Planning & Overview

Types of Maker Exhibits

Types of makers
Types of exhibits

Maker Faire is not like any standard trade show or conference — it is an interactive maze of demonstrations, exhibits, workshops, and displays. We have different kinds of exhibit areas to accommodate the diversity of projects and we encourage makers to create their own look and feel for their space.

Booth footprint cannot exceed the size agreed upon in your Confirmation Email and exhibit materials cannot use more than the allotted booth space or extend into aisles. Booth elements, including signage, may not be higher than six feet unless approved in advance; you may be asked to take down any unapproved signage exceeding the limit.

 

Types of makers

Maker exhibits

This includes individuals, groups, schools and organizations. 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.

All exhibitors are expected to be familiar with and observe the following guidelines.

Makers with a sponsor subsidy

You must disclose if you are receiving financial or material support from a company. If so, email us at makers@makerfaire.com and typing “Sponsor Subsidy” in the subject line. With approval of the Maker Faire Team, your club and/or exhibit may display one 4 x 6 inch sponsor appreciation sign with a logo. You may not, however, distribute sponsor products or flyers or offer any large brand recognition at Maker Faire.

If your sponsor would like to upgrade their sponsorship to a full brand activation at Maker Faire, fill out this form and our partnership team will be in touch.
San Francisco Bazaar

An independent crafts fair sponsored by San Francisco Bazaar. 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 crafter vendors to apply with San Francisco Bazaar. Applications are due March 18.

Group exhibits

This is a curated area including multiple individual Maker Exhibits. Each maker exhibit in the group submits an individual exhibit application so that each distinct project can be represented on our website.

Each Exhibit would have their own allotment of tickets and Maker Entry Passes to distribute via the Maker Faire Portal. Reach out to makers@makerfaire.com if the entry passes are to be distributed differently for your group.

Maker Groups must designate a single point person or Curator. The Curator’s responsibilities are:

  • Create the main exhibit application describing the overall group exhibit and needed space size
  • Distribute the Project ID to other makers within the group sharing this space
  • Make sure that projects within the group submit individual exhibit applications with the main Project ID in the Placement Request field
  • Submit any additional forms and fees
  • Send a list of all of the exhibits within the group to makers@makerfaire.com by April 19
  • Design the exhibit layout and sending details to makers@makerfaire.com by April 19
  • Be onsite to coordinate setup for the group
Large exhibits

This is a single Maker Exhibit with a large crew. The Exhibit will have one Maker Page on our website. Large Exhibits must designate a single point person or Curator. The Curator’s responsibilities are:

  • Create the main exhibit application for the group
  • Design an exhibit layout and send details to makers@makerfaire.com by March 31
  • Submit any additional forms and fees
  • Submit the form to request additional Maker Entry Passes if needed
  • Communicate Maker Entry Pass and logistical information to the team
  • Be onsite to coordinate setup for the team

 

Types of Exhibits

These are guidelines only; your exhibit may not fit exactly into one option.

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

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.

If you would like to lead a workshop in a dedicated classroom space in addition to a demonstration in your space, fill out the Workshop Application.

Roaming exhibit

Exhibits are welcome to move around, but let us know if you also require a location as a home base. Likewise, indicate in your exhibit application if your roaming exhibit needs access to a charging station.

Attraction

A wonderful, unusual thing that doesn’t fit in any of the other categories.

Food Makers

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.

For Makers selling food, only prepared, packaged foods 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 food@makerfaire.com.)

Types of Locations

Types of locations

Individual exhibit spaces are subdivided into tabletop (~10×5), 10×10 or 10×20 areas unless you have stipulated that you need a larger area is required.

Outdoor exhibit area

Outdoor spaces are on grass or pavement, under a large tent with other makers, under individual tents, or not under tent. The Confirmation Email will tell you if we have placed you under a tent or a large tent with other makers. If you have an outdoor exhibit without a tent, we recommend you bring a small one or an umbrella; pop-up tents must be securely weighted with sandbags at each leg.

Indoor exhibit area

Indoor exhibit space is limited. Some makers that have requested inside placements may be placed outside under a large tent.

If you have requested ‘Dark’ lighting and are placed in the Dark Room, please know that this area is dark with lighting not suitable for reading written materials. We ask that any lighting you add to your space does not interfere with the surrounding exhibits.

