Exhibit Planning

Maker Faire is anything but a standard trade show environment! It is an action-packed festival; an interactive maze of demonstrations, exhibits, and workshops, where attendees can explore, play, and learn. We strive to keep the show environmentally friendly and simple in design. We recommend keeping your booth decoration costs low and focusing on interactive, inspiring activities and displays. Maker Faire attendees want to learn your company’s Maker story, speak to your engineers, see your product or service in action, and participate in hands-on activities and stimulating conversations! The most engaging booths at Maker Faire allow attendees to have a positive, involved experience with the company and brand, rather than simply selling products or handing out materials. Attendees are the thinkers, inventors and makers of today and, more importantly tomorrow. Maker Faire is an opportunity to make an impression on this diverse crowd that will carry beyond the show, into the world and into the future. Because of the unique environment of the event, it is important to be aware of the following guidelines and to inform the Maker Faire team of your booth activities and set-up plans in advance.

Exhibit Guidelines & Booth Space

  • Sponsorship packages include floor space only, with the exception of Start Up Sponsors, which include a 10’x10′ space, (1) 8′ table, (2) chairs, 5 amps of power, and 4 staff passes.
  • Booth numbers are only used for production purposes. It is important to note, booth numbers are not displayed or published and, therefore, not referenced by attendees.
  • Booth locations will be referenced by Zones within the event.
  • Booth locations will be shared 2 weeks prior to the event. We appreciate your patience as we finalize all placements!
  • Chain link fencing is used as partitions for booths smaller than 20’x20′. You are welcome to hang signage and materials from the fencing (ensuring the fencing is not harmed). Don’t forget the zip ties!
  • No other companies but the Sponsor Company listed on the contract, or the StartUp Company who applied and was accepted, are allowed to exhibit in the booth space or display signage and marketing materials without prior approval.
  • If you are working with an outside contractor for the booth set-up, please make sure they are in accordance with the regulations in this Toolkit and are in communication with the Maker Faire team prior to the event.

Booth Guidelines

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.)
  • Booth footprint cannot exceed size agreed upon in contract 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 appropriate amount of sandbags at each leg if outside.

Signage & Branding:

  • Ensure booth signage is well-secured and does not exceed the height limitations, exist outside of the booth, or impede walkways.
  • Do not hang signage directly on tents that are shared with other exhibitors.
  • Balloons are not allowed at Maker Faire, unless approved prior to event.
  • Usage of any Maker Faire logos or marks should be approved in advance.

Food & Beverage:

Health Permit
    Food and beverages samples may not be given away without first completing the following Health Permit forms and fees by the deadlines:

  • Pay the Health Permit FeeDue 4/12
  • Submit a Health Permit FormDue 4/12
  • Take the Health Permit QuizDue 4/12
  • 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.
  • Samples must be 2 oz. or less.

Event Refreshment – Concession stands will be open during the show and the cafeteria will be open for setup on Friday. In addition, a Maker Lounge will be available to all sponsors and staff (with credentials) to purchase food and avoid regular concessionaire food lines. Menu available at check-in.

Booth Layout Submission

For booths 20’x10’ and larger, a booth layout must be submitted, indicating the following:

  • Booth orientation (location of aisles and open sides) Contact us for specifics.
  • Total height of booth elements and signage, including location of any walls or structures
  • Entrance/exits indicated (for booths 20’x20′ and larger)
  • Electrical and Internet distribution locations, if not standard back of booth. *Custom distribution will have additional labor costs.

Optional templates to use are available here.

Load-In & Check-In

Set-Up and Load-In Hours

Thursday, May 16   10am – 6pm*
Friday, May 17   7:30am – 12:30pm – No vehicle access after 12:00pm
Saturday, May 18   7:30am – 9:30am – No vehicle access after 9:00am
Sunday, May 19   8:00am – 9:30am – No vehicle access after 9:00am

Earlier access to the site must be arranged by prior appointment.
* Event site open until 8pm for setup, but services and assistance limited after 5pm.

Load-In Process

Drive On Site: To personally unload your exhibit materials at your booth space:

  • Pick up your site maps and staff credentials at the Sponsor Check-In desk.
  • Obtain a Temporary Unloading Pass from security personnel at the Gate 9 entrance. Write your phone number on the permit and display on the dash. Drive slowly onto the grounds.
  • Quickly unload your materials as close as possible to your booth. Before setting up, move your vehicle to the parking lot (or offsite during show days).
  • Vehicle Access: No vehicles will be allowed onto the site after 12:00pm on Friday and 9:00am on Saturday and Sunday. If a vehicle is part of your exhibit, it must be parked by this time.

