Maker Toolkit Maker Faire Bay Area 2018

May 18, 19 & 20, 2018 San Mateo Event Center | 1346 Saratoga Drive | San Mateo, CA 94403

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. Now updated with Maker parking information.

If you are a Sponsor, the Sponsor Toolkit will be online soon.
If you are Presenter or Performer, see the Presenter Toolkit.

We update the toolkit frequently. If you can’t find the information you need, please check back.

Getting Started Getting Started

The Maker Toolkit is designed to help you navigate the logistics of Maker Faire, and most importantly, to help make your involvement in Maker Faire a positive, memorable event. Together we can make Maker Faire a truly unique, educational, safe, and extraordinary experience for all by adhering to the rules and regulations outlined in this manual.

Leading up to the show, you will receive Maker Newsletters, which are designed to keep you informed of key dates and information. You will also receive a Confirmation Letter outlining the details of your exhibit. Confirmation emails were sent in early May. Prior to arriving onsite, we expect that you have read this Maker Toolkit, that you will abide by the Rules and Regulations, and that we have agreed on the specifics of your exhibit as detailed in the Confirmation Letter.

Friday at Maker Faire is back!

Friday at Maker Faire is a special program and a preview day for:

  • Maker Industry Partners
  • Special Supporters of The Maker Movement
  • Media and Press
  • Special Groups – a way to bring your team to Maker Faire to experience it before the crowds.

Exhibiting at Maker Faire: Location, Maker + Exhibit Overview

Maker Faire is not designed like any standard trade show or conference — it is a fun, interactive maze of demonstrations, exhibits, workshops, and displays. We have tried to keep it environmentally friendly and simple in design. Imagine the historical state fairs where everyone arrives with their wares and sets up their exhibit! We have different kinds of exhibit areas to accommodate the diversity of projects, and we encourage Makers to create their own look and feel.


Outdoor Exhibit Area: Your exhibit space will be located on the grounds of the Event Center and will vary in size depending on your requirements. We have a variety of outdoor spaces: grassy areas and on pavement. All of these spaces will have access to power if you have advised us in advance that you need it. Some are under a tent or have shade, while others are not. If you have an outdoor exhibit, we recommend that you bring a small tent or umbrella if you are sensitive to the sun. You will find out in advance if we place you under a large tent with other Makers.

Indoor Exhibit Area: Some Maker exhibits will be located inside. The spaces are subdivided into tabletop (~10×5), 10×10 or 10×20 areas unless you have stipulated that you need a larger area and/or you will curate your space with an association or a group of Makers.

All booth elements, including signage, may not exceed 6 feet in height unless approved in advance. (You may be asked to take down any signage exceeding the limit if not previously approved.)

Booth footprint cannot exceed size agreed upon in your confirmation email and exhibit materials cannot reside outside of the booth space or in aisles.

Pop up tents are not allowed inside the buildings and must be securely weighted with sandbags at each leg if outside.


Maker Exhibit: Individuals, groups, schools and organizations that would like to demonstrate what they make and/or how it works in an all-weekend exhibit space; interactive exhibits are encouraged. For Maker Groups, please have one point person to coordinate your efforts. For details about the types of exhibits accepted for Maker Faire, see the Call for Makers page.

Maker Faire provides Makers that are participating purely by sharing their project and inspiring others to make with exhibit space and required tables, chairs, power, entry passes, etc., at no cost to the Maker.

Makers with commercial interests or marketing intentions are asked to pay an exhibit fee.

Makers Sampling or Selling Food: If food is part of your exhibit and you plan to give or sell any to attendees, you must comply with San Mateo County food handler and health permitting requirements. Specific requirements and deadlines are do the following:
  • Pay the Health Permit FeeDue 4/7
  • Submit a Health Permit FormDue 4/7
  • Take the Health Permit QuizDue 4/7
  • For Makers selling food, only prepared, packaged foods (defined as food that is not consumed on-site and is prepared prior to consumption) can be sold. To sell, you are required to pay the Exhibit fee. (If you would like to be a Concessionaire and sell food which will be consumed on site, contact
  • Follow the Guidelines.
  • Use the Checklist and Handwashing Handout when planning booth set-up and while on-site.
  • Display an ingredient list to alert attendees with any allergies and/or food sensitivities.

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 Applications are due March 12th.

Makers that exhibit together in one space that are organized by one Curator. To ease the application and onsite management, please see the following requirements for Curators.

  • Group Exhibit: A curated area with multiple Maker Exhibits. Each Maker in the group submits an individual application. This allows each Maker to have an individual Maker Page on our website. Each Exhibit would have their own allotment of tickets and Entry Passes to distribute via the Maker Faire Portal. Group Curator responsibilities are:
    • Create the main exhibit application for the group and distribute the Project ID.
    • Ensure that projects within the group submit individual project applications with the main Project ID in the Placement Request field.
    • Submit any additional forms and fees due. See the Maker Faire Portal
    • Send a list of all of the exhibits within your group to by March 31st.
    • Design the exhibit layout and send details to by March 31st.
    • Being onsite to coordinate setup for your group

    Large Exhibit: A single Exhibit with a large crew. The Exhibit will have one Maker page on our website. Large Exhibit Curator responsibilities are:
    • Create the main exhibit application for the group.
    • Design an exhibit layout and send details to by March 31st.
    • Submit any additional forms and fees due. See the Maker Faire Portal
    • Submit the form to request additional Maker Entry Passes, if needed.
    • Communicate Maker Entry Pass and logistical information with your group members.
    • Being onsite to coordinate setup for your group

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 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.

