Welcome Makers!

This is your resource center to guide you through the many details of exhibiting at Maker Faire
We update the toolkit frequently. If you can’t find the information you need, please check back.

Maker Faire Bay Area Date & Location

Maker Deadlines

  • Deadline Passed — Entry Forms were due March 2. Missed it? Apply late. New apps are only reviewed if space is available.
  • Deadline Passed — Health Permit Form and Fee are due for makers sampling or selling food.
  • Deadline Passed — For exhibits with fire or safety concerns: submit a General or Fire Safety Plan. If you haven’t yet, submit asap.
  • April 22 — Maker Entry Pass and Ticket codes and instructions will be sent by email; Passes and tickets must be obtained before arriving for setup.
  • May 1Commercial Maker and Non-Profit/Organization Payment Due. This is only for makers who fit these categories.
  • Late April / Early May — Your individual Participation Agreement and Exhibit Details Confirmation Letter will be sent via email; please accept ASAP.

Pre-Event Site Visits

Maker Entry Passes and Ticketing

Directions

Parking

Check In Process


Helpful Documents & Links

Helpful Forms

Frequently Asked Questions

Maker Entry Passes and Ticketing

Maker Directions and Parking

Maker Station and Location

Exhibit Questions, Changes or Setup Requests

Everything Else..

Maker Entry Passes and Ticketing

How do I get my entry passes, complimentary tickets, and discount tickets? How many do I get? What’s the process?

All makers and assistants must obtain their entry passes before arriving at Maker Faire. It is important for our advance planning that all participants have tickets prior to the event. We are no longer able to accommodate additions at Maker Check In.
On Setup Days:
Bring your Maker Entry Pass, so it can be scanned and exchanged for a wristband for easier in/out access on Saturday and Sunday. If you do not have an Entry Pass but are helping a maker setup, you need to know the exhibit’s Project # as security will be at each entrance point.
On Saturday and Sunday:
You must have a Maker Entry Pass or ticket, which can be used at any gate. The easiest scenario is entering with your wristband, which you receive during setup. The check-in process can be found here.

Each standard exhibit receives:

  • Maker Entry Passes
    • maximum quantity: 5
    • for Maker(s) and assistant(s) ONLY
    • to qualify, team members must work at your exhibit for 6 hours or more
    • Sat & Sun entry pre-show/set-up and show hours
  • Complimentary One-Day Tickets – in appreciation of your efforts!
    • quantity: 2
    • for anyone: additional assistants, family, friends, or your guests
    • Sat & Sun entry show hours only: Sat 10-8, Sun 10-6
  • Discounted One-Day Tickets
    • maximum quantity: 6
    • one ticket type only: adult one-day ticket (can by used by any age)
    • $25 per one-day ticket (regular price $40)
    • for anyone: additional assistants, family, friends, or your guests

Larger Groups

  • If your exhibit requires more than the allotted Maker Entry Passes, please attempt to use your complimentary tickets or purchase discounts tickets. If you need more team members to run your activity, you can submit your request in the Additional Maker Entry Pass Request Form.
  • If your exhibit is part of a large group of exhibits (i.e. San Francisco Bazaar, Young Makers Program, etc.), your pass and ticket quantities will vary.

To obtain your Maker Entry Passes, complimentary tickets, and discounted tickets:

  1. Wait for your specific Eventbrite Promotional Codes sent by email on April 22. Only the lead contact for each exhibit will receive this email. If it is after April 22, email [email protected] with the subject line: CODES: (Your Project #) and (Your Project Name).
  2. The Maker Ticketing Site is different than the general admission ticket site. Redeem your passes here: https://mfba14makers.eventbrite.com/ Please note: Passes and tickets will not appear on the Eventbrite site until you enter a code by clicking on the text “Enter Promotional Code”.
  3. After finishing the Eventbrite process, your passes and tickets will arrive by email.
  4. If you have other Makers or assistants, share the codes as necessary (quantities are limited) or obtain all of the passes yourself, and distribute them after they arrive in your email inbox.
  5. Print and bring your pass/ticket to Maker Faire. Each pass/ticket can only be used one time. You will receive a wristband in exchange for your Maker Entry Pass.