    Shipments and Deliveries: Shipping and delivery drivers can enter at 1346 Saratoga Dr. and follow the signs to Shipping & Receiving for unloading. SLI Freight must be notified of all shipments and deliveries to schedule material handling and confirm a delivery window. We encourage you to have materials arrive before set-up day when possible.

    Unloading Assistance: If a forklift is required to unload your exhibit materials at your booth (not received at Shipping & Receiving) please arrange a delivery window and material handling with SLI Freight. Personal vehicles may be unloaded by hand.

Staff Passes & Check-In

All staff setting up and/or working in the booth need to obtain a Staff Pass in advance and bring it to Sponsor Check-In upon arriving to receive credentials. A registration Eventbrite link and code will be made available in the Sponsor Portal in April.

A map locating Sponsor Check-In will be available in May. Check-In will be open during listed set-up and show time hours.

Staff must bring their individual registration pass (printed or on a mobile device) to receive credentials at Sponsor Check-In. Passes are not name specific and may be transferred, but can only be used one time by one individual. Each pass covers set-up through teardown. Please wear identification credentials and entry wristband at all times. Contact us if your staff exceeds the number of passes allocated, or if you have a large number of volunteer shifts throughout the weekend.

On-Site Assistance

The Sponsor Relations team and partner vendors are dedicated to providing you assistance and service on-site, and will be available at the Sponsor Services Desk located in Expo Hall. Please bring any issues to our attention by speaking with us at the Sponsor Services Desk. Other Maker Faire crew members will be happy to answer general questions and direct you to the Desk, but the Sponsor Relations team can prioritize your issue as quickly as possible.

Strike & Load Out

Load Out Hours

Sunday, May 19    6pm – 9pm
Monday, May 20,   after 9:30am by appointment

Booth Teardown

Teardown and load-out will begin on Sunday evening when all attendees are off the grounds. The site closes at 9:00pm. Teardowns requiring more time or load-outs requiring a forklift should be arranged for Monday. No early teardowns or exits allowed.

Return of Empties

There will be a lapse of time between the end of the show and the return of your empties. All attendees must be off the grounds before we can begin. Priority is given to those with advance arrangements made with SLI. Please plan accordingly.

Vehicle Access

Personal vehicles will not be allowed to line up outside the gates until after 6:00pm and cannot enter the show site until the public has vacated the grounds. Freight trucks will not be allowed due to congestion; all shipments must be picked up on Monday. All vehicles must be off the grounds by 9:00pm.

Monday Load Out

If your teardown will require more time or loading requires heavy equipment, please plan in advance to load out on Monday after 9:30am. Pack up your booth as much as possible on Sunday. Roaming security will be onsite and dedicated security is available to order.

Booth Services

Booth services must be ordered in advance, including Internet connection, electrical drops, and furniture. Changes, orders after the deadline, and on-site requests are subject to availability and late charges.

Furniture & Equipment

Rossi Expositions Inc. is the official service contractor for all of your Maker Faire Furniture & Equipment Needs. Rossi has an online catalogue of items that have been pre-approved for exhibiting at Maker Faire Bay Area ‘19. The main contact of your Entry Form will receive an email notification with login credentials for easy access to the online catalogue of Rossi products, and you will be able to order direct through their online portal. If you have issues with accessing the Rossi Portal for online ordering please email the Rossi support team at info@rossiexpo.com. Below is a general list of items that can be found in the online Rossi catalogue, and rented through their online portal here.

  • Tables & Chairs
  • Signage & Banners
  • Audio / Visual
  • Full Booth Buildouts

Furniture will be dropped in your booth for setup. If items are missing, please let us know right away. There are no refunds for items ordered but not used. Do not take furniture from other areas or booths.

Electrical Services

Edlen Electrical is the official service provider for all electrical services. Electrical services can be ordered through Edlen’s online order form by the deadline. On-site requests can take up to a day to fulfill and will incur additional fees. Contact Edlen if you need assistance choosing the correct amperage.

Electrical drops will be located at the back of a booth space, unless ordered otherwise and shown in a booth layout provided to Edlen. Drops may be shared with a neighboring booth; please make sure you are only using the number of outlets ordered. Please bring or rent surge protectors and extension cords. Electricity is on during set up and show hours, and 24-hour electricity can be ordered.

Electrical Order Form

For your convenience, place your order online at www.edlen.com.