Performance: Musicians and entertainers who would like to perform at Maker Faire. Performances are usually on stage and scheduled for approximately 50 minutes. Set lengths vary. Some performances in the past have been roaming and unscheduled, which is welcomed. Please mention scheduling details in your application.

  • If you need a space, away from a stage to perform many times during the weekend, fill out the Maker Exhibit application.
  • If you plan to have a scheduled performance once or twice during the faire, fill out the Performer application.

Presentation: Individuals and groups who would like to talk about an idea or project of interest to the Maker community, OR makers who are interested in demonstrating what they make and how it works in a stage setting. Presentations are typically 10, 20, or 45 minutes, with some time for Q&A.


These are guidelines only, your exhibit may not fit exactly into one option below, and it may fit more than one.

  • Basic: A tabletop, small area, or 10×10 space to demonstrate what you make.
  • Activity Area: A hands-on, fun, interactive area that encourages audience participation to learn how to make or do something.
  • Demonstration Workshop: During a short show-and-tell session, Makers demo and teach particular skills, techniques, or processes, explaining materials and tools, stepping through a building process, sharing their knowledge, and interacting with the audience. Sessions are less than 30 minutes and may be repeated. Demonstrations will be done in your exhibit area.
  • Roaming Exhibits: If you have an exhibit that will roam during the show, please let us know if you require a location for your use as a home base for non-roaming activities. If your roaming exhibit needs access to an electrical outlet, ask us about the charging station locations.
  • Attraction: A wonderful, unusual thing that doesn’t fit in to any of the categories above.

Exhibit Details

We will provide a table and chairs if requested in your application. Please plan to bring anything else that you would like to have, such as extension cords/power strips and any hardware or supplies that will help you display your project. We trust that you will supply any equipment or supplies you need to make your project functional. In some cases, the Maker Faire Production Team will assist with some elements of your setup as long as it has been agreed upon in advance. Please feel free to make signs for your exhibit that help the attendees understand what you are making!

The Maker Faire Portal is your to manage your Exhibit Details. When your application is still in the Proposal stage, you can view and edit all the answers you have submitted in your application. If your exhibit application is Accepted, use the Maker Faire Portal to manage your exhibit and make any needed updates. This includes updates to your exhibit description, exhibit photo, and bio as well as update your electrical needs, tables, chairs, etc..

Your space size request can not be updated from the Maker Faire Portal after your application is accepted. Updates to your requested space size must be emailed to

Resource changes (table, chairs, electrical) must be made in advance.

  • Electrical requests – updates due by 4/15
  • Tables and chair requests – updates due by 5/1

So that we are in agreement as to what you will require for your exhibit, please review the following details:

  • Signage: We will create a Maker sign for your exhibit and a Maker Faire entry webpage on our website. Each Maker sign is 11×17 inches and includes the project image, project short description, and Maker or Group bio. Your and Maker entry webpage includes the same information as your Maker sign plus your project website and video. Updates made from the Maker Faire Portal to your exhibit description, photo, or bio sections that will appear on your Maker Sign must be made by April 28th.
  • Internet Connectivity: Wireless service will be provided in limited areas of the event 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 asap (end of March at the latest). There is very limited availability and a significant cost for this service.
  • Tables & Chairs: We will provide a table and two chairs, unless otherwise requested in your application. 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.
  • Prior to the event, you will receive a confirmation letter listing the equipment we will provide for you. If you need additional items, please use the Maker Faire Portal. 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.
  • Water: If your exhibit requires water or a forklift/heavy machinery, please fill out the Special Request Form.
  • Electrical: If you provided details of your power requirements, we will make certain you have power available at your exhibit area. Please bring your own extension cords, surge protectors and/or power strips for power distribution at your exhibit. On-site power requests cannot be guaranteed. Any excessive power will require approval.
    • 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.

Changes, Forms + Deadlines Next Steps After Acceptance

Your first message should have arrived immediately after you submitted your entry form. Your next message will arrive at the end of March with news about your acceptance. After that, we will send a message every few weeks with updates and reminders about the process leading up to Maker Faire.

Our emails might be in your spam or junk folder. Please check that folder, and add to your contacts.

If you still can't find any messages, email

General and Fire Safety Plans

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 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.

General Safety Plan vs. 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 It's important to us that Maker Faire is safe, and we appreciate you checking with us.

Submit a General Safety Plan.
Submit a Fire Safety Plan.

First Time Makers

Check out this video made by a Maker during Maker Faire Bay Area 2012.


Let the world know that you are 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 logos, badges, “see me there” banners, postcards and more. Our official hashtags are: #makerfaire and #MFBA18.

