Maker Faire 2015

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Basic Info

Budgeted: $500

  • one coordinator who has minimal or no projects at the Maker Faire
    • accumulates all i3 participants into in or out list
    • is responsible for i3 PR Table i.e. i3 headquarters on site. Main onsite contact(main person with help)
    • plans space layout and confirms with participating members ahead of time
      • determines location criteria including i3 Main table
    • Coordinates truck and moving material from space to Makers Faire
    • is present at HF Friday evening and Sat Morning and Sunday evening
    • settles space/location conflicts on site if required
  • If taking tools to the faire, it would be nice to notify the warden from whose zone they came; this reduces stress on their part. If extension cords are leaving, make sure to leave enough for party needs.
  • Events like this would be a great time to have check-outable tool bags ready with common things like a drill, screwdrivers pliers, multimeter, etc. and each tool can go right back into its pocket after use (because presumable the bag will stay within reach)
    • at past maker faires, someone usually puts together that kit in the rolling tool box.I think there were less larger projects this year, along with redbull hasn't happened yet, so that got skipped and the normal people who have participated with that in the past were not present this year. So it seems those who needed items either grabbed right before they departed, or sent someone on a run to gather needed tools they forgot.
    • Dril, zip ties (I really needed a few of these and resulted to a spare length of wire) pens pencils, paper, sharpies, paper weights (a good chunk of pr material ended up in the pool over the weekend :\ )
  • Declaring a "faire person" and a "space person" during the weekend, a point-of-contact for coordinating things that need to get on the next truck, might be good. These need not be specific individuals, could simply be a "hot phone" that hands off between people. Spinning up a spare phone number for the weekend would cost me $6 and that seems sane. Echoes of the "war-room" idea we did during RBC '11?
  • Another thought from my side -- the faire brings tons of colleagues from far-flung *kerspaces into town, and the party brings them here, and importantly, most of them drive. So unlike a lot of other visits throughout the year where people visit cuz they flew in for some other trip, we could be sending 'em home with care-packages of some of the stuff we have too much of, and they wouldn't have to explain to TSA why they're traveling with an armload of electronic components in their luggage. :) So, remembering this fact in the weeks before the Faire could give us a chance to evaluate our various surpluses and mention it to folks who might be interested.
  • Don't trust that plastic bins with kids will keep valuables dry.
  • Got to find some way to keep papers and small items from blowing away.


  • advising first-time faire-submitters to only enter stuff that's actually *done* well in advance might set a healthier example all around
  • take stuff back next year, especially if it got positive attention. If you've got a project that scrambled to get functioning in the last few hours before the Faire and you begged the forces of the universe to give you just one extra day, hey, that's today! Do that work right now and it'll be that much better next year. Or at some other event...
  • there is no Maker Faire rule against bringing last year's project. I took my rubber band shooting gallery for the third year. Each year I learn from experience and change something to try to improve it. Whether or not to repeat depends on the nature of the project and the personal preference of the maker(s). It was hard work in the heat, but we all had a great time. I expect that I will take it back for a fourth time next summer, and my assistants want to return as well.

Notes on Displaying Projects

If you haven't been to a Maker Faire before, or even if you have and weren't aware of this, certain Faire staffers have ribbons they can give out during the event, for projects that really impress them. The main thing they bring is pride, but winners are also usually collected and displayed here:

I don't know if the folks awarding the ribbons have specific guidelines they follow, but as a participant showing off a project, there are a few things you can do that seem to get their attention. These are strictly my personal impressions from years past -- others with perspective, consider chiming in!

  • Be visible. That's the point of the Faire, after all, but it means if your project has small parts, maybe put 'em up on little stands so they don't blend into a cluttered tabletop, for instance.
  • Explain what makes your project unique, or what you needed to learn to get it done. I'm pretty sure they're looking for "how does this project being at the faire help new makers?"
    • Putting this on a simple poster means your project will still speak for itself, at least a little, when you run to the bathroom or to explore the rest of the event.
    • It'll also save your voice, which is likely to be pretty worn out after a weekend of yelling over the cacophony that is the faire. Leaves you more able to actually talk to people, instead of just saying the same 4 things over and over.
    • A short list of resources, websites, books, and stuff you used is probably not a bad idea. People will take photos of this, so get your name and i3's name in the shot. :)
  • Display your project's name prominently. Even if you just made up the name so you could submit it to the faire, names help humans keep things straight in our heads, especially when seeing hundreds of projects in an afternoon, many of which are similar.
    • The Maker packet you get at check-in may or may not have a little poster thingy for you. In the past these were big fancy glossy laminated signs, last year they were just 8.5x11 sheets missing a lot of info. We made our own shiny ones and may do that again this year.
    • If you have a unique, especially project-related (you welded something? weld a sign too!) way to get the name up there, do that.
  • Call out the value of the group in getting it done. Maker Media has a big fetish for makerspaces now (even going so far as to trademark the word, capital-M, but that's another matter entirely.), and showing off how working *with* your peers helped you achieve more, really helps fluff that particular interest.

