Impactathon: 145 Staff Dedicate a Day of Innovation for Change

I’ve done Hackathons in the days of Melbourne It, Outware – outside the business, in the days of the dotcom bubble when real cash was on the table and when a certain company flew 500 people from around the world to Cannes. Never have I seen such engagement or enjoyment from such a large group of people. You and your team did an outstanding job! Thank you for driving an amazing day of invention, connection and fun.

– Steve McCormick
Chief Customer Architect
ARQ Group

Impactathon was next level!! It’s gone amazingly well.

– Tristan Sternson
ARQ Group

Well done today!! It was a really well run event and great to see unfold in real-time. Great experience and everyone I spoke to loved it!”

– Cameron Boog
Partner QLD
ARQ Group

Project Background

Impactathon is an ARQ pro bono event held annually to give back to our local community. Organised to help those in need of a solution to a real world problem by extending the depth of ARQ resources across a team of 145+ technology-savvy experts – who combined – provide a formidable think tank for ideation and implementation of innovative solutions.

The Challenge

  • How to drive internal company interest and encourage Impactathon registrations?
  • How do we make people feel like they are part of something worthy of a cause? 
  • The committee needed to be creative in the approach so interest was gained by all ARQ employees. 

COVID Lockdowns

  • How to unite 145 people across 3 states to deliver creative ideas for challenge statements in a COVID19 lockdown?
  • How do you maintain the engagement and interest of 145 people for an entire day when they are not in the same physical room?

Partner Organisations

  • Impactathon was not yet an event, and the committee had to convince NFP organisation to trust us with their problem statement. 


  • Who were going to be the judges? They needed to be external to ARQ so there was a level playing field. 
  • How to make it an efficient so the judges can judge 20 presentation on the day?
  • What would be the judging criteria in each presentation?



The tech stack used for Impactathon:

  • Miro boards: Planning
  • Power apps: Registrations, FAQ’s, on the day for teams and problem statements and then voting
  • Gathertown: The perfect virtual office environment that brought it all together.
  • MS Teams: On the day communications and back up meeting space, Q&A sessions with coaches
  • Slack: Communication in the lead up to the day

Teamwork and Communication

The behind the scenes committee worked tirelessly through the weeks leading up to Impactathon:

  • Creation of incentives for the registration of participants 
  • Plans made to move from a physical event to a virtual event
  • Use of other team members for design
  • Search for judges
  • Creation of judging criteria
  • Impact, desirability, feasibility, viability 
  • Creation of teams to ensure there was an even split of capabilities 
  • Ensuring each team had what they needed to be successful on the day


  • 145 participants
  • 20 teams
  • 3 impact areas
  • 8 external judges
  • 4 grand finalists
  • 100% online


The Impactathon committee was able to engage the whole ARQ organisation. Throughout the 8 week lead time there was consistent communication, regular updates and visual displays, which not only kept the interest, but built upon it. The final result was having over a third of the organisation participate. 


The 145 participants were not aware that there was a prize at the end. They signed up to be part of the day. They signed up to make an impact!


By pivoting and having a purely online event it allowed ARQ to have team members from different states and different capabilities that would have not been possible when in person.



Consistent, regular and open communication between all members of the Impactathon committee was vital to the success of the day. All members were open with ideas and happy to be involved in all tasks. 

On the day was no different. They approached it with a divide and conquer attitude. Allocating set tasks to each person ensured that all areas, problems and participants were covered should any issues arise. 



Having external judges allowed for the feeling of a real Hackathon. A real event that everyone took seriously. ARQ were where to make a difference.

The committee provided continuous communication with the judges, keeping them keen along the entire journey. 



The whole process from ideation to application development to event day was a smooth process. The Impactathon App was a key part as it covered details from registration to team allocation to FAQ’s on the day and then finally the voting.

About ARQ

ARQ is an AWS Premier Partner that makes great things happen for our customers. We are humble and don’t talk about what we do; we would rather talk about what our customers have achieved (or even better let them tell the world). ARQ is an AWS Managed Services Provider, holder of both the AWS Mobile Competency and the AWS data and Analytics competency. AWS raise the bar and we rise to meet it each year. Our capabilities and practice encompass everything in the cloud, advanced data, analytics, AI & ML and digital experiences across all channels. We are the true end-to-end partner for companies of all sizes that need the best, and value experience and expertise. We partner with half of the top 20 ASX and over 100 other Australian companies to help them get the best from their own cloud adoption journey.