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Nashville Mini Maker Faire


#1

I just got word that the date & location for our mini Maker Faire has been nailed down. It will be [Sept 21, 2013] at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville. Put it on your summer travel calendar!

I’m still trying to figure out how much the coordinator needs my involvement but I will at least have a table there doing something to do with micros. I know a couple of you have been involved in these. I’m interested in hearing about your experience & advice. I’ve never actually attended a Maker faire yet but I’d like to try and find one not too far away prior to June.


#2

Keep if fun and simple. Something that interests makers and kids at the same time. My 2 cents.


#3

Our first ever local MMF was in September and a huge success. Our maker group did not sponsor it, which turned out to be a blessing. All the logistics were handled by another group (see http://www.champlainmakerfaire.com), which left us plenty of time to get projects ready. I did a table called “Behold the Blinkies” and had several bright projects on display. I also did a fun DIY art project for the kids, which had a pulsing RGB LED as the centerpiece of a necklace. As Gus mentioned, having stuff for kids to do was really appreciated by the parents. I have even been approached in public more than once by folks who know me now as the “maker faire blinky necklace guy” :slight_smile:

My biggest advice is not to over commit your time. That is very easy to do early on, particularly before you’ve fleshed out many details. The biggest regret I have is not having enough time to check out all the other tables, workshops, and special events. We were lucky enough to get some funding for an event coordinator, who did a great job keeping everybody on schedule leading up to the big day. Delegate tasks as much as possible, and utilize volunteers heavily. We gave out tshirts and had a ‘first beer is on us’ social event for just the presenting makers and volunteers. Many of the volunteers were makers in disguise and were there to feel out the scene. They’re now jazzed to bring a project next year.

I could go on and on… feel free to hit me up with any questions via email.

[edit] one more important thing - there is never enough time to plan, so start now. The items we left 'til the last minute were the ones that generated the most bumps in the road.


#4

Thanks for the tips. We have some great guys in charge of most of the planning who regularly plan conferences and other type events. So, I have no doubt it will turn out well. I’ve volunteered to be on the committee in a small way since my priority is still NashMicro and my own projects but I want this to be a big success also. I like the idea of the blinky necklaces. That has me thinking in a smaller way then I was. I was thinking of maybe coming up with a PCB soldering project but something like you did would be just as appreciated and much cheaper to produce.

Remember this guy? He’s our co-chair. Very ambitious fellow.
http://www.tinyclr.com/forum/topic?id=9879&page=1#msg98109

BTW, if anyone wants to travel to Nashville in the summer I’ll certainly make a spot for you! That includes you, GHI. Our goal is to have 50 exhibits. Let me know if you’re interested.


#5

FYI - in case anyone is planning on trying to attend, the date for the fair has been changed to Sept 21st. After figuring out the expenses and the long list of potential sponsors we need to meet with, we decided we needed a little more time to get everything done.

Also, the fair is now officially being headed up by the Adventure Science Center of Nashville. The same crew is still on the committee but we agreed that with this being the first fair we would have a better success with their full-time staff involved. Next year we should have a non-profit MakeNashville organization established and hopefully will be able to take it over from them.

We’re still finalizing the exhibitor paperwork and sponsorship details but if anyone thinks they want to be involved in either way, please contact me. I can house a couple folks at my house if you can make it down. I should have more details in the next week or so.


#6

The call for Makers & supporters is now officially open. I’d love to see some of you creative folks come down and show off your toys!

http://www.makerfairenashville.com/call-for-makers/