Outdoor Tent

Indoor Area

  • Tends to be disconnected from the outdoor, needs a prominent banner
  • If we're making our own per-project signs, a unified visual theme between the indoor and outdoor signs is helpful


  • Truck driver is or is teamed up with a licensed ham operator. I think there were enough of us near the i3 locations that it could work.
    • Interesting thought. While there are lots of hams at i3, it's far from a majority, and we'd need hams at both ends of the link. And while I recognize the convenience of push-to-talk operation, I don't know if it would outweigh the ubiquity of a PSTN-reachable number.
  • it might be neat to have APRS updated with the truck position, displayed on a projected screen at each end. But maybe I am feeping.
  • Maybe a few reminders the week before, though I think everyone with a large project, BattleBoats, arcade machines, tv knew when/where to be.
  • Truck could have been a tad bigger but I think a few extra items had to be put on the truck that were semi planned at the end of the say sunday.


Budgeted: $1000

  • Make sure the party is actually on the calendar, all members have a few fliers to hand out, etc.
  • One line at the bar for "just a beer" and one line for everything else, could allow most people to get back to their friends faster, without standing behind "let me try a sip of that one" for 9 minutes.


Budgeted: $75

Contact: Mike Fink

Source: $SOURCE

details go here

Cost: $COST

Peparing the Space

Budgeted: $20 (food for helpers)

Cost: $45 (Jimmy Johns)

  • Disabling equipment for safety
  • Cleaning off surfaces
  • Moving tables and chairs into their proper party locations
  • Somewhat blocking off the back shop (metal, wood)
  • Laying out the tables with tablecloth, food, and drinks
  • Changing lights
  • making sure the toilets are unclogged
  • hanging lighting outside (from building to power pole, worked great)
  • Cover bar tables with plastic for easier clean up

Party Food/Drinks

  • Food
    • Budgeted: $50
    • Kroger food: $PRICE
    • The Henry's purchased 10 pizzas from pizza connection: $140.90
    • Cups, plates, bowls, ice: $PRICE
    • Cost: $COST
  • Water/Soda
    • Budgeted: $40
    • Kroger soda/water: $PRICE
    • Other Water: $PRICE
    • Cost: $COST


  • Bartender
    • Budgeted: $200
    • Name: Bartender was Scott L.
    • Contact: Samantha Letvin
    • Cost: $175
    • Note: Contact Samantha Letvin for Scott's contact information if interested for future parties. Did an excellent job bar tending, would use his services again. Thought for future parties: offer a flat rate of $X amount per hour in the event that the party runs late like it did this year.
  • Taps and Co2
    • B.nektar Supplied a 4 tap jockey box and 5 lbs of Co2 ($800+ value)
  • Craft Beer
    • Budgeted: $80
    • Falling down brewery donated a keg of Ninja Chicken ($55+ value)
    • Nathan supplied homebrew - Hak0r Blonde Ale - 5 Gallons ($35)
    • Private i3 Homebrew reserve, supplied by Nathan
      • Grapefruit Blonde Ale - 4 Gallons ($50)
      • Ginger Wheat - 5 Gallons ($40)
      • Pear Cider - 5 Gallons ($55)
    • Cost: $115
  • Mead
    • A keg of Zombie Killer was donated by Bnektar Meadery ($160+ value)
  • Wine and Beer
    • Budgeted: $150
    • A quarter keg of something cheap (miller?) was purchased halfway through the party for $55, with a $30 dollar deposit on the tap handle, and a $40 deposit on the keg.
    • Cost: $124.11
  • Jungle Juice
    • Budgeted: $100
    • Contact: Joseph Baumann
    • The booze was kindly donated. Jungle juice was made in a 99 L sterilite storage container with tap attached by extracting all freshly chopped fruit in alcohol for longest amount of time possible (1.5 hours in this case). Freshly prepared fruit included 7.5 pounds of grapes, 6 pounds of strawberries, 4 melons, 3 bags of naval oranges, 2 pineapples, 1 bag of limes, 1 bag of lemons. After extracting, added 3 cans of pineapple juice and half of a large container of lemon juice. Brought total volume of container to ~57 L with water, added 2 canisters of Hawaiian Punch (warehouse store size), and capped with 20 lbs of ice.
    • Cost: $115, if alcohol had not been donated, the cost of this beverage would have been ~$480 (((15 abv x 57 L)/ 40 abv) = 21.375 L of 80 proof liquor, 21.375 L/.750 L/fifth = 28 fifth of smirnoff * ~$13/fifth = $365 on booze alone. I highlight this point for future budgeting reasons, as it seems as though this was a popular drink...).


Budgeted: $250

Purchased for the party were a number of lanterns and large string lights. It would be a good idea to purchase tablecloths for tables for next year for easy cleanup and preventing sticky tables.

Cost: $82.86

Makerfaire 2015 Puzzle Game

Budgeted: $35

For 2015 there was a puzzle that steered people to both the indoor and outdoor exhibits, and got them to learn a bit about i3, before coming to the party to claim their laser-cut keychain. It was at /makerpuzzle and the answers were /art /wimby /rickroll /electroharmonograph /ppprs and /donationsucker. Cost was for some nice metal keychains from JoAnn's and maybe some acrylic I think.

Cost: $13.47

Donations Jar

Suggested drink donation $2

  • Consider moving the moneysucker over to the bar for the party? More fun, more donations?

Profit: $1001.45

Stuff re-usable for next party

  • Serving Plates
  • Serving Bowls
  • Chip Trough

Post-Party Storage Location: $LOCATION


  • Water cooler. I (Nate B) had this in my maker faire notes with no additional detail. For the party? for the faire? for the prep work? no idea. If you remember context, move this item and delete this note.

Planning Pages

See these pages that were created durring the planning process:

Wrapup thread, most of which is distilled into this-here wiki page:

And this advice for makers showing off their projects: (content added above)