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Actually, it’s less than three weeks until Maker Faire Bay Area! Who’s feeling prepared? Now’s a good time to start thinking about all the final details for bringing your awesome project to Maker Faire.  Josh and I have been gathering supplies for our Steampunk goggle-making workshop for awhile now, and it’s starting to come together.

Goggle making supplies (shop glasses, vacuum tubes, spark plugs, lense filters, spraypaint) for the Tanenbaum Fabrications booth

Goggle making supplies (shop glasses, vacuum tubes, spark plugs, lens filters, spraypaint) for the Tanenbaum Fabrications booth

Aside from finalizing your actual project, though, there are a handful of logistics you should be thinking about. First of all, go read the Maker Toolkit! Seriously, it has a ton of information, from practicalities about getting power and when to setup to advice on how to spread the word about Maker Faire and your booth. You should also be receiving Maker Newsletters with further details-check your inbox. The most recent one contained info on getting your entry passes and complimentary/discounted tickets. Make sure you register yourself and your exhibit staff so you can get in when you arrive!

mf countdown11 Three Week Countdown to the Bay Area Maker Faire!

You’ll meet a ton of people at the Faire, and some of them you’ll want to get in touch with afterwards, so you should think about easy and quick ways to exchange information. Business cards are an obvious choice, but maybe too formal and can cost a bit. A signup sheet can be good if you want to collect lots of people’s information, but some folks are wary of signing up for unknown amounts of email. A lot of people carry cell phones with cameras nowadays, so one low-cost option is to print & post a sign with your contact details. People can photograph the sign & get in touch with you later. The Maker Faire staff will provide you with a sign listing your exhibit name and the photo and description you provided when you signed up. But if you want folks to have your email address, you’ll have to provide that yourself.

There are lots of places to buy food and drink at the Faire, but it’s still easy to get dehydrated and hungry when the crowds are big and you don’t want to leave your booth. Pack some water bottles and snack food with you in case you don’t have time to get away.  If your booth is outside, sunscreen and wind protection are essential. Weather at the San Mateo site can vary from foggy to boiling hot, and the winds can get intense. Check the forecast as the weekend approaches.  If the winds will be high, and you’re going to have papers or other lightweight items outside, bring rocks or other objects to weigh them down.

I hope everyone’s projects are coming together! See you all at the Faire in three weeks!

Karen Tanenbaum

I am a technology researcher and designer; a Steampunk prop maker and costumer; a writer of both academic papers and blog posts; a voracious reader/watcher of science fiction. I am currently contributing to MAKE by writing about the Maker Faire. You can contact me via [email protected]


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