Note:

  • Saturday and Sunday, Maker Entry Passes or tickets are necessary and can be used at ANY gate.
  • Complimentary and discounted tickets can only be used during show hours.
  • More details can be found in the FAQ of the Maker Ticketing Site. A link to the site will be provided on April 22.

I can’t find my promotional codes to get my passes or tickets. What do I do?

The codes will be sent to the exhibit lead by email on April 22. They will be sent to the same address as all other communications. If you can’t find them after April 22, search your spam and inbox for an email with the subject: Maker Newsletter: Maker Entry Pass and Ticket Codes. If you still can’t find the email, email [email protected] with the subject line: CODES: (Your Project #) and (Your Project Name).

One of my assistants changed. How do I change the Maker Entry Pass to the new name?

The name on the ticket does not have to match the name of your assistant. If you’ve already sent the e-ticket to your previous helper, ask him/her to forward it to your new assistant. It can only be used once. You do not need to notify us of the change.

Do I have to print my pass or can I bring my e-ticket on my phone or tablet?

Yes, you can bring your pass on your phone or tablet, but it may be easier and foolproof if you print it out. If you decide to keep them on your phone, please download the Eventbrite attendee app.

Maker Directions and Parking

Where is Maker Faire? How do I get there?

Venue
  • San Mateo Event Center
  • 1346 Saratoga Drive
  • San Mateo, CA 94403
Website: http://www.sanmateoexpo.org/
Maker Faire starts promptly at 10:00am on Saturday and Sunday. Please keep traffic in mind and plan to arrive with enough time to park and use the shuttle or walk from public transportation and to prep your exhibit. Vehicles (which are not exhibits) are must be off the grounds by 9:15 am Saturday to open Maker Faire. Vehicles will not be allowed to drive onto the grounds after 9:00 am Saturday morning.

What public transportation is available?

There are many public transportation options to get to Maker Faire. Please check back. We’ll add details and a link here soon.

Where can I park?

Maker Parking:
  • Thursday and Friday: parking at the Event Center is FREE.
  • Saturday and Sunday: the Event Center charges $25 per day, and it fills up fast.
Discounted ($20 for the weekend) Maker Parking Passes are available on-site at the Maker Service Center during setup hours on Thursday and Friday. Even if you buy this pass, show up early on Saturday and Sunday (by 10am); the lot fills up. Having a pass, does not save you a spot.
Public Parking: Parking at the San Mateo Event Center is $25 per day. A variety of remote lots will have FREE parking. Please check back for details before the event.

Where is the handicap parking located?

There will be handicap parking available at the San Mateo Event Center (fills up fast) and at remote lots with handicap shuttle. Details and handicap shuttle availability will be provided before the event. Please check back.

Will you have bike parking?

Yes, a secure bike valet area will be available on Saturday and Sunday. Please check back for hours for location and hours.

Check In Process

When can I setup?

Setup Days & Times
  • Wednesday, May 14: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm (by appointment only)
  • Thursday, May 15: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Friday, May 16: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm*
  • Saturday, May 17: 7:30 am – 9:30 am
  • Sunday, May 18: 8:00 am – 9:30 am
*We strongly recommend that you setup on Friday, May 16.
Makers who need to work longer hours than listed must make arrangements with the Production Team. Email [email protected]. Major construction must be completed on Friday, and all final touchups must be completed by 9:30 am on Saturday, May 17.

Maker Faire starts promptly at 10:00 am on Saturday and Sunday. Please keep traffic in mind and plan to arrive with enough time to park or walk from public transportation and to prep your exhibit onsite.