Advance payment deadline date: April 26, 2019

Internet Connectivity

Maker Faire is a challenging environment in which to provide Internet, especially over WiFi. While you are free to deploy your own WiFi, our technical team is familiar with the event and can work with you to set up and troubleshoot your network in order to mitigate interference. If your booth activities rely on Internet connectivity, it is essential that you order dedicated Internet services through the Internet Order Form.

  • A Wi-Fi network is made available for all exhibitors, but it is not intended for booth activities and will not be reliable for sustained use.
  • If your booth activities rely on Internet connectivity, it is essential that you order dedicated Internet services for your booth via the Internet Order Form.
  • We would be happy to schedule a consultation with our technical team in advance to ensure that your network needs are met.

Internet Order Form

On-Site Assistance & Requests for Internet Services:

  • Internet services are not available during set-up times. If you require an Internet connection before the morning of the show, please contact us in advance.
  • If you have issues with the network during the show, let us know right away! Please report the issue to the Sponsor Services Desk so that our technicians can assist you. We cannot fix or refund Internet costs if the issue is not properly reported.
  • Onsite requests or changes for Internet services may not be possible and will incur additional costs.

Booth Cleaning

The cleaning crew will complete a clean sweep of the aisles after 9:00 pm on Friday and Saturday night. Items left in the aisles will be picked up as trash. The janitorial crew will not enter your exhibit area to clean. If you would like your booth cleaned, you can order cleaning services through Rossi Expositions.


More Information Coming Soon

Inbound Shipping, Material Handling, & Storage

Shipping & Material Handling

SLI Freight is the official provider of all material handling and drayage services at Maker Faire. SLI also offers complete shipping logistics for domestic and international shipments. We highly recommend working with SLI to manage your complete shipping needs, especially for materials dealing with customs. If you decide to use your own carrier, you must still arrange material handling and schedule a delivery date through SLI.

SLI Freight Contact Info:
Contact: Sammy Bensasi
Office: +1.954.748.6874 ex. 25
Mobile: +1.954.554.7326
Email: bensasi.S@sli-inc.com

Shipping Info Kit and Forms:
Shipping Info Kit
Shipping Form
Outbound Bill of Lading
Payment Form

Inbound Shipments and Deliveries


  • Ship to the Advance Warehouse for lower material handling costs and to ensure your materials are onsite when you arrive.
  • Schedule Show Site deliveries prior to set-up day (May 17-18) to avoid waiting. (Items received on set-up day will take time to deliver to your booth.)
  • Palletize and crate items whenever possible for ease and economy. Single boxes will not be delivered to booth until requested by an on-site representative for security reasons.

Inbound Shipments by own carrier:

  • Advance Warehouse Arrival Dates: April 22 – May 10
  • Show Site Arrival Dates: May 14 – 17

Material Handling & Storage


All shipments and deliveries requiring unloading, delivery to the booth, and/or storage of empties, will incur material handling fees. Personal vehicles not requiring unloading assistance or storage of empties will not have material handling costs. Accessible storage outside of the booth for product, swag, etc. is only available in exceptional cases for an additional cost, and must be arranged by May 4th. Make plans to store personal items and swag in your booth.

Outbound Shipments and Pickups:

All outgoing shipments and pick-ups requiring a forklift must be scheduled for Monday, May 20th only from 9am – 3pm. No freight pickups on Sunday.

Outbound Shipments Through SLI: Make arrangements with SLI Freight to manage your shipment back to the point of origin or to the next show. SLI staff on-site will handle all of your needs!

Outbound Shipments by own carrier:

  • Complete a Bill of Lading Outbound Shipping Form in advance, or pickup on-site at the Sponsor Service desk. Forms must be returned by 7:30pm on Sunday, May 20th (or emailed in advance).
  • Arrange pickup with your carrier for Monday, May 20th. Carriers (FedEx, UPS, etc.) will not pickup items not on their scheduled list.
  • Complete pack up and label all of your materials, and leave in your booth space. You will need to bring packing materials, tape, labels, pallet wrap, etc.

For the easiest process, use SLI Freight as your shipping carrier to make sure your materials get back home or to the next event. SLI Freight representative will be onsite to handle all of your outbound shipping needs.

Safety & Regulations

Certificate of Insurance

All Sponsors/Startups are required to provide a Certificate of Insurance for the duration of time on-site at Maker Faire Bay Area. Complete Requirements are available through your sponsor portal tasks.

Fire & Safety

As a sponsor, 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, any sort of compressed gas, or dangerous chemicals.

