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  • Writer's pictureSarah Xu

How Virtual Hackathons Host Social Events

When coronavirus sent 14 million college students home for the summer, Freetail Hackers organized SummerHacks, a 12-week long virtual hackathon. They were still deciding how to do team formation when they heard about Glimpse.

“We got a quick demo of Glimpse and we all thought, ‘This is super cool. We’ll definitely use this.’” said Didi Zhou, Outreach Director of Freetail Hackers.

Glimpse is the best way to engage large groups of people meaningfully. People in a virtual room engage in one-on-one, time-boxed video calls. During the call, mini-games and fun questions help to break the ice. SummerHacks used Glimpse for their three rounds of team formation. They scheduled Glimpse events so hackathon participants could mingle and form teams. If a participant met someone they wanted to work with, they messaged the person afterwards.

“It worked really well,” Didi said. “It’s hard to get that one-on-one connection with other people but also meet new people. I think that’s what’s really special about Glimpse.”

In addition to SummerHacks, other virtual hackathons including Pinnacle SF, HackDSC, and more have used Glimpse. HackDSC, a virtual hackathon that occurred in late April, used Glimpse for team formation and other social events.

“Glimpse helps you gain those connections that you may not have the chance to gain in other formats,” said Nikhil Vytla, Director of Sponsorships for HackDSC. “It was really fun having this informal yet fast-paced environment to meet people.”

Our Tips and Tricks

If you are planning a virtual hackathon or conference, here are some tips and tricks for using Glimpse:

  • Follow our Hosting Guide for general advice to get started :)

  • End your kick-off event with a link to a Glimpse room! It’s a great way for participants to meet new people and get excited about the hackathon

  • Customize the question prompts to suit your event/organization

  • Decide on a match length (default is 2 minutes) that makes sense for your use case

  • If you want to host speed-networking events with recruiters, contact for early access to this feature! In networking rooms, you can have two types of users for recruiters and students as well as have students upload their resumes.

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