All vehicles must be off the grounds by 9:15 am Saturday to open Maker Faire. Vehicles will not be allowed to drive onto the grounds after 9:00 am Saturday morning.

How and where do I check-in?

To streamline the check-in process, all makers and assistants need to obtain their Entry Passes in advance through Eventbrite by following the instructions here.
  • During setup hours: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before 10am, enter the grounds through Gate 6 using your printed Eventbrite pass.
  • Go directly to your Check In Station where you will meet your Area Manager.
  • Your Area Manager will officially check you in, give you your Welcome Packet, and direct you to your exact location.
In advance of the event, we will send the exhibit lead a map to your specific Check In Station. The station will be located in the vicinity of your designated location. If you arrive onsite and don’t know your Check In Station, bring your Project # to the Maker Service Center at Gate 6 (South end of the main parking lot at 1346 Saratoga Dr, San Mateo, CA). We will direct you. Important: Be sure to know your Project # for check in.

What’s my exhibit location?

Before Maker Faire, we will send the exhibit lead a map to your specific Check in Station which is located in the vicinity of your designated location. You will receive your specific location when you check in with your Area Manager. Specific locations are not sent before you arrive.

What’s the Maker Service Center?

The Maker Service Center is a resource center for makers. It will be located at Gate 6 (South end of the main parking lot at 1346 Saratoga Dr, San Mateo, CA). It is not where makers check-in. You will have your Entry Passes in advance and check-in with your Area Manager, as described above.

Maker Service Center and Check In Station Hours:
  • Thursday, May 15: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Friday, May 16: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 17: 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
  • Sunday, May 18: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
The Maker Service Center will:
  • have a information board
  • be able help all lost makers locate their area and Check In Station
  • provide carts to help you load-in/load-out
  • answer any questions you may have including maker ticketing questions

How do I find my Project Number? Why do I need to know it? Why do I need to tell everyone working at my exhibit?

Your Project Number can be found in the subject line of your Acceptance Letter. Your Project Number is a 5-digit number that identifies which exhibit you are part of and helps us reference the details of your exhibit quickly. You must know your Project Number to check in. It’s important to ensure that all of your assistants know your Project Number, so that they may check in and find your location. Please pass it along.

Exhibit Questions, Changes or Setup Requests

How do I make changes to my exhibit – electrical, tables/chairs, space size, etc.?

If you have already filled out an application but need to make changes, please fill out an Exhibit Change Form, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

How do I figure out how much electrical power I will need onsite?

Understanding your power usage is important: We need to ensure you have what you need and you will not create a problem for your fellow makers by tripping the circuit breaker. Most consumer electronic devices have a small label that will tell you how many watts or amps they draw and at what voltage.
Voltage: In North America, normal house and building power is 120 volts. (Large machinery may require 220 volts. If you need a 220v, tell us what phase you need.)
Amperage: After you determine the voltage you require (see above), we need to know how many amps you will be using at that voltage. If an item only lists watts and not amps, you can quickly convert watts to amps by dividing the watts by volts (Watts / Volts = Amps.)
Examples: A 500-watt light bulb requires approximately a 4.2A (A=amps) on a 120V (normal US) circuit: 500/120= 4.2. Here’s a list of average amperage for common Maker Faire items: Laptop ~2A, Sewing Machine ~0.6A, Lights ~0.3A-2A, 3D Printer ~10-20A, Arduino ~0.1A. Please check your equipment, and don’t guess; Power is expensive! We want to provide enough, but not too much. Thank you in advance.

How do I change my exhibit’s description, photo, or bio on the Maker Faire website?

Submit your Description, Bio and Photo Update Form

I have a special request. Who do I email or how can I let the production team know?

Please fill out the Special Request Form to make your request.

What do I do if my exhibit needs water?

If your exhibit requires any form of water and you have not notified us in your original application, please fill out the Special Request Form.

How do I get forklift assistance?

