Event Schedule

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It's go time — here is a sample make-a-thon schedule

The Make-a-Thon

2 hours before Kick Off: Arrive and finish set up

This is when the event organizers arrive and complete any last-minute preparation, brew coffee, set out breakfast, get ready for volunteers, set up AV, etc.

1 hour before Kick Off: Volunteers arrive

This is the time when most volunteers arrive and is the perfect chance to give a pep talk and get them prepared for the day ahead. Make sure the coffee is brewed and ready to go!

30 minutes before Kick Off: Registration and Breakfast

When makers start to arrive, volunteers will greet them. Since this is the first impression for the day, we keep it simple and friendly. Usually, it is as easy as saying hello, marking a name off a piece of paper, and directing them to their team's table. Everyone can help themselves to breakfast as they prepare for the day.

Event Kick Off

This is usually brief, but energizing. This is your opportunity to make sure the makers are pumped and that they have all the details they need for the space (bathrooms, WiFi, water, etc.)

Morning and Afternoon Breaks

While not required, these are more opportunities to show appreciation for the makers. Many organizers bring around surprises for the teams during these breaks including fresh cookies, smoothies, fruits and veggies, juice energy shots, etc. Some chapters plan for a stretch break in the afternoon or other activities to keep makers energized.


Makers won’t always stop for lunch, but offering space for them to relax and eat, even just for a few minutes is a key part of the day.

Nonprofit Check-ins

Nonprofit Check-ins are a chance for one or two nonprofit representative(s) to arrive and review the work done thus far, give feedback, and get excited for the demos in the evening. The nonprofit representative is greeted and then escorted to their team. Each nonprofit usually has ~30 minutes with their team so as not to take away too much time from the work itself.

It is ideal to have a separate space for check-ins and have one organizer present to help with any issues. It is best when it is the person that was part of their planning meeting. Because we want to be present at the check-ins we tend to spread them out over late morning and early afternoon.

Nonprofit Sessions

Some chapters hold nonprofit sessions in the afternoon to give the organizations a chance to learn even more about design, technology, communication, and marketing. These sessions are conducted by community members who are also specialists in their fields. Some topics have included social media, branding, SEO, marketing tools, etc.


Dinner sometimes blends into Demos + Drinks so we like to offer easy-to-grab foods for makers as they wrap up their work, and for nonprofits as they arrive for the big debut. However, this doesn’t mean that a seated dinner couldn’t be a fun way to end the night.

Demos + Drinks

We've made it! This is the time of the day to celebrate and showcase the amazing nonprofits and the tremendous projects. This should not feel like a pitch or a contest, but a celebration and community. This is also the time to give a heartfelt thank you and share your own appreciation and joy.

Often sponsors or community members will attend, the nonprofits and their guests will arrive and we’ll all start with a drink and a toast. This part of the evening should be informal, energetic, and emotionally moving. This should be the time when you let the makers and nonprofits share, but you should also share what the event meant to you and make sure everyone feels appreciated. This is about community and leaving them with the feeling that they are part of a new family.

After Party

After the excitement of demos, there is often leftover energy and a desire to connect with others. We like to give people a space, often part of the same location, to grab another drink, a snack, and a seat to continue the party.


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