We’ve discovered that there are 10 basic steps involved in organizing a School Maker Faire.

  1. Define leadership team
  2. Catalyze support
  3. Set your date, hours & location.
  4. Register your Maker Faire event & name with Maker Media.*
  5. Recruit exhibitors, presenters, and workshop leaders through a Call for Makers
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  6. Promote the event
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  7. Design the event experience.
  8. 
Host and document the event
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  9. Provide feedback to and share documentation with Maker Media.
  10. Register for next year!

1. Define Leadership Team Maker Faire is a team effort! To do it well, and to have some fun along the way, you will want to find some co-coordinators to take on roles and share responsibilities. You may keep this a loose working group, or formalize a “board” of support that includes representatives from the school administration, teachers, parents and even students.

2. Catalyze Support Catalyze support for your event by sharing what Making is and what Maker Faires are with the community. To use the school campus as venue, and to reach all students, parents and teachers, you will need some approval from your school administration. This may involve organizing a meeting with the Principal or presenting your idea to a teacher meeting or a parent participation group.

Our School Maker Faire Playbook and resource center offers a simple slide presentation that you may use to share as you gain buy-in and necessary approvals for the event.

3. Set Date, Hours & Location Depending on the focus and scope of your School Maker Faire, your event can happen during school hours, or as an evening or weekend event. Consult with school leadership to determine a date and time that will encourage the most makers to participate and attend. This partly depends on who will be exhibiting. A primarily student-focused event would more likely happen during the day, whereas one that requires a lot of parents to exhibit and facilitate would more likely be outside of weekday work hours.

Your School Maker Faire’s location would most likely be your campus. To create a real “fair” atmosphere, keep things closer together rather than farther apart. Leverage gyms or auditoriums or common areas to showcase many exhibits in one place. Classrooms and hallways can also be utilized. Consider access to electricity and identify areas where messes can be made and easily cleaned up.

4. Register Your a Maker Faire Event & Name with Maker Media Maker Media is the company behind the growth and success of Maker Faire. It also publishes Make: magazine, runs the makezine.com blog and Maker Camp, and sells getting started kits and books through Maker Shed. Maker Media owns a trademark on Maker Faire, so any use of the trademark must be in agreement with Maker Media. A school may not use the phrase “Maker Faire” without registering with us. You must register your event and agree to the Maker Faire trademark agreement terms of use before making a logo and announcing your event. We ask that you register your event each time that you produce it.

5. through 10. Once you have registered your event and name with Maker Media, you will receive access to the full-length School Maker Faire Playbook, a detailed how-to on organizing your event. It includes information on the steps 5 through 10, with checklists, worksheets, and more.