Fire & Safety Plans

If any of the above items will be present in your booth space, a Fire or General Safety Plan form must be submitted prior to exhibit approval. The 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’re unsure, email us at sponsorrelations@makermedia.com. 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.

Fire & Safety Regulations

Exit and Aisles: Aisles must be kept clear of all displays and equipment. Entrance and exit doors shall remain unobstructed at all times. Fire extinguishers and fire-hose cabinets shall remain visible and accessible 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. All power cords must be kept behind the display with nothing placed on top of any cords.

Electrical/Fireproofing: The fire department has strict regulations governing trade shows. All electrical wiring must conform to National Electrical Code Safety Rules. In addition, all draperies, decorations, and materials must be Flameproof in accordance with local fire codes. Materials may be inspected and/or tested by the Fire Marshall at any time.

Hazardous Materials: Hazardous materials 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. 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: Both will not be permitted without prior review and approval. Please note that helium balloons are not permitted at the event site. If balloons are caught in building rafters, a retrieval fee will be charged to the exhibitor.

Combustibles Kept Outside: Additional supplies and inventory must be kept in closed containers and stored in a neat and compact manner. 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. The Maker Faire Production Team will ensure that adequate janitorial and rubbish pickup service (outside of your booth) is performed daily.

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 inside the exhibit space, the negative battery terminal must be disconnected, and the fuel tank cap must be taped or locked.

Child Safety: Maker Faire is a family event. We appreciate your assistance in keeping Maker Faire a safe environment for the children attending. For safety purposes, all children under the age of 15 must be supervised at all times during set-up 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.

Precautions: The potential of theft and disappearance of items can be greatly reduced if a few simple precautions are taken:

  • Do not leave purses, laptops, cell phones, or any easily portable items unattended at any time in your exhibit area.
  • Avoid leaving any small items of significant value in your booth overnight.
  • If possible, cover your display with a flameproof drop cloth overnight.
  • Run wire or cable through as many items as possible and lock at night.
  • A solidly constructed, lockable trunk provides security and storage for small items.
  • Report any suspicious person or theft in the building or on the grounds immediately to the Maker Faire Show Office or Staff, and Security Officers will be notified and an incident report filed, if applicable.
  • Lock valuables in the trunk of the car, where they are not visible.
  • Travel in pairs at night.
  • Ask your hotel for a safe deposit box to store your valuables.
  • If you are demonstrating a valuable piece of equipment, please remove it from your booth each evening.

First Aid & Emergency

First Aid Facilities: An EMT will be on-site Friday through Sunday during Maker Faire setup and show hours. First Aid Services will be available at the First Aid Tent which will be highlighted on the event map in the printed program guide and mobile app. There will be signage to direct you to First Aid. This is also where our Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) will be stationed.

Emergency: In the event of a medical emergency, notify the production crew, 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 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.

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 an obvious reason for the alarm, please calmly make your way to the nearest exit and encourage 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, sponsors will be granted access prior to members of the public.

Rules & Regulations

We want to thank you for your cooperation in complying with the rules of the San Mateo Event Center. If you have any questions regarding the following rules, please feel free to contact us.

Building Regulations: In accordance with restrictions imposed by the Event Center, the following rules must be adhered to:

No drilling of holes, attaching to or painting of the floor, or any other defacement to floors or walls. When such damage occurs, the Sponsor is solely responsible and is liable to the owner of the property so damaged.

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.

Please do not insert stakes in the ground, as it could be costly and dangerous. There is wire underground that will be damaged if stakes are used.

Alterations shall not be made to the buildings, grounds, or parking lots. Temporary changes such as the installation or removal of fences, removal or trimming of trees, painting, or equipment relocation are prohibited.

Event Production 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.

Sufficient space must be provided within the booth for the comfort and safety of persons watching exhibits, demonstrations, displays, or workshops.

No food or beverage may be offered or displayed as part of exhibit, demonstration, presentation, or workshop.

No exits, fire fighting equipment, or emergency equipment may be blocked or obstructed under any circumstances.

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 at convention centers, and as necessity follows, floor exhibits.

Every participant, employee, agent, or contractor connected with the Permitted 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. Permitted agrees that he/she will not permit violation or breach of peace to occur either on his/her part, or by anyone employed by him/her or anyone admitted to the premises by him/her

Permitted shall conduct activities upon the premises so as not to endanger or harm any person, property, or the environment. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “premises” shall include all the San Mateo Event Center property, including the parking lot, entrance ways, ticket booth areas, and other areas used by Permitted or its employees, contractors, agents, members, or guests.