Pop-up tents are not allowed inside.

What You Need to Know About Your Exhibit

Signage
Internet connectivity
Tables & chairs

You will receive a Confirmation Letter from us roughly one month prior to the event listing specifics on the resources we will be providing: space size, power, tables, etc.; and your exhibit exposure, i.e, inside / outside, shaded or full exposure.

Use the Maker Faire Portal to view and edit all the information submitted in your application including the exhibit photo, your bio, and project description; this is where you go to update all your resource needs including electrical and tables/chairs.

We will provide a table and chairs if requested in your application; the Maker Faire Production Team will assist with other elements of your setup if agreed upon in advance.

We trust you to bring any required hardware or supplies to make your project functional including extension cords/power strips.

 

Size & Height Restrictions:

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.)

 

Signage

We will create a card-stock 11 x 17 inch sign for your exhibit and a Maker Page on our website. Each includes the image, project description, and short bio from your exhibit application.

Feel free to make signs that help attendees understand what you are making.

 

Internet connectivity

Wireless service will be provided inside the Expo Hall and in limited areas outside on the grounds. Let us know if your project could interfere with our wireless service. If you indicated that wifi is required for your exhibit to function than you will be placed in an area with wifi coverage. Uninterrupted connectivity is not guaranteed.

If you must have a hardwire, notify makers@makerfaire.com immediately. There is very limited availability and the cost for this service varies by location.

 

Tables & chairs

  • We will provide a table and two chairs unless otherwise requested in your exhibit application.
  • Standard tables are folding banquet tables without a table cover.
  • Requesting additional tables onsite is based on availability and costs $10.00 per table.
  • Additional chairs are no charge but are also based on availability.

Electrical

You must provide details of your power requirements in your exhibit application. Any onsite power requests in excess of what you requested in your exhibit application cannot be guaranteed. Bring your own extension cords, surge protectors and/or power strips for power distribution at your exhibit.

Understanding your power usage is important. We need to make sure you have what you need without creating 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. Check your equipment and don’t guess: Power is expensive! See How do I calculate my electrical needs? in Frequently Answered Questions.

Special Requests

Water & other special requests

Fill out the Special Request Form if your exhibit requires water or a forklift/heavy machinery. See Forms & Resources for more information.

Safety Plans

Our Safety Team makes sure we all maintain a fun and safe environment for Makers and the many attendees. It’s critical that we work together to keep Maker Faire safe.

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. If you intend to display, operate, or use any of these items, 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

Complete the General Safety Plan if your exhibit has chemicals, gas, or other items of that nature; if your exhibit might require safety barricades; if an attendee at your exhibit might get hurt in some other way that does not involve fire or flammable materials.

Complete the Fire Safety Plan if your exhibit includes heat elements or fire of any size, including candles, small flames, burners, etc.

Maker Safety Plans must be submitted to the Maker Faire Production Team by April 5.

If your exhibit might put the attendees or your exhibit team at risk, bring any and all concerns to our attention at makers@makerfaire.com ASAP.

Maker Entry Passes and Tickets

Maker Entry Passes & Tickets

Maker exhibits
Maker groups

All makers and maker assistants must have a Maker Entry Pass, Maker Assistant Pass, or ticket before arriving onsite.

  • A Maker Entry and Maker Assistant Entry Passes can only be provided to someone who works at your exhibit for 6 hours or more.
  • Entry Passes are required Thursday-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.
  • Passes and tickets should be printed at home prior to arrival. Each pass/ticket can only be used one time. You will receive a wristband in exchange for your Maker Entry Pass at Maker Check In.

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

  • A Maker Newsletter will announce when your entry passes are ready. This is generally sent in mid April.
  • Log in the Maker Faire Portal and click GET TICKETS.
  • Choose your entry pass or tickets from the list and complete the checkout process. Eventbrite will email your passes and tickets.
  • Distribute passes and tickets to your team. Make sure that you are distributing the actual entry pass or ticket and not just the Eventbrite order confirmation. (It must have a visible barcode.)
We are no longer able to accommodate new requests at Maker Check In. If you did not receive your passes in advance, first go to the Maker Service Center at Gate 8.