Pre-Event Site Visits

Before Maker Faire, meet us at the San Mateo Event Center to look at the site and ask any questions. We will be at the San Mateo Event Center for site visits on the following dates. Register here in advance to attend.
  • Thursday, April 19: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Thursday, April 26: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Maker Entry Passes + Ticketing

All Makers and Maker assistants must have their Maker Entry Pass or ticket before arriving onsite. (Passes and tickets can be printed or on your device.) It is important that all participants have entry passes prior to the event. We are no longer able to accommodate additions and Maker Check In. If any problem arises while obtaining your passes, and the issue has not been resolved in advance, come to the Maker Service Center at Gate 8. Maker Entry Passes are NOT to be exchanged from person to person once they scanned at the gate.
Purchase general attendee tickets here.


Maker Entry Passes
  • Maximum quantity: 4
  • For Maker(s) and assistant(s) ONLY. To qualify, team members must work at your exhibit for 6 hours or more
  • Fri, Sat & Sun entry pre-show/set-up and show hours
  • If you have a large, interactive exhibit and require more passes please fill out this Additional Maker Entry Pass Request Form.
  • Please note that we strictly abide by the following guidelines in terms of number of Maker Entry Passes that we can provide per exhibit at no cost to the Maker.
    • Minimum hours working at the booth, see above
    • The alotted amounts listed on the Exhibit Fees page.
    Please fill out the Additional Maker Entry Pass request form if your exhibit requires more than the standard four Maker Entry Passes and we will work with you to find an acceptable solution.
Complimentary Friday Tickets – in appreciation of your efforts!
  • Quantity: 2
  • For anyone: additional assistants, family, friends, or your guests
  • Good for entry Friday show hours only: 1 pm – 5 pm
Complimentary One-Day Tickets – in appreciation of your efforts!
  • Quantity: 2
  • For anyone: additional assistants, family, friends, or your guests
  • Good for entry Sat & Sun entry show hours only: Sat 10-7, Sun 10-6
Discount Friday Tickets
  • Quantity: 2
  • $35 per ticket (regular price $75)
  • for anyone: additional assistants, family, friends, or your guests
  • Good for entry Friday show hours only: 1 pm – 5 pm
Discounted One-Day Tickets
  • Maximum quantity: 6
  • One ticket type only: adult one-day ticket (can by used by any age)
  • $30 per one-day ticket (regular price $50)
  • For anyone: additional assistants, family, friends, or your guests
  • Good for entry Sat & Sun entry show hours only: Sat 10-7, Sun 10-6


  • 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.

You will be notified when your Entry Passes and Tickets are available via a Maker Newsletter. If your Entry Passes are not available from your Maker Faire Portal by April 15, please email

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

  1. Wait for your Maker Newsletter notifying you that your Entry Passes are ready.
  2. Log into the Maker Faire Portal.
  3. Click on the GET TICKETS button.
  4. Choose your tickets from the list available. This will take you to the Maker Ticketing Eventbrite Site.
  5. After finishing the Eventbrite process, your passes and tickets will arrive by email.
  6. Distribute passes and tickets to your your team. Make sure that you are distributing the actual ticket and not just the Eventbrite order confirmation. It must have a bar code visible which will be scanned at the gates.
  7. 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.


  • Maker Entry Passes or tickets are necessary FROM THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY and can be used at ANY gate.
  • Complimentary and discounted tickets can only be used during show hours.
  • The Maker Ticketing Site is different than the general admission ticket site.

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 have the entry pass bar code visible and ready to be scanned on your device.

Other Ways to Participate

Maker Faire Traveler Program:

We welcome your help at the 13th Annual Maker Faire Bay Area. 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. Visit the Maker Traveler Program page for more information.

Getting To Maker Faire Getting to Maker Faire

Shipping to Maker Faire

If you plan to ship any items to or from the San Mateo Event Center for Maker Faire,
alert our Shipping Department by filling out the Maker Shipping Form.

Please guarantee your shipment arrival between Monday May 14 and Thursday May 17, 2018.
Direct your delivery to:

Maker Faire 2018 – c/o SMEC

(Your Project Number, Maker Name & Local Phone Number)
1346 Saratoga Drive
San Mateo, CA 94403

Shipments Before Monday May 14th:

The San Mateo Event Center does not accept freight deliveries prior to May 14th, 2018.
For shipments that need to arrive earlier, please let us know by emailing us at

Finding Packages Onsite:

When you arrive for setup, tell your Area Manager that you have a shipment. They will contact Shipping and Receiving and they will bring your package either to the Area Manager or your booth.

Note: Sponsors have a separate shipping and delivery process. They pay for this service onsite. If someone delivers your package to your exhibit space and attempts to bill you, please alert your Area Manager. Makers are expected to pick up their own shipments from their Area Manager.

If you need forklift assistance for your package, let us know in advance by completing the Special Request Form. If your shipment arrives on a pallet(s) requiring a forklift to unload and deliver to your space, an $85 per pallet fee will apply.

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 10:00 pm on Sunday, May 20.

Bring packing tape and shipping labels to the site if you plan to ship materials from your exhibit. We do not have shipping supplies or printing onsite. You must have all packages fully packed, labeled and ready for pick up.

We will have a staging area for UPS and FedEx pick up for Monday morning. Your Area Manager will tell you where the staging area is located. Do not leave them in your exhibit space.


  1. Alert our Shipping Department of Return Shipments by filling out the Maker Shipping Form.
  2. Print your bill of lading or shipping label before you leave your hotel. We do not have the ability to print them out onsite.
  3. 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. The carrier will only pick up packages on their pick-up list.
  4. Any shipments left onsite and not picked up on time will be charged additional fees for any storage and handling by our shipping partner, SLI Freight.

