Running a Maker Faire is hard work. Each Faire, be it mini, featured, or simply massive, brings its own collection of unique issues and problems. We may have amazing staff within Make: to set up guides and playbooks and run the events, but we simply can’t know everything (despite what some of us may claim). We rely on our community of experienced Maker Faire producers, those people who organize the events in cities around the world, to contribute their experiences, tips, and tricks as well.
This group of roughly 100 people traveled from all over the globe. There were representatives from many states, as well as places like Paris, Bilbao, Beijing, and Kiev. The moment that Dale Dougherty opened the inaugural event, I could tell that this wasn’t just going to be some kind of party for Maker Faire Elite. These folks were here to work. After volunteering months of their time to organize their local communities and run smooth Maker Faires, these dedicated producers have put together educational tracts and data breakdowns to help their fellow organizers.
Brainstorming sessions and talks were happening, then breaking apart and spawning newer smaller sessions, then even smaller micro discussions so fast, I could barely keep up. This is easily the most dedicated group of people I’ve experienced. Frankly, I’ve never seen so many people taking notes in conversation with each other, not even in a school room!
People were discussing things ranging from how to interact with local government, to integrating with school systems. There were impromptu discussions on appealing to museums and how to properly get Makers the attention they deserve. Producers learned how to safely manage dangerous displays, and we learned what areas they need more help.
Putting on a Maker Faire may be hard work, but you don’t have to do it alone. This event has been incredible both in ideas that each Maker Faire will walk away with, and in ideas that we can implement to make their lives easier.