When I attended my first Maker Faire Bay Area in 2010, one thing I was especially impressed by was the level to which makers took their booth designs. Taking into consideration signage, traffic flow, points and levels of interactivity, and supporting material, it was like the science fair & craft market of my dreams! Featuring everything from plastic crafts and hand-forged metal tools to robot guts and even a zine library, how a booth was designed largely dictated its level of interaction and subsequent success.
So for the current Road to Maker Faire Challenge, presented by Esurance, one of the criteria makers are being asked to consider is their booth design. There’s definitely some synergy in the air around this topic too, as the folks running the Seattle Mini Maker Faire recently conducted a public seminar to assist makers with booth design. Some really good points they raised include:
- Show things in process.
- Show the broken parts & failed experiments.
- Show the tools!
- Try and engage all audiences – from Young Makers to adults – with the same materials.
- And lastly consider how people will flow through your space.
Another great tip they give for inexperienced booth makers is to do trial runs at home. It’s only tables and chairs really – the rest is up to you! Layout a booth at home, look at it, and break it down. Wait a week and try putting it up again. See if anything has changed or should be changed. Sometimes a sign or a hands-on project is all it takes for your booth to be a success!