Saturday and Sunday 2nd-3rd May 2015 saw Tech Nottingham host the inaugural Hack24 at the iconic Broadway venue in Nottingham: 15 hacking teams, over 100 people through the door, 16 amazing coding projects, over 1000 tweets, 3062 Slack messages, the most ridiculous game of Family Fortunes ever played, video games in a cinema designed by Paul Smith and one amazing weekend.

For many of the hackers, this was their first hack event and we are delighted that we were able to facilitate their involvement. Using Slack in the run-up to and during the event meant that people could chat to one another and join teams, and also get in touch with the organisers, staff and sponsors at the click of a button. The Hack24 Slack group was a key part of the event and we look forward to using it again next year.

The 6 challenges put forward by our challenge sponsors were met with great enthusiasm and the hackers dived straight into their projects at midday on Saturday. Broadway catered for the hackers and staff throughout the weekend with a fantastic selection of food laid out in the Mezzanine Bar. There was a great atmosphere in all of the hackspaces - relaxed, friendly and fun. Photographs and videos were taken throughout the weekend by Ben and David - you can see a selection of the photographs here. And we even had a couple of massage therapists in the TDX lounge for hackers (and the odd staff member) who wanted a treat! 

During the evening and into the night entertainment was provided to give the hackers a break from their screens. Cue Andrew Seward in a pink jacket and sparkly gold tie doing his very best Les Dennis impression as he hosted Hack24 Family Fortunes* in the Paul Smith Screen 4 cinema at Broadway. Hack24 hoodies (designed and provided by JH - thanks guys!) were prizes for the winning team and went down so well that next year we may look to give away hoodies instead of t-shirts as swag! Family Fortunes was followed by a HD music demo by Paul Shannon of 7digital and then GTA V on the big screen until the early hours of the morning.

Sunday saw hacking end at midday followed by a couple of hours of putting together submission videos and the judges talking to the hackers about their projects. Whilst the hackers had lunch and a few drinks to wind down after a busy weekend, the judges reviewed the videos in the TDX lounge to whittle down the 16 submissions to just 6 (well, 7 to be precise) worthy winners.

5pm and everyone gathered in Screen 4 for the awards ceremony. After a brief introduction by the now-always-to-be-known-as effervescent Andrew, each of the challenge sponsors announced the winner of their challenge and presented them with their prizes, and the winning video submissions were played on the cinema screen, to much hilarity. We were so impressed with the standard of the videos that we are toying with the idea of having a prize for best video next year…

Hack24 over and many people headed to Das Kino for ping pong and drinks, hosted by UNiDAYs. An ice cold G&T was exactly what was needed after an exhausting but exhilarating weekend. Huge thanks to all involved: hackers, staff and sponsors. We couldn’t have done it without you.

See you next year!

*Disclaimer: we did not survey 100 people. We surveyed 86 people, including Andrew’s mum.

Special thanks (in no particular order):

Hack24 volunteers: John With Beard, Jack Thorley, Shaun Hare, Roger Shingler, Karl Bagci, Mike Watson, James Ensor, Alastair Reilly, Pritpaul Sehmbi, Parminder Sehmbi, Jonathan Relf

Sponsors: Sam Wessel (Esendex), Neil O’Connor (Sequensis), Jamie Huskisson (JH), Anton Roe (Midland HR), Zan Kavtaskin (Midland HR), Garry Shutler (Cronofy), Adam Bird (Cronofy), Mathew Trivett (Broadway), Justian Blount (Cordius), Paul Shannon (7digital), Sabrina Munns (Unidays), Sarah Hancock (TDX), Dom Finn (North 51)

Broadway: Laura Cubley, Tasha King, John Tobin, David Deighton

Photography and Videography: Ben Lumley, David Duffin

Advice and support: Gemma Cameron (Hack Manchester), Joe Nash (MLH), Tim Fogarty (MLH)