If you have any questions regarding shipping, please contact and/or speak to your Area Manager during the event.

Directions + Parking:

Please refer to the Getting to Maker Faire page for general parking info, bike parking, public transportation and traffic updates. Traffic in the area can be quite congested, even during set up days. Please allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at the site and get oriented.

Please check your Maker Newsletter for more parking information.

Maker Faire starts promptly at 1:00 pm on Friday and 10:00 am 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.

Maker Parking At The Event Center

San Mateo Event Center | 1346 Saratoga Drive | San Mateo, CA 94403

Onsite parking is free on Thursday for set up.

Onsite parking Friday through Sunday will be sold at the event center kiosks for $35 per day.

We have reserved a limited number of discounted parking spots for you Makers at:
  • $10 Friday
  • $20 per day Saturday and Sunday
Maker discounted parking is only available with pre-purchased passes.

Maker Parking passes through Etix

The code to use for Maker parking is Maker18_89Sq.

Parking reservations are first come – first served.
Only one parking pass per event day per email address will be allowed.

Maker Parking Nearby The Event Center

Friday parking is limited. We suggest you purchase the $10 onsite parking pass or plan to find street parking after you load in.

Free offsite Maker parking nearby the Event Center is available on Saturday and Sunday at two locations:
Both are within walking distance to the Event Center.

Franklin Templeton parking structure | 1 Franklin Parkway | San Mateo, CA
Crossroads Parking Lot | 1875 S. Grant St | San Mateo, CA

Limited spots are available and can fill up quickly. Get there early.


RV Parking:
San Mateo Event Center has a limited number of RV spots available. Please contact the Email Event Center directly for more information. There is NO OVERNIGHT PARKING without an RV parking pass. Event Center staff will be towing vehicles left overnight.

Where To Stay:

Hotels are selling out fast. Early booking is strongly recommended to secure your room, as discounted Maker Faire room rates and availability are limited. See the Hotels page.

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.

Tips for Out of Towners

What to 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 7:00 pm. You may also want to bring rain gear just in case!

Local Resources

To assist you, we have provided addresses and directions for various Local Resources near the event site.

Onsite Details + Resources Onsite Details + Resources

Set Up + Load In Process

Thursday, May 17

Set Up 10:00am – 6:00pm

Friday, May 18

Set Up 7:30am – 12:30pm
Showtime 1pm – 5pm
Maker Mixer 5pm – 6pm*
Maker Dinner 6pm – 8pm*
*Times are subject to change.

Saturday, May 19

Set Up 7:30am – 9:30am
Showtime 10:00am – 7:00pm

Sunday, May 20

Set Up 8:00am – 9:30am
Showtime 10:00am – 6:00pm

*We strongly recommend that you setup on Thursday, May 17.

If you would like to set up your exhibit earlier than Thursday, please let us know in the Special Request Form.

Makers who need to work longer hours than listed must make arrangements with the Production Team. Email Major construction must be completed on Thursday, and all final touchups must be completed by 12:30 pm on Friday, May 18.

Bring your Maker Entry Pass, so it can be scanned and exchanged for a wristband for easier in/out access on Thursday through Sunday. All Maker assistants must have a Maker Entry Pass or ticket for entry onsite.

For safety purposes, we request that children under the age of 15 not be on the Maker Faire floor during setup or teardown hours.


A check-in map with gate entrance information will be sent to the main exhibit lead in advance. Keep an eye out for upcoming Maker Newsletters.

On Thursday through 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.

Maker Faire starts promptly at 1:00 pm on Friday and 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.

Drive-in + Drop:
If you need to drive onto the fairgrounds to unload, follow these instructions:

  • Obtain a Temporary Unloading Pass from security personnel at the Gate.
  • Write your cell phone number on the permit.
  • Drive on to the grounds slowly and safely.
  • Quickly unload from an area (or near a door) closest to your exhibit location and out of fire lanes.
  • Before setting up, immediately move your vehicle to a parking lot.
  • Return to set up your exhibit.

Vehicles (which are not exhibits) are must be off the grounds by 12:15 pm on Friday and 9:15 am Saturday to open Maker Faire. Vehicles will not be allowed to drive onto the grounds after 12:00 pm Friday.

Remember: Drive with caution when entering the parking lot and fairgrounds; respect those giving directions; do not block any entrance or park in fire lanes; remember to lock your vehicle; and make sure your cell phone number is listed on the Temporary Unloading Pass in case we need to relocate you.

On Site Access: No vehicles will be allowed onto the lot after 12:00 pm on Friday and 9:00 am on Saturday and Sunday. If the vehicle is part of your exhibit, it must be parked in its location by 12:15 pm on Friday and 9:15 am on Saturday and Sunday and cannot be driven at any time during the event unless approved by Maker Faire staff.

Carts/Dollies: We will provide carts/dollies at the Maker Service Center (Gate 8) for moving equipment to your location. There are a limited number of carts; Please return the carts and dollies immediately after you are finished, so other Makers may use them. You will be asked to leave an ID in exchange for a cart/dollies.