 

Maker exhibits

4 Maker Entry Passes
  • For Maker(s) and assistant(s) only
  • Friday, Saturday & Sunday entry pre-show/set-up and show hours
2 Complimentary Friday Tickets
  • For family, friends, or guests
  • Friday show hours only: 1pm – 5pm
2 Complimentary One-Day Tickets
  • For family, friends, or guests
  • Saturday 10am-7pm & Sunday 10am-6pm
2 Discount Friday Tickets @ $35 each
  • For family, friends, or guests
  • Friday 1pm – 5pm
5 Discount One-Day Tickets @ $25 each
  • One ticket type only: adult one-day ticket (can be used by any age)
  • For additional assistants showing up during show hours, family, friends, or guests
  • Saturday 10am-7pm & Sunday 10am-6pm

 

Large exhibits, Young Makers and Maker Groups

If you have a large, interactive exhibit and require more passes please fill out the Additional Maker Entry Pass Request Form.

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 allotted amounts listed on the Exhibit Fees page when applicable.

If your request exceeds the amount that we are able to provide, we will work with you to find an acceptable solution. In some cases additional single-day Maker Assistant Passes may be provided at $15 each or full event long Maker Assistant Passes at $40 each.

If your exhibit is part of a large group of exhibits (i.e. San Francisco Bazaar, Young Makers Program, etc.), your entry pass and ticket quantities will vary.

Maker Shipping

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 Tuesday May 14 and Thursday May 17. Small packages can be as early as Monday May 13th. Large shipments requiring heavy equipment to move around should be scheduled for delivery Tuesday through Thursday.

Direct your delivery to:

Maker Faire 2019 – c/o SMEC
(Your Project Number, Maker Name & Local Phone Number)
1346 Saratoga Drive
San Mateo, CA 94403

Shipments Before Monday May 13

The San Mateo Event Center does not accept freight deliveries prior to May 13th, 2019.
For shipments that need to arrive earlier, please let us know by emailing us at makers@makerfaire.com.

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

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 10pm on Sunday, May 19.

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.

Note:

  • Alert our Shipping Department of Return Shipments by filling out the Maker Shipping Form.
  • Print your bill of lading or shipping label before you leave your hotel. We do not have the ability to print them out onsite.
  • 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.
  • 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 makers@makerfaire.com and/or speak to your Area Manager during the event.

Pre-Event Maker 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 maker site visits on the following dates. Register here in advance to attend.

  • Thursday, April 18: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Saturday, April 20: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Thursday, April 25: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Prepping for Success

Promote Your Maker Faire Exhibit

Maker Faire is all about sharing: start by sharing the news that you are an official Maker Faire exhibitor! Maker Faire web banners and badges placed on your website and in emails 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 #MFBA19.

Flying to Maker Faire

Getting to Maker Faire

There are three major airports nearby:

  • San Francisco International (SFO) (closest to the event center and recommended hotels)
  • Oakland International (OAK)
  • San Jose International (SJC)

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

You should have received a confirmation of your exhibit application submission. If not, check your spam or junk folder; if you find it there, make sure to add makers@makerfaire.com to your contacts to make sure you get future messages.

I can't log in. What do I do?

Problem: I am not able to log in 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 tab rather than the Log In or Reset Password buttons.

If you still don’t find any confirmation of your original submission or any subsequent messages, contact us at makers@makerfaire.com.

How do I calculate my electrical needs?

  • Voltage: In North America, normal house and building power is 120 volts. (Large machinery may require 220 volts.)
  • Amperage: After you determine the voltage you require, 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.

Can I bring my e-ticket on my phone or tablet?

A printout is not required, we scan your entry pass on your phone or tablet. A printout is, however, the most robust way as phones do run out of charge.

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

You sure can! Before Maker Faire, meet us at the San Mateo Event Center to look at the site and ask any questions. More information on the the Pre-Event Site Visit schedule is coming soon. Reach out to makers@makerfaire.com for updates.

How do I change a name on a Maker Entry Pass?

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.

What’s the weather like?

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. Pack with layers in mind. Bring a jacket and a hat and wear comfortable shoes and sunscreen. Yes, it’s California in May but bring rain gear just in case!

How else can I participate?

We welcome volunteers. The Maker Faire Traveler Program allows you to make a valuable contribution to the success of Maker Faire and better understand the Maker Movement. Qualified volunteers receive a free one-day ticket to Maker Faire. Get more info about the Maker Traveler Program.