How Showpass’ Internal Hackathon Resulted In New Prototypes

April 20, 2022

Ever imagine what a room full of inventive coders and creative go-getters looks like? Just like a Hackathon.

The Showpass Hackathon was a company-wide event to inspire curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving. The company put all other business practices on hold for five full days so team members could come together, and manifest an idea into reality! And the impact was next level.

The Process

Team members were lifted out of their regular day-to-day roles and brought into new Hackathon teams to focus on exploring novel ideas. Six teams were formed each consisting of a cross-departmental employee mix and each with a different project goal.

The team's home base was Platform Calgary Innovation Centre, allowing for an innovative playground full of bright light, breakout rooms, whiteboards, presentation tools, and more.

Each day all six teams gathered together in their groups to collaborate, brainstorm, and build.

What Allowed Innovation To Grow?

Learning a few things along the way, Showpass kept notes on how the Hackathon resulted in success.

Smaller Can Be Larger

With many departments and ideas put into one space, it can be hard to narrow an idea if there are too many voices in a room. The Showpass Hackathon adjusted along the way to form mini-groups within teams so project scope could be pinpointed and discussions could bloom.

Fuel Your Team

Coffee, breakfast, lunch and many snacks were essential while teams hacked it out! From local sponsors to Showpass’ in-house chef, there was never a lack of food to fuel everyone’s energy.

Have An Objective

It is important to have a Hackathon objective to provide teams with a guiding light that will steer them to an outcome. The objective is also important as it will play into the final judging. All Hackathon presentations were scored heavily on how successfully they achieved the objective.

Don’t Be Afraid to Have Fun

As important as idea generation is, it is almost more important to spend time with your team outside of brainstorming and content building. Quality team outings were encouraged and allowed everyone a mental break. From ice cream runs to patio dinners to karaoke!

Involve Mentors

Showpass leads were immersed in the Hackathon process by diving in to help each team hack it out. These floating mentors were used as resources for advice, creative ideas, and to take on project work to allow teams to move past a roadblock.

The Impact

As the Hackathon wrapped up with pitch presentations to guest judges, the results blew the Showpass team away.

Not only did the team walk away with an incredible bonding experience that invigorated the culture, but multiple innovations came from the event:

  • New site-wide design themes and upcoming landing pages
  • New community-based check-out and payment features
  • New customer interaction and profile personalization tools
  • Live audience growth investments  

Showpass can’t divulge too much yet on these features but the team is excited to continue pushing them forward for future launch dates!

Showpass loves to run internal Hackathons but also wants to share the experience with the YYC community. Follow along for exciting plans for a future Showpass public Hackathon!