Forklift: 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 usage, complete the Special Request Form.

Freight Door Sizes:

  • Expo Hall – Three 16’x16’ doors and one 16’x24’ door
  • Fiesta Hall – One 12’x14’ door
  • Meeting Pavilion, Sequoia Hall, Redwood Hall – One 12’x12’ door each
  • Show Barn – Three 12’x14’ loading doors

Vehicles That Are Exhibits: If your vehicle is part of your exhibit (art car, energy demo, etc.) complete the Special Request Form. Your exhibit vehicle is required to remain on the grounds for the entire duration of Maker Faire, including arriving before 12:00pm on Friday and not moving your vehicle until after the Security Team announces that it is safe, approximately 7:00 pm Sunday.

Complicated Exhibits: Do you require additional setup time? Makers who need time outside the scheduled hours must make arrangements with the Maker Faire Production Team. Please let us know using the Special Request Form or contact

Check In Process


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.

Makers not checked in by 12:30 pm on Friday will forfeit their location.

Please note: Commercial Makers are not Sponsors. If you paid a Commercial Maker or Non-Profit/Organization fee, follow the instructions above. Do not stop at Sponsor Check In.

Your 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.

Your Project Number: 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.


  • Obtain Maker Entry Passes and tickets in advance through Eventbrite by following the instructions here.
  • Bring your Check In Station Map.
  • Know your Project Number.


  • During setup hours (see below): Show your Maker Entry Pass at Gate 8 for scanning. If you arrive during Show Hours, please present your Maker Entry Pass at the Maker gates.
  • 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.


The Maker Service Center is a resource center with knowledgeable staff to help Makers with questions. It will be located at Gate 8 (Located at the main parking lot at 1346 Saratoga Dr, San Mateo, CA). It is not where Makers check in. Use your Entry Passes in at the Gate then check in with your Area Manager, as described above.

  • Thursday, May 17: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Friday, May 18: 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 19: 7:30 am – 1:00 pm and 3:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Sunday, May 20: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm and 4:00pm – 6:00pm

If you arrive onsite and don’t know your Check In Station, bring your Project Number to the Maker Service Center at Gate 8 (Located in the main parking lot at 1346 Saratoga Dr, San Mateo, CA). We will direct you.

The Maker Service Center will:

  • 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

During the Event

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.

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.

Child Safety: Maker Faire is a family event. We appreciate your assistance in keeping Maker Faire a safe environment for the children attending the event. For safety purposes, we request that children under the age of 15 who are not the primary exhibitor not be on the Maker Faire floor during setup or teardown hours. During Maker Faire, if your exhibit has hazardous materials or has elements of concern, please take the time to inform parents and children of safe practices for your exhibit.

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.

Janitorial Services: The cleaning crew will complete a clean sweep of the aisles after 9:00 pm on Saturday night. Please consolidate garbage into larger bags when possible. We recycle. See the “Recycle” section below for details. Please note that the crew will not enter your exhibit area to clean on Friday or Saturday night. Do not leave items in the aisles, or they may be mistaken for trash. If you have a project that looks like it might be trash or recycling, please mark it as such in the evenings onsite or the sustainability/cleanup crew may dispose of it.

Security: Maker Faire Production will maintain 24-hour roaming perimeter security Friday thru Sunday. In addition, one security guard will remain in Fiesta Hall and in Expo Hall during nightly lockdowns. If it is valuable, take it with you!

Emergency: In the event of a medical emergency, notify your Area Manager, security personnel, or anyone with a radio or walkie-talkie. They will contact the on-site EMT personnel, who have a direct line to the San Mateo Response Dispatch. If someone dials 911 from their cell phone, the above procedure still needs to be followed for the best possible care, as this will expedite the response of medical assistance. Please report all incidents to the Maker Faire Security Office located in the Public Service Center Building.

First Aid Facilities: The Maker Faire Production Team has arranged to have an EMT on-site, Friday thru Sunday during Maker Faire setup and show hours. First Aid Services will be available at the First Aid Tent in the West Lot near the Public Service Center. There will be signage to direct you to First Aid. This is also where our Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) will be stationed.

Evacuation: Should the need to evacuate arise, staff and visitors will be notified by Security Personnel. Stay calm. Immediately stop any demonstrations or presentations. Do not try to dismantle your exhibit. Even if you cannot see any obvious reason for the alarm calmly make your way to the nearest exit, encouraging others to follow you outside. Once outside, move away from buildings and keep emergency access routes clear. When the necessary authorities deem it safe to reenter the buildings and facility, Makers will be granted access prior to members of the public.

Drones: NO DRONE FLYING at Maker Faire on the grounds with the exception of the officially sanctioned, monitored and netted Drone event areas. State and local laws prohibit the use of drones at venues and events like Maker Faire unless they have been pre-approved. Safety is our number one concern.


Please use recycling stations for aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cups, glass bottles and jars, all types of clean paper, plastic containers # 1 thru # 7, steel and scrap metal, and packing materials. At this time we cannot recycle plastic bags, Styrofoam, or plastic utensils. There will also be an area for corrugated cardboard. Please break down all cardboard for easy stacking and transporting. Additionally, compost bins will be available for all food items. Recycling stations will be located throughout the grounds, and we ask that you do not separate the bins from each other.

