How to hack a lecture

Tellus organizes events. Lots of events. And if you are organizing an event you often hope there are actually participants there. So, we market our events to reach students and others. We have a few tricks up our sleeves for that. This is a story of one of them.

The event in question was Brandathon, organized by Business Kitchen. It’s a two-day hackathon-like event in which future talents work with companies on their brand-related challenges and co-create future brand sensations. For companies, it is a great way to get to know future talents and to get fresh ideas. Companies include Kuntokeskus Liikku, Kotikatu365, and Smartblock. For students, it is a chance to work with interesting brands, network, learn from mentors who are hardcore marketing professionals and to win some prizes. 15 euros for the ticket of a two-day event in which food and high-quality mentors are provided, is nothing.

The organizer had set up two promotions at Oulu Business School lectures, the first one on Thursday and the second one on Friday. This is the story from Thursday morning:

“I arrive at University of Oulu at 7:35 with a smile on my face. I am, for once, extra early at work. The lecture starts at 8:15 meaning that I have time to eat breakfast at Café Hub and brush my teeth afterward to avoid a lettuce hanging between my teeth in front of the class.

I open my laptop to check the course and the lecture hall from my e-mail. I don’t have it on my laptop’s calendar. Weird. I check all the e-mails and Messenger messages: nothing. Even weirder. The organizer just yesterday reminded me what to say there. At this point, I am pretty sure that I had forgotten some face-to-face conversation about the location and I was going to mess up this visit. I send a desperate message to our work chat to get some help. It’s too early, no responses.

Then I remember one vague lead. I was told that the visits will likely be at the lectures of Master’s programme in Marketing or Entrepreneurship Minor Studies. I follow this lead, go through all the courses of marketing and entrepreneurship in WebOodi and find one suspect. Entrepreneuring for Tomorrow, a lecture at 8:15, maybe. But there is no lecture location in WebOodi. Y tho? I go to Tuudo, find the course and start to follow it to see it in my schedule. NO location there either. Impossible. I feel like JackBauerish (24) as I rush into the corridors as the clock is ticking.

As I am rushing down the corridor with a headache due to the missed morning coffee I see the light. Those shiny info screens near L1! I start going through the list of the lectures but as I approach the end I realize that this mystery lecture is NOT on the almighty list. As I’m giving up my pocket vibrates and I pull out my phone. I see the most beautiful text on the screen sent by one of my coworkers. “The lecture is at Business Kitchen - that is the place to be!”

The location of the lecture is basically the same point where I started this desperate race: Tellus and Business Kitchen. I arrive there as a semi-sweaty but happy man at 8:14. I see the lecturer opening up his computer and I approach him smiling.

ME: “Hi there!”


ME: “I assume you have been in touch with the Brandathon organizer about the brief promotion that I will deliver.”

L: “No, I actually have not…”

*my sweating re-intensifies, smile wipes away and I am totally puzzled how on earth this went wrong

ME: “Okay, do you know this person X that is organizing the event?”

L: “Yeah, but we haven’t spoken anything about this promotion. What was the name of the event?”

ME: “Brandathon, it is basically a two-day hackathon-like event that aims to create new brand success stories for the case companies. Your students might be interested in this.”

L: “How long would it take?”

ME: “Max 5 minutes.”

L: “Okay, you are welcome to do your promotion.”

Afterwards, I hear that the Brandathon organizer had thought that I wouldn’t be able to promote her event on that day. So, she hadn’t even contacted anyone about the promotion in question. There was actually nobody waiting for me as I rushed the corridors. There was no lecture to promote Brandathon at, nor a lecturer waiting for me to appear. It was all in my mind. But I was determined enough and failing to fulfill “the promise” I had made to the Brandathon organizer wasn’t an option so I actually created something that wasn’t there. If you aren’t happy with your environment and you’re confident enough, why not to change it.”

This is how you hack a lecture.


Atte Räinä
Tellus team
The author was once bertrayed by his friend. The author had a lettuce hanging between his teeth (super visible one) and he hanged out 3 hours after lunch with one of his friends. The lettuce was hanging there all the time they hanged out. At 3pm, another friend of author came to chat and laughed mockingly to that big piece of lettuce hanging loose. This is the very definition of betrayal. 

Last updated: 23.11.2017

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