If it is scheduled in advance, we can provide forklift equipment and an operator to assist with your load-in/load-out. So we may coordinate with other usage, fill out the Estimated Arrival and Heavy Equipment Form with specific duration/time/dates requirements.

What are the different types of Makers?

Maker: Individuals who demonstrate what they make and/or how it works, in an interactive environment.

Maker Groups: One exhibit with many makers or many exhibits curated by one point person. We ask that you have one contact, a curator, to coordinate with our team. Curators, please read the Large Group information in the Group Curator Kit – Multiple Exhibits

Non-Profit and Cause or Mission Based Associations, Institutions and Organizations: A special category where organizations can qualify for reduced rates to participate in Maker Faire. The fee is for up to a 10×10 space and does not include electrical, internet or other requirements. Fees vary and are due by May 1. This statement does not apply to makerspaces or hackerspaces, which receive free exhibit space at Maker Faire.

Commercial Maker: Individuals show and demonstrate a product that they make and/or show how it works in an interactive environment with the opportunity to promote or sell products. Fee is $475, due by May 1.

Maker with Sponsor Subsidy: From time to time, some makers may receive financial or material support from a company. This support is welcomed; however, there are rules around this level of support. Before you ask to receive sponsorship funds or materials for your maker exhibit, please inform us by using “Sponsor Subsidy” in your subject line to [email protected] as full sponsor disclosure is required. If you, your club and/or exhibit obtain approval from the Maker Faire Team and sponsor support; you will be able to offer one small sponsor appreciation sign with their logo, 4 inch x 6 inch maximum size, at your exhibit. You will not be able to offer any large brand recognition at Maker Faire or give away sponsor products or flyers. If your sponsor would like to upgrade their sponsorship and obtain brand recognition at Maker Faire, please contact us and we will be happy to work with them to accommodate their support in the maker movement.

Makers Sampling or Selling Food: If food is part of your exhibit and you plan to give or sell any to attendees, you must fill out a Health Permit Form, pay the associated Fee, and follow the guidelines below. Education Day: This year, we are expanding the number of students we can reach and the quality of their experience by replacing Education Day with a variety of new programs any number of students can experience while at school or home. This change responds to visitor feedback while fulfilling our desire for a more inclusive experience for our ever-growing K-12 audience. We still hope to make it easy for teachers and students to join us in person for Maker Faire Bay Area 2014. These programs are in development. To hear more, sign up for our newsletter or email [email protected].

San Francisco Bazaar: An independent crafts fair sponsored by San Francisco Bazaar, which takes place at Maker Faire. Crafters are chosen by a jury of rotating guest judges from the greater craft community. San Francisco Bazaar supports artists and craftspeople that appeal to the aesthetic of the indie art and craft scene and have innovative approaches to traditional craft forms. We encourage all crafters to apply for San Francisco Bazaar at sanfranciscobazaar.org.

What size are the tables?

Standard tables are 8ft x 30in folding banquet tables. We do not provide a cover. If needed, 6ft tables are available, but quantities are limited and must be requested in advance. We will provide a table and two chairs, unless otherwise requested in your application. Prior to the event, you will receive a confirmation letter listing the equipment we will provide for you. If you need additional items, please fill out the Exhibit Change Form. Requesting additional tables onsite is based on availability and will cost $10.00 per table. Additional chairs are no charge, but also based on availability.

How do I know if I need to fill out a Safety Plan?

If you’re concerned your exhibit might put the attendees or your exhibit team at risk, please bring any and all concerns to our attention. Email [email protected] and put “Safety” in the subject line. We will advise you as to whether or not a safety plan is needed. Safety concern examples: you or your exhibit has chemicals, gas, or other items of that nature; your exhibit has activity or might require safety barricades; an attendee at your exhibit might potentially get hurt in any way; etc.

What is the difference between a General Safety Plan and a Fire Safety Plan?

