Running a Successful Appathon

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Host a fun and engaging low-code/no-code appathon session for your team that will encourage innovation

Run of a Successful Appathon

By this point, you’ve gotten through the pitching and planning stages, and you’re ready to host a low-code/no-code appathon! This lesson is all about tips and best practices on how to host a successful session. We’ll also look at some guidance on what to do after the appathon to ensure your participants sustain the momentum and continue learning citizen development.

Tips for a successful event

Throughout the previous lessons, we’ve seen that different hackathon setups work for different groups of people. No matter how you decide to structure your low-code/no-code appathon, there are three key aspects to maintain:

  1. Timing
  2. Collaboration
  3. Fun

Timing

  • Opening – ensure the participants know the timeframes for each activity in the appathon, and that time will be strictly managed
  • Building time – building while learning
  • Closing

Collaboration

  • Ask the moderator
  • Ask each other for help
  • Offer to help each other
  • Remember this is upskilling and learning as well as solution building

Fun

  • Start with an icebreaker game, even if everyone knows each other – this will set the right tone of playfulness for the event
  • Share your thoughts out loud – spontaneously expressing how you feel as you work through the challenges encourages other people to share as well, and even if you are going through a difficult task, this let’s off the steam and builds camaraderie

Now we can check out another Hear from the Experts and benefit from advice for holding successful sessions. Here’s a sneak peek of what they’ll share:

"The timing is very crucial. We had a time budget of three hours, but time management is very important – because it doesn’t matter if it’s great content if the participants never manage to get there."

"Never forget to have fun! Problem-solving should be fun, so think of it like building a puzzle. It might be challenging, but the point is to have fun. So try and make it fun and worthwhile for the participants."

Be creative and spread your ideas. Talk to each other, learn from each other, not only from the experts but from the other participants. There’s going to be times when you get frustrated, but keep going, and at the end, it will turn out fine."

After the Appathon

After you’ve completed the appathon, this shouldn’t mean that the journey is done for participants. The goal is to leave your participants with a sense of accomplishment, but also with a desire to learn more and to keep going with low-code/no-code.

There are many ways to keep the momentum going after the session is over, including:

  • Sharing what was learned or created. Participants can use social media or internal channels and newsletters.
  • Building on ideas and finding ways to expand those solutions.
  • Establishing a feedback loop and seeing how you can improve in your follow-up sessions.
  • Adding a competitive aspect for future sessions, if you didn’t do so for this first one.

Now that the team is familiar with the process and tooling, future sessions can become even more elaborate with more complex outcomes. These are just a few ideas, but above all you should encourage the team to keep applying their new citizen developer skills and sharing them throughout the team and beyond.

In the next lesson, we’ll look at how you can use these low-code/no-code appathons and other activities to grow the citizen developer community.

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