The overwhelming amount of interest in TechCrunch Disrupt this year has created logistical problems for the organizers of this weekend’s hackathon, who had to find a venue that was big enough, provide enough food, budget three hours (!!!) for demos, and became so stressed that at one point they accidentally revealed all the participants’ email addresses in a classic bcc fail. But there is another shortage, one that can’t be helped. “Any team that demos on stage on Sunday will get 2 tickets to the Disrupt Conference,” Mr. Korula posted on TechCrunch at the end of April–but it’s now looking like there may not be enough tickets to go around.
About 700 people signed up for the 24-hour TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon and demos this weekend. (The final number of participants will probably be closer to 400-500 as not everyone will finish, not everyone will show up, and some will be there just to watch. “Not all those sign-ups are hackers,” organizer Tarikh Korula said. “If they were, we’d be screwed because we’d have 12 hours of presentations.”) He’s expecting 100 to 120 teams will complete the hackathon and have a product to demo, which is more than twice the number of teams that presented last year; but they’re prepared to accommodate up to 170 teams presenting for 60 seconds each.
Last year, everyone who participated in the hackathon got a ticket to the conference, Mr. Korula said. That won’t be possible this year. TechCrunch will likely have to award one ticket to each presenting team and tickets for everyone in the top teams or some such combination in order to keep things fair and lock out any potential freeloaders. “There’s a limited pool of tickets for the conference. We have to just be creative about who gets tickets and who doesn’t get tickets,” Mr. Korula said. “Both the hackathon and the conference have gotten more exposure. They’re just bigger and more people want to go.
“Some number of people just want to go to the hackathon and try to scam free tickets to the event. That’s not a lot of people by the way–we just want to make sure that it’s actually fair to people who, you know, worked hard,” he said.
TechCrunch didn’t say how many tickets it’s allocated for hackers (we heard 200 on the streets) but Mr. Korula said every presenting team will get at least one ticket.
Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Google and Mashery will all be at the hackathon, presenting workshops on their developer tools (and recruiting, as always). The hacker union NYHacker is presenting APIs from New York companies including the Brooklyn Museum, Aviary and Hyperlocal.
Despite the overcrowding, members of the public can still sign up to see demos on Sunday. There is a limited number of hacker spots available day of tomorrow when registration opens at 12:30 p.m., and designers can slip in through the Design Trust.
UPDATE: TechCrunch just put up a post saying they hope to add another 100 to 150 hackers with on-site registration Saturday.
UPDATE: TechCrunch sent us an official statement. Hackers on winning teams will all get tickets, presenting teams will get one ticket per team, and everyone who participates in the hackathon is eligible for a discount on the ticket price.