Fill out the General Safety Plan for all general safety issues which do not include concerns about fire or flammable materials. Complete the Fire Safety Plan if heat elements or fire of any size, including candles, small flames, burners, etc. are part of your exhibit. If you’re unsure, email us at [email protected]. It’s important to us that Maker Faire is safe, and we appreciate you checking with us.

I want to sell what I make at Maker Faire, how do I do that?

If you show and demonstrate a product that you make and/or show how it works, but also want to sell or promote those products, you’re a Commercial Maker. There is a fee to sell items at your exhibit space. The fee is $475 due by May 1. In order to qualify, you must fill out a Maker Exhibit Application and select “Yes” to the question regarding selling or marketing a product. If you have already applied, email [email protected] and let us know. Pay your Commercial Maker fee here. Note: Companies or commercial entities do not qualify as Commercial Makers. If you’re a company or commercial entity, we have great opportunities available-please email [email protected].

I’m a non-profit, I have questions about the fee. Who do I email?

Send all Non-Profit and Organization Fee questions to [email protected]. Pay your fee here.

Everything Else…

The hyperlinks in the Maker Manual and Checklist are not working. Can you help?

Download a read-only copy of the Maker Manual and the Checklist.

Can I visit the site ahead of time to secure a location?

We will be at the San Mateo Event Center for site visits on the following dates. Register here.
  • Thursday, April 3: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, April 17: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 1: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
From time to time, some Makers may receive financial or material support from a company. This support is welcomed; however, there are rules around this level of support. Please refer to the Maker Manual for details.

Will there be Internet at Maker Faire, how can I access it?

Wireless service will be available inside the Expo Hall and in limited areas outside on the grounds. If your project could interfere with our wireless service, please let us know so we can accommodate you and your faire neighbors. In most cases, a hardwire connection will not be available. If you must have a hardwire, notify [email protected] asap (end of March at the latest). There is very limited availability and a significant cost for this service.

How do I ship items to and from the event site?

If you can guarantee your delivery anytime Wednesday, May 14, thru Friday, May 16, direct your delivery with a detailed shipping label that includes all of the following information to:
  • MAKER FAIRE
  • Project – Maker Name & Local Phone Number
  • 2495 S. Delaware Street
  • San Mateo, CA 94403
If you plan to ship items to the site, please let us know in the Special Request Form.

When you arrive for setup, tell your Area Manager that you have a shipment. They will direct you to the shipping area. We do not deliver shipments to your exhibit space. Please be prepared to retrieve your package.

Note: Sponsors have a separate shipping and delivery process. They pay for this service onsite. Makers are not charged fees for shipping packages to the event site. You are expected to pick up your shipment. Speak with your Area Manager onsite to find your package. If someone delivers your package and attempts to bill you, please alert your Area Manager.

If you need forklift assistance, let us know in advance by completing the Estimated Arrival and Heavy Equipment Request Form.

Early Shipments: The San Mateo Expo Center does not have space to accept freight deliveries in advance of Maker Faire.  If you have a shipments that may arrive earlier, please explain why in the Special Request Form, as we may be able to assist you if we know about it in advance.

Return Shipments: Please make appropriate arrangements for a Sunday evening load-out. The San Mateo Event Center and the Maker Faire Production Team will not be held responsible for any items left at the site after 10 p.m. on Sunday, May 18.

Bring packing tape and shipping labels to the site if you plan to ship materials from your exhibit. You must have all packages fully packed, labeled and ready for pickup.

We will have a staging area for UPS and FedEx pick up for Monday morning. Ask your Area Manager where this location is and take your packages there. Do not leave them in your exhibit space.

Important:
  1. Print your bill of lading or shipping label before you leave your hotel. We do not have the ability to print them out onsite.
  2. You must call the shipper to arrange pick up – even if you know another exhibit is using the same company. They will not pick up your package, unless you make your own call.

How can I help promote Maker Faire?

