Networking at Industry Hackathons or Competitions: Tips for Success

Networking at Industry Hackathons or Competitions: Tips for Success

Hackathons and industry competitions are excellent opportunities for professionals to showcase their skills, learn from others, and build connections. However, to fully leverage these events, you need to know how to network effectively. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your next industry hackathon or competition:

1. Research and Prepare

Before attending the event, research the participating companies, speakers, and attendees. Identify the individuals and organizations you want to connect with and prepare an elevator pitch to introduce yourself and your goals. This will help you make a strong first impression and demonstrate your enthusiasm and professionalism.

2. Dress Appropriately

Dressing appropriately for the event shows respect for the organizers, participants, and yourself. Dress in attire that is comfortable, yet professional, and aligns with the event's dress code. This will help you feel confident and approachable, making it easier to start conversations and build connections.

3. Be Open and Approachable

Networking is about building relationships, so be open and approachable. Smile, maintain eye contact, and listen actively when speaking with others. Show genuine interest in their work, experiences, and goals. This will help you establish a connection and create a positive impression.

4. Participate Actively

Hackathons and industry competitions are not just about showcasing your skills; they're also about learning from others and collaborating on projects. Participate actively in workshops, discussions, and team challenges. This will help you demonstrate your expertise, build your reputation, and create opportunities for collaboration and mentorship.

5. Follow Up and Stay Connected

After the event, follow up with the connections you've made. Send personalized messages to thank them for their time and insights. Connect with them on professional networking platforms, such as LinkedIn, and engage with their content. This will help you maintain the relationships you've built and create opportunities for future collaboration and growth.

6. Be Patient and Persistent

Networking takes time and effort. Don't expect to build deep connections overnight. Be patient and persistent in your efforts. Attend multiple events, engage with your connections regularly, and look for opportunities to collaborate and support each other. Over time, these efforts will pay off and lead to meaningful relationships and opportunities.

7. Give Back and Support Others

Networking is a two-way street. While it's important to seek opportunities for yourself, it's equally important to give back and support others. Offer your expertise, share your resources, and help your connections achieve their goals. This will not only strengthen your relationships but also enhance your reputation as a valuable and supportive networker.


Networking at industry hackathons or competitions can be a game-changer for your career. By researching and preparing, dressing appropriately, being open and approachable, participating actively, following up and staying connected, being patient and persistent, and giving back and supporting others, you can build meaningful relationships, gain opportunities, and enhance your professional growth.

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