You are responsible for cleaning up your exhibit area and ensuring it is recycled or trashed. Please do not leave any garbage in your exhibit space.

Ask a Maker Faire crewmember for assistance if you have a large load that needs to be carried by a vehicle or if you require bins at your exhibit. If you have “free stuff” for giveaways, please identify it accordingly for those who can reuse it! We encourage you to use materials other than styrofoam or packing peanuts for packaging. Let’s all work together to reduce Maker Faire’s environmental footprint by thinking about the products we use and how to best dispose of them. If you have any special items you are unsure of how to dispose of, please contact Maker Faire’s Sustainability Coordinator at


The average high temperature in the Bay Area this time of year is 74° F, but it can get chilly in the morning and at night. The weather in previous Maker Faire years was clear, warm, and sunny. In the case of rain, the show will go on! Rain happens! Cheap sheets of 3-4 mil painters plastic is great to have on hand to cover your exhibit in case it begins to rain. Brief your fellow Makers as well so that everyone will know what to do if it begins raining.

Sunday Load Out

Teardown: Teardown begins after 6:00 pm on Sunday. All exhibits must be intact and open to the public until that time.

Exhibits must be removed by 8:00 pm on Sunday night. If you know in advance that your exhibit requires more strike time, storage, or is queued for shipping off the grounds, fill out the Special Request Form.

Vehicle Access: Vehicles will not be allowed to line up outside the gates until after 6:00 pm on Sunday and will not be able to enter until the public has vacated the grounds, and the San Mateo Event Center determines it is safe to do so.

For exhibits who require Monday load-out, Monday hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. If you need to arrive earlier on Monday, it has to be requested and approved in advance.

If you will need heavy equipment assistance on Sunday, the hours are limited, must be completed before 8:00 pm, and must be scheduled in advance. Fill out the Special Request Form., and provide details about your teardown needs.

Return Shipments: Please see the Maker Shipping section.

Disposal: Recycling, paper, bottles and glass, non-toxic waste, and general trash receptacles will be available. If you require extra trash bins at your exhibit, let us know. We appreciate your exhibit area being cleared completely. You are responsible for correctly recycling and removing all waste from your exhibit space. If you have any special items you are unsure of how to dispose of, please contact Maker Faire’s Sustainability Coordinator at

Common Login Issues

If you are having trouble logging in to your Maker Faire Portal, please see the following for assistance:

  1. Problem: An error message: There was a problem with your log in. There is a user with the same email.
    Solution: This error message is usually due the login for a particular email address originally being set up using either the Facebook or Google authentication method and then proceeding to set up a new login with a user name and password. Try reseting your password and contact if the problem persists.

  2. Problem: I am not able to login and I do not receive an email when I hit the Reset Password button.
    Solution: We have updated our system and you may need to reset your login information. Please use the Sign Up button rather than the Login or Reset Password buttons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Maker Entry Passes and Ticketing

Maker Directions and Parking

Maker Station and Location

Exhibit Questions, Changes or Setup Requests

Everything Else..

Rules and Regulations

As guests at the San Mateo County Event Center and Fairgrounds and the local area, we must abide by all regulations of a public facility. These are designated primarily to ensure public safety, and we thank you for your cooperation in complying with these rules and regulations.

  • No drilling of holes, attaching to, or painting of the floor, or any other defacement to floors or walls. When such damage occurs, the Maker is solely responsible and is liable to the owner of the property.
  • Signage and/or decorations may not be taped, nailed, tacked, stapled, or otherwise fastened to any wall, ceiling, column, stone, window, drape, or painted surface in any area inside the building or on the premise without advance permission.
  • No tents are allowed in any building.
  • Do not insert stakes in the ground without specific permission, as it could be costly and dangerous. There may be wire or gas lines underground that will be damaged.
  • No exits, fire-fighting equipment, or emergency equipment can be blocked or obstructed at any time. Fire extinguishers and fire-hose cabinets must remain visible & accessible at all times.
  • Sufficient space must be provided within the booth for the comfort and safety of persons watching exhibits, demonstrations, displays, or workshops.
  • Exit and Aisles: Aisles must be kept clear of all displays and equipment. Entrance and exit doors shall remain unobstructed at all times.
  • Electrical Devices: All electrical devices with three-wire supply cords shall utilize “UL” ground receptacles. All electrical extension cords must be of heavy-duty three-wire construction.
  • Fireproofing: All draperies, decorations, and materials must be flame-proofed in accordance with local fire code. Materials may be inspected and/or tested by the Fire Marshall at anytime.
  • Hazardous material must be disclosed. All hazardous materials must be properly disposed of. Materials such as grout, mortar, tape compound, etc. cannot be poured down the facility drains. The facility will not accept dumped building materials or electronic waste; you are responsible for the removal of these items.
  • Exhibit storage cartons and crates, combustible waste materials, empty cardboard boxes, etc. must be removed from the building and cannot be stored behind the back drapes or display wall.All building materials, supplies, etc. must be taken away after teardown. The facility will not accept dumped building materials or electronic waste; you are responsible for the removal of these items.
  • Propane and Helium will not be permitted without prior review and approval.
  • Indoor Display Vehicles and Motorized Display Items: Fuel level must not exceed ¼ tank and must be less than 3 gallons. Vehicles/items must be inspected and approved before entering the exhibit building. Once located in the exhibit space, the negative battery terminal must be disconnected, and the fuel tank cap must be taped or locked.
  • Combustibles Kept Outside: Additional supplies and inventory must be kept in closed containers and stored in a neat and compact manner.
  • Food Makers need to comply with all Health Code Regulations and cannot serve samples unless arrangements have been made for permission to do so.
  • Do not endanger or harm any person, property, or the environment, including all the San Mateo County Event Center property, including the parking lot, entrance ways, ticket booth areas, and other areas used by Maker Faire or its employees, contractors, agents, members, or guests.
  • Management reserves the right to restrict exhibits, displays, demonstrations, presentations, or workshops that become objectionable because of noise, method of operations, materials, safety, or any other reason.
  • The San Mateo County Fire Marshall reserves the right to make any final decision regarding the layouts and floor plans and has the authority to close down and/or fine any exhibit not in compliance.
Every participant, employee, agent, or contractor connected with the use of the premises shall abide by, conform to, and comply with all the laws of the United States, the State of California, as well as the ordinances of the City of San Mateo and all rules and regulations of the Police and Fire Departments of the City of San Mateo and the County of San Mateo and make no violation or breach of peace. Exhibits must be in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a legal requirement for public facilities. This law became effective in January 1992. It requires access for disabled persons. A Guide to the Disability Rights Laws can be found at

