Anyone who’s participated in hackathons knows there’s nothing quite like them. Beyond the challenge of the prompt, the weeks of prep, and the pallets full of energy drinks, there’s a unique sense of community you get when you’re all facing the problems together. You meet people you never would have met, dream up solutions you never would have considered, and foster connections and ideas that will live on long after the timer’s stopped. For students, there’s no substitute.

It’s important to make sure that events like these have a home in the increasingly virtual era. That’s why Discord has joined forces with GitHub and Major League Hacking to produce the ultimate easy-to-use environment for running hackathons from anywhere in the world.

Among the many tools releasing in GitHub’s Virtual Event Kit on June 24, 2021, one of them will be a Discord Hackathon Server Template. Anyone looking to host their own virtual hackathon need only access the template and the push of a few buttons to get their new, fully functional server up and running instantly.

After that, activate Community on your server to unlock a variety of useful tools, including:

  • Stage ChannelsRun audio presentations where a few community members present to an audience.
  • Welcome ScreenGive members a rundown of your server’s best channels to check out as soon as they join.
  • Membership ScreeningVerify that new members have agreed to your rules and restrictions before accessing your channels.

If you’re new to running a Discord community, or online events in general, swing by GitHub’s Education Twitch page on June 29, 2021 at 8:30 AM PST where we’ll be joining the GitHub team to discuss how you can get the most out of our server template and the Digital Event Kit.

We’ll also hold panels on a few basic server management topics: moderation, best practice, bots, and other useful odds and ends. If you can’t catch the streams live, the VODs will be available at any time from the public repo here.

The Digital Event Kit is an incredibly exciting project to be part of. As virtual spaces become the new normal, they provide so many with the opportunity to network, grow, and explore spaces they could have never accessed before. It’s important to make sure that digital events aren’t just as easy, seamless, and productive as their in-person counterparts, but even more so.

Students will be able to access the Digital Event Kit through GitHub’s Student Developer Pack, along with countless other developer perks and benefits. See you at the hackathon!