Our Social Hackathons programme ran throughout Reading Week in November. Through these events, UCL students collaborated with local charities and community organisations to help solve their most pressing issues.

1st year Social Sciences student Candace Law took part in the Museum of Brands Social Hackathon, helping to come up with an engagement strategy and creative ways to engage with adults aged 25-35 who live within a 30 minute travel time. Read on to find out what she thought of the experience!

Tell us what you did!

We went to the Museum of Brands and were tasked with creating our own innovative and creative strategy with high-impact actions to generate visitors and awareness of the museum. We were given a budget of £500 to implement a strategy to help generate museum visitors.

We were divided into two groups to work more efficiently with the time we were given. One team was responsible to come up with marketing ideas for social media content, whereas the second team was asked to come up with a good engagement strategy – I was part of the social media team. Since taking pictures wasn’t allowed at the museum we thought it would be a great idea to create some fun & interactive areas in the museum where visitors can take selfies and pictures for Instagram and other social media platforms.

What made you decide to sign up for this Social Hackathon?

I did not actually sign up to this particular Social Hackathon at the Museum of Brands but instead was allocated to it - the surprise element was exciting! I wanted to participate in a Social Hackathon event since I have volunteered with UCL before and I believe that these opportunities are great to help out in the community. The thing that I found particularly great and unique about the Social Hackathon is that you can obverse the impact of your input straight away, which is very rewarding.

I think it was amazing to see how many innovative ideas we came up with in one session, considering we never worked as a group before. We all drew on our personal experiences and welcomed many different ideas to come up with the best possible solutions. It was also nice to meet people from all different backgrounds and interests who came together to work towards a common goal.

Were there any challenges?

I think the main challenge was that most of us did not have prior experience in marketing so we all tried to use our creativity and our team work skills to come up with the best ideas. Our instructors really encouraged us to use our creativity and personal interests to help us come up with an engaging marketing strategy.

Would you recommend doing a Social Hackathon to others?

Yes, definitely! I think the whole experience honed my team working skills and it was nice to meet many different people. It is amazing to see people who never met before come together and work so well together for a common cause.

My tip for future volunteers who would like to participate in a Social Hackathon is to not be afraid to meet new people and take risks. Everyone is in the same boat at first but as you go along you realise that everyone is super nice and keen to meet and work with new people as well. Give it a go!

I met so many engaged and interesting people who were really determined to make a change! 

If Candace's story has got you inspired to volunteer with Museum of Brands - check out all their current opportunities. We’ve also got lots of Museum and Galleries related roles as well, so you have lots to choose from! 

You can also find out more about our Social Hackathons and let us know if you’d like to be contacted ahead of the next events!