Insurance: It is your responsibility to ensure the safety and security of your exhibit and its components, visitors within your exhibit area, and your personnel. Reasonable precautions will be taken to protect your property, but Maker Media Inc., Maker Faire, and the San Mateo County Event Center assume no responsibility for any losses due to fire, theft, accident, or other causes.

Fire + Safety

Note: The following are industry standard rules that require full compliance. Fire Hazard Notification & Special Permits: As a Maker, if you intend to display, operate, or use any of these items shown below, you must obtain prior approval from the Maker Faire Production Team:
  • Heat-producing or open-flame devices, candles, lamps, etc.
  • Electrical, mechanical, or chemical device deemed hazardous by the Fire Department
  • Internal-combustion engines
  • Flammable liquids, compressed gasses, or dangerous chemicals
All Maker Safety Plans must be submitted to the Maker Faire Production Team by March 24th. The San Mateo County Fire Marshall reserves the right to make any final decision regarding the layouts and floor plans and has the authority to close down and/or fine any exhibit not in compliance.

Release + Consent


Provided that your application is accepted, and subject to the terms of this Participation Agreement (“Agreement”), Maker Media, Inc. (“Maker Media”) agrees that the person or organization identified below (“Maker”) may participate in Maker Faire Bay Area 2018 (“Maker Faire”). The Maker agrees to participate in Maker Faire and to comply with this Agreement. In this Agreement, “we” or “us” means Maker Media, and “you” means the Maker identified below. “Exhibit” means the display, demonstration, presentation, performance, and/or other activities and materials that you provide or present at Maker Faire. “Exhibitor Information” means all private information submitted in your Call for Makers application that is indicated as intended for public use.

Maker Media, Inc. (“Maker Media,” “us,” or “we”) owns and operates Make: magazine,,,,,,, and all associated services (together, “Maker Media Services” or the “Services”). All information about makers and exhibits published to Maker Media Services is subject to our Privacy Policy ( and Terms of Use (

Your submission of your application creates a contract that limits the liability of Maker Media Services, Maker Faire sponsors, suppliers, concessionaires, staff, booth exhibitors, and venue proprietors; and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives, affiliates and owners (collectively and individually, “Promoters”).

We reserve the right to refuse your participation or reject your application without cause. If you are accepted, we may terminate this Agreement and/or your participation in Maker Faire if you violate this Agreement or the standards of conduct established by us or by the venue proprietor. You agree to all of the following provisions:

SPACE: Maker Media will assign space at Maker Faire for your Exhibit (the "Space"). Your construction, layout, and maintenance of the Exhibit must be in full compliance with this Maker Toolkit. (the “Toolkit”). Maker Media may reassign the Space or alter the Make Faire layout or venue at any time. The Space is for your use only. You may not share, sell, assign, sublease, or otherwise transfer all or any part of the Space to anyone without Maker Media's prior written consent, which Maker Media may grant or withhold at its sole discretion. Your Exhibit must fully occupy the Space, and the Exhibit and any related activities must be confined within the Space. You are responsible for all display elements; internet, electrical and audio-visual equipment; and any other equipment or elements required for use in the Space unless Maker Media otherwise agrees in writing. You must construct the Exhibit safely using sound engineering and construction practices, and you must install, occupy, and dismantle the Exhibit in accordance with Maker Media's schedule and the Toolkit. If Maker Media determines at any time before or during the Event that any Exhibit (or any element thereof, including any product or service) is objectionable or unsuitable for Maker Faire, Maker Media will so advise you, and you must immediately remove any objectionable or unsuitable material.

