Before Gates Open

Set Up & Load In

Thursday, May 16 Friday, May 17 Saturday, May 18 Sunday, May 19
Set Up 10am – 6pm Set Up 7:30am – 12:30pm Set Up 7:30am – 9:30am Set Up 8:00am – 9:30am
Showtime 1pm – 5pm Showtime 10am – 7pm Showtime 10am – 6pm
Maker Mixer 5pm – 6pm* Strike 6pm – 9pm
Maker Dinner 6pm – 8pm*
*Times are subject to change.

Note: We strongly recommend that you set up on Thursday May 16.

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 touch ups must be completed by 12:30 pm on Friday.

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, who are not exhibiting, not be on the Maker Faire floor during setup or teardown hours. Children who are exhibitors must be accompanied by a supervising adult.

Load in

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.

Maker Faire starts promptly at 1:00 pm on Friday and 10:00 am on Saturday and Sunday. All vehicles that are not exhibits must be parked off site by 12:30 Friday and 9:30 Saturday and Sunday.

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 in case we need to locate you.
  • Drive on to the grounds slowly and safely.
  • Quickly unload from an area (or near a door) closest to your exhibit location.
  • Do not block any entrance or park in fire lanes.
  • Before setting up, immediately move your vehicle to a parking lot.
  • Return to set up your exhibit.
On site access

No vehicles will be allowed on site after 12:00 pm on Friday and 9:00 am on Saturday and Sunday.

Approximately 1 hour before the set up period closes, all Maker vehicle traffic will be redirected to the South Maker Service Center – Maker Gate 4 (which is conveniently located next to onsite Maker parking area).


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.


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. An exhibit vehicle 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. The 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. 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.

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

Your Exhibit Location: Before Maker Faire, we will send the exhibit lead the Maker Faire area or zone where with your 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.
  • Bring your Check In Station Map.
  • Know your Entry ID or Project Number
  • During setup hours (see below): Show your Maker Entry Pass at the gates for scanning. If you arrive during Show Hours, please present your Maker Entry Pass at on of the three the Maker gates shown on the Check In Station Map.
  • 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.

Maker Parking

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.

Maker Parking At The Event Center

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

Maker Parking information was sent in Maker Newsletter #4 to the lead contact for all accepted exhibits on May 10th. That newsletter has the passwords needed to purchase maker discounted onsite parking passes. Email us at with your exhibit entry ID if you did not receive that information.

Onsite parking is free on Thursday for set up.

We have reserved a limited number of discounted parking spots for you Makers at:

Maker discounted parking is only available with pre-purchased passes. Use the passwords provided in Maker Newsletter #4 or email us at with your entry ID. One parking pass per type and email address are accepted on these San Mateo County Event Center etix sites.

Onsite parking Friday through Sunday will be sold at the event center kiosks for $35 per day for anyone trying to gain entry that does not have a pre-purchased maker parking pass. Get your discounted parking passes today. First come – first served.

Maker Parking Nearby The Event Center

Friday parking is limited. We suggest you purchase the $15 onsite parking pass or plan to find street parking after you load in. Please avoid parking in Bay Meadows or the Fiesta Garden Communities.

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

  • Crossroads/Rakuten, 1875 S. Grant St; 15 min walk (.7 mile) – MAP
  • Franklin-Templeton, 1 Franklin Parkway; 8 min walk (.4 mile) – MAP
  • Kaiser Permanente 1000 Franklin Parkway; 10 min walk (.5mile) – MAP

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


Refer to the Getting to Maker Faire page for general transportation and parking information.

RV parking

San Mateo Event Center has a limited number of RV spots available. Please contact them directly at for more information.

There is no overnight parking without an RV parking pass. Event Center staff will be towing vehicles left overnight.

During the Show

Maker Service Center

The Maker Service Center is a resource center with knowledgeable staff to help Makers with questions. The primary Maker Service Center will be located at Gate 8 (Located at the main parking lot at 1346 Saratoga Dr, San Mateo, CA). There are Maker Service Centers at each Maker Gate.

  • Thursday, May 16: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (East lot Gate 8 only)
  • Friday, May 17: 7:30 am – 5:30 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

The Maker Service Centers are not where Makers check in. Use your Entry Passes in at any Maker gate and then check in with your Area Manager, as described above.

If you arrive onsite and don’t know your Check In Station, bring your Project Number to a Maker Service Center. 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


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.

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 metalpacking materials

Recycling stations will be located throughout the grounds; we ask that you do not separate the bins from each other.

There will also be a separate area for corrugated cardboard. Please break down all cardboard for easy stacking and transporting. Additionally, compost bins will be available for all food items.

At this time we cannot recycle plastic bags, Styrofoam, or plastic utensils.

Ask a Maker Faire crew member 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 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 a question about how to dispose of something, contact Maker Faire’s Sustainability Coordinator at

Going Home

Sunday Load Out

– Coming Soon

Frequently Asked Questions

Any advice for first timers?

Sure, check out this video made by a fellow maker during Maker Faire Bay Area 2012.

Where is the handicapped parking?

– Coming Soon

Do you have bike parking?

– Coming Soon

What's my exhibit location?

– Coming Soon