange for more people. This might be something you need to allocate extra funds for.
Remember to treat them well and offer them some of your food! Having security on your side will make running future events easier.
Security tend to be first aid and heavy lifting trained but is worth checking. This can be a big benefit for risk assessments and red tape.
Things to Consider
You can't "officially" let people sleep in most venues due to insurance reasons but your building's security mostly will relax the rule. Just say your sleeping room is a relaxation/quiet room. :)