Let the world know that you’re an official maker and will be exhibiting at Maker Faire! Maker Faire web banners and badges placed on your website will help spread the word about the upcoming Maker Faire. Visit our Promote page for more details.

Do you have volunteers? How can I help at Maker Faire and learn more about the Maker Movement?

We offer a Maker Faire Traveler Program which helps you understand and support the Maker Movement. By becoming a Maker Traveler you can make a valuable contribution to the success of Maker Faire and enhance the Maker Movement in your community. You will experience the Maker Movement, learn about Maker Faire production and join the maker community. There are great benefits to this completing program, including a ticket to Maker Faire and more. Learn more about the Maker Faire Traveler Program at their website.

I’m from out of town, where can I stay?

Want to stay at a hotel? Hotels are selling out fast. Early booking is strongly recommended to secure your room, as discounted Maker Faire room rates and availability are limited. For reservations online and to view hotel options, please check Hotel Information on our website.
Nearby Airports: There are three major airports nearby: San Francisco International (SFO), Oakland International (OAK), and San Jose International (SJC). San Francisco International (SFO) is the closest to the event center and recommended hotels.

I’m from out of town, what should I pack?

The average temperature in the Bay Area this time of year is 74° F, but it can get chilly in the morning and at night. It is best to pack with layers in mind. Please wear comfortable shoes, bring a hat and wear sunscreen. Be sure to bring a jacket for the evening program; Saturday we will be open until 8:00 pm. You may also want to bring rain gear just in case!

What happens if there’s bad weather during the event?

The average high temperature in Bay Area this time of year is 74° F. In the case of rain, be prepared with layers; the show will go on!

I’m a first-time maker, do you have any advice for me?

Yes.
1) Watch this video made by a maker during Maker Faire Bay Area 2012.
2) Read through the Maker Manual; There’s a ton of great information in there. If you still have questions, contact us at [email protected]

Will I have any assistance onsite?

  • Area Managers: Each area of Maker Faire will have a designated Area Manager and Check In Station where you will check in on your arrival day. Your Area Manager will be available to answer any questions and assist you with your setup. Your Check In Station will have their contact information in case a need arises.
  • Breaks: Each maker exhibit should be staffed at all times by you or a colleague. If you do not have an assistant and you need a short break, please notify the Area Manager and we will do our best to assist you in finding someone to watch your exhibit. If you need to be away from your exhibit for an extended period of time, please notify the Area Manager.
  • Electrical: During the event, if you have a problem with your power, please report it immediately to your Area Manager.
  • Refreshment: No outside food or beverages are permitted based on the rules of the Event Center. Concession stands will be open during the show and the cafeteria will be open for setup on Friday. Vendors, promoters, makers, or guests are not permitted to sell or give away food or beverage items without permission and obtaining a health permit. Alcohol is not permitted to brought onto the property. Contracted Maker Faire concessionaires have the exclusive right to provide all food and beverages, including the sale of alcohol. Only approved Commercial Food Makers can offer samples under 2oz or sell pre- packaged items intended for consumption off-site.
  • Maker Lounge: A Maker Lounge will be available for all Makers and exhibit assistants to avoid regular concessionaire food lines, to relax, and to purchase food and beverages more quickly. A menu with prices will be sent in a Maker Newsletter in advance, and can be found in the Maker Packet you will receive at check in onsite.
  • Pets: For the safety and well being of our four-legged friends, please leave your pets at home. There are loud noises, many moveable parts, fire elements, and large crowds, all of which do not create a safe environment for pets.

I haven’t heard anything from Maker Faire. Am I missing any messages?

Our emails might be in your spam or junk folder. Please check that folder, and add [email protected] to your contacts. Your first message should have arrived immediately after you submitted your entry form. Your next message will arrive between February 23 and March 20 with news about your acceptance. After that, we will send a message about once a week with updates and reminders about the process leading up to Maker Faire. If you still can’t find any messages, email [email protected].

More info coming soon!

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