RULES and LAWS: You agree to comply with all applicable laws, the Toolkit, and any other requirements, and/or rules & regulations issued by us in connection with Maker Faire. You are responsible for obtaining any permissions required for your performance, distribution, or posting of copyrighted material; for obtaining any necessary licenses and permits (other than our permits for the Maker Faire as a whole); and for payment of all taxes (including sales and use taxes), license fees, or other charges applicable to your participation in Maker Faire.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK: By participating in Maker Faire, you assume all risks to you and your children of attending and participating in the Maker Faire. You acknowledge that Maker Faire exhibits and activities are inherently hazardous, and that risks to you and your children include physical injury, including death, and property damage and loss. You are solely responsible for supervising and controlling the children in your party and ensuring their safety.

RELEASE OF LIABILITY: You hereby release the Promoters, and each of them, from any and all liability, including but not limited to (1) damage to or loss of your property, (2) harm, injury and death to yourself and your children, and (3) all risks resulting from negligent or incorrect instruction or supervision by Promoters or anyone providing a booth or activity. This release is intended to discharge in advance all liability related to your and your children’s participation in the Maker Faire, even though that liability may arise out of negligence, carelessness, or other conduct on the part of Promoters or third parties. This release of liability applies to your successors and heirs.

LIMITATIONS ON LIABILITY: You agree that we will not be liable in any way to you if we cancel or reschedule Maker Faire. You waive any claim or potential claim against us if Maker Faire is cancelled or rescheduled, and release us from any resulting or related liability, cost, expense, or damage. The Promoters will not be liable to you for damages of any kind, including but not limited to lost profits or other indirect, incidental, consequential, or exemplary damages in connection with Maker Faire and/or this Agreement, whether or not such you have been advised of the possibility of such damages or lost profits, or any damage, loss, harm, or injury to your person, property, or business except to the extent that applicable law does not permit such damage limitations.

INDEMNITY: You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Promoters, and each of them, from and against any claim, cost, expense, loss, liability, or damage incurred as the result of any third-party claim based on (i) your construction or maintenance of an unsafe Exhibit, and/or (ii) your (or your agent’s) negligence or willful misconduct, and/or (iii) your material breach of this Agreement.

PHOTOGRAPHY, RECORDINGS AND PUBLICITY RIGHTS: You acknowledge that Maker Faire, including you and the Exhibit(s), may be recorded in photographs, audio, visual, and/or audiovisual media (“Recordings”) by us and/or Maker Media licensees, and you consent to the making and use of such Recordings by us and/or Maker Media licensees for any purpose, such uses including without limitation transcription, modification, reproduction, public display, distribution, broadcast, and transmission in any form. You release Maker Media Services, and Maker Media licensees, from and waive any claims related to or arising by reason of the making and/or use of any such recordings. You grant Maker Media Services and our licensees the right to use your name, likeness, and any trade name and/or logo. The provisions of this paragraph will survive termination of this Agreement.

FILMING AT MAKER FAIRE: All media, film and photography crews must register via the Maker Faire Media Page. Photography and videography at Maker Faire Events is not permitted without press credentials and a Camera Tag provided by the Maker Faire Media Department. Press credentials and camera tags are issued at the discretions of Maker Faire and can be withdrawn at any time if misused.

USE OF YOUR INFORMATION, RECORDINGS, AND MATERIALS ON MAKER MEDIA PLATFORMS: You agree that Promoters may reproduce and display publicly for editorial and promotional purposes any written or electronic materials that you submit to us in connection with your application, as well as images and Recordings of your Exhibit (all of the foregoing, your “Project”), in and on Maker Maker Services and any other digital or print platform or medium sponsored or co-sponsored by Maker Media. You further agree that Promoters may publicly identify you in connection with your Project, including but not limited to publishing your name, location, and image. You waive any right to privacy or publicity that you may have in connection with all of the foregoing.

LICENSE. You grant to Maker Media Services and all users of its digital and print platforms and media a license to use and reproduce your Exhibitor Information and Project under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license (available at Additionally, to the extent permitted under applicable law, you agree not to assert any and all rights that you may have under laws worldwide that concern “moral rights" or “droit moral," or similar rights, in connection with your Project. By agreeing to these rights, you allow others to share, redistribute, remix, transform, and build upon your Project as long as they provide attribution to you, link to the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license ( and identify any changes made to your Project. You are solely responsible and liable for the consequences of posting and making your Project available and allowing others to access and/or use Your Content. You acknowledge and agree that your Project may be viewed worldwide.

MISCELLANEOUS: This Agreement (including the Toolkit and any accompanying Addendum) constitutes the final, complete, and exclusive agreement between you and us. This Agreement is made in consideration of the parties’ mutual promises contained in it. This Agreement may only be modified by the parties’ express written agreement, signed by both of them. You are an independent contractor and not our agent or employee. This Agreement will be interpreted under California law applicable to contracts made and performed by California residents in California. Any action to enforce this Agreement must be brought in the federal or state court located in San Francisco, California, and the parties agree to the exclusive venue and jurisdiction of these courts. You are not permitted to assign or otherwise transfer your rights or obligations under this Agreement to anyone else. All licenses and consents given under this Agreement are perpetual.

By submitting your application, you confirm that you have read this Agreement and that you understand and agree that your compliance with this Agreement is a condition of your participation in Maker Faire, and i) if you are signing on behalf of yourself as an individual, you warrant and represent that you are over 18 years of age, and ii) if you are signing on behalf of an organization (including a business), that you are fully authorized to execute this Agreement on behalf of the organization.