Belgium's most epic online hackaton: exciting challenges, a cool design and an entertaining live show
At the beginning of december, the 8th edition of Hack The Future took place on Thola. It’s an initiative organised by The Cronos Group for final year students in IT, design, marketing, communication and business to get acquainted with the corporate world. The theme of this year’s online hackaton is ‘Identity’, a mysterious murder case that needs to be solved by the students.
Every year we organize a Hackathon. Due to the known reasons, we started looking for a solution that would allow us to offer the students a digital alternative. Thola has stolen our hearts and those of the students! Fast and efficient in set up thanks to the valuable collaboration with the Thola staff. User-friendly designed so that the students can easily find their way.
Although we prefer to organize our event live next year, we know we have a worthy alternative and that is very reassuring!
Jocelijn Geurts – Event organiser
Also for this year’s online hackaton edition, our design partner Once Storytelling created a tailor-made design that was fully aligned with the murder case. When entering the lobby, the students found themselves in front of the mansion where millionaire Jill Bridges was murdered. By clicking on the gates, they could enter the main of hall of the mansion from which they could access their own challenge.
All the rooms were designed in the same style, with the same colour palette. Even the avatars fitted perfectly in the murder theme. The students could choose from a wide range of detective avatars, whereas the coaches and Hack The Future team members had their own personalised avatars.
Working with different avatars does not only allow more variation but also enables a better recognition between different kind of users.
Personalised Thola features
To take this online hackaton to the next level, we developed some new Thola features which make the event even more user-friendly and personalised:
Customised profile fields and attendee info cards
This event included different types of users: students, coaches, event organisers and visitors. By default, all attendees have the same profile fields and info cards. To enable that different profile information can be displayed for different types of users, we extended our profile fields feature. For example: students would display their study and school in their attendee info card, wheras coaches would display their company name. Read more about this feature here.
Embedded external content
After the students pitched their results to the coaches and fellow students, everyone had to cast their votes. The voting was set up via an external application developed by Involved. To improve the user-friendliness of our platform and the event experience of the users, we upgraded our embedded element feature to integrate this voting tool into our Thola platform.
On top of that we also ensured that the users could access their own voting page automatically without having to log into the external application. Read more about this feature here.
Entertaining live show
The online hackaton kicked-off and concluded with a live show hosted by Yves and Sonja. This show was set up in the Moonbeat studio and streamed live into the cinema room with the support of Potvos. In the morning the students were welcomed and received some practical information about the event.
During the evening show, the winners and prices were announced. After each announcement, the students received a piece of evidence which allowed them to vote for the most suspicious person. Finally, all the missing pieces came together and the actual suspect was revealed.