Maker Toolkit Chicago Maker Faire 2017

April 22 + 23, 2017 SHOWTIMES Saturday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
McCormick Place | 301 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60616

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.

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 Toolkit.

Leading up to the show, you will receive a 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. 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.

Application Schedule
1st Round: Open through February 17 at 11:59pm PST
2nd Round: Closes March 3 at 11:59pm PST
*Applications submitted in the 1st Round are reviewed first.

Applications submitted before March 4th will be notified before the end of March.
Late Entries: Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed based on available space.

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 terrace at McCormick Place 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. If you have an outdoor exhibit, we recommend that you bring a small tent or umbrella if you are sensitive to the sun.

Indoor Exhibit Area: Most Maker exhibits will be located inside. The spaces are subdivided into tabletop (~8×5), 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.


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, entry passes, etc., at no cost to the Maker.

Makers with commercial interests or marketing intentions are asked to pay an exhibit fee. All Makers who plan to sell must comply with the sales tax laws of the State of Illinois. To this end, we are required to notify you that form IDOR‐6‐SETR must be completed and mailed, faxed or submitted online.

It will be your responsibility to determine whether or not you are required to apply for a tax certificate and collect sales tax.

  • You can do this by obtaining and reading the publication for retailers here.
  • You can receive your certificate of registration either online, in person or by mail by the following methods:
    1. Downloading the FORM.
    2. In person at the:
      Chicago at the James R. Thompson Center‐Concourse Level
      100 West Randolph Street
      Chicago, IL 60601‐3274
      Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM on weekdays only. Please note the application will take 1‐2 days to process.
      Questions regarding the completion of form IDOR‐6‐SETR can also be resolved by contacting the IL State Tax Department at 847.294.4475.
  • Tax Certificates MUST be displayed in your booth during Show hours.
  • Please contact the IL State Tax Department if you have questions regarding the rate at which tax must be computed, charged and collected.
  • It is important that you call the State of Illinois after the event closes and close your account, otherwise you may be expected to make a monthly tax payment. The number to call is 217.785.3707.
Makers Sampling or Selling Food: Food sales are not permitted for outside vendors, Savor is the exclusive catering and concessions vendor. If food is part of your exhibit and you plan to give any to attendees, you must do the following:
  • Submit a Food Sampling FormDue 3/31
  • Submit a Certificate of Insurance.
  • Pay any applicable fees.
  • Display a ingredient list to alert attendees with any allergies and/or food sensitivities.

Maker Groups: Makers that exhibit together in one space that are organized by one Curator, including schools/educational groups. To ease the application process and onsite management, please email for Group Curator details.

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 Admin Tool is a great way to manage your Exhibit Details. You can now view and edit all the answers you have submitted in your application. You can make changes to your exhibit, including electrical and tables/chairs. Resource changes (table, chairs, electrical) must be made by April 5th. With the Maker Admin Tool you can change the exhibit description, photo, or bio sections that will appear on your Maker web page.
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 laminated sign for your exhibit and a Maker webpage on our website. Each 11×17 inch sign and webpage includes an image, project description, and short bio based on the project proposal you submitted. This information and a link to your Maker webpage will also appear on our mobile app.
  • Internet Connectivity: Wireless internet will be available within the event for maker use. Hard wire connections are available for purchase through the venue a prevailing rates.
  • 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.
  • Water: There will be a sink and hose available for filling buckets and other minimal water needs. If your exhibit has water needs beyond the use of the sink or hose, please fill out the Special Request Form.
  • 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 Admin Tool. Requesting additional tables onsite is based on availability and will cost $20.00 per table. Additional chairs are $15, but also based on availability.
  • 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. Please ensure that any equipment you bring is in good condition and UL certified. 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 - Due March 21st.
Submit a Fire Safety Plan - Due March 21st..

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.

Pre-Event Site Visits

Before Maker Faire, meet us at the McCormick Place to look at the site and ask any questions. We will be at the McCormick Place - Lakeside for site visits on the following dates. Register here.
  • Thursday, April 6: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday, April 18: 12:00 am – 3:00 pm


Maker Entry Passes and 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 for our advance planning that all participants have entry passes prior to the event. We are no longer able to accommodate additions and Maker Check In. Purchase general attendee tickets here.


Maker Entry Passes
  • Quantity: 5
  • 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
Complimentary One-Day Tickets - in appreciation of your efforts!
  • Quantity: 2
  • For anyone: additional assistants, family, friends, or your guests
  • Sat & Sun entry show hours only: Sat 10-7, Sun 10-6
Discounted One-Day Tickets
  • Maximum quantity: 6
  • One ticket type only: adult one-day ticket (can by used by any age)
  • $20 per one-day ticket (regular price $45)
  • For anyone: additional assistants, family, friends, or your guests

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

  1. 5-7 Business Days following your acceptance you will be sent an email with information on how to access your tickets.
  2. Click the link provided.
  3. Enter the code provided to you in the email.
  4. Select the tickets you need and complete your order.
  5. After finishing the 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 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.
  • Complimentary and discounted tickets can only be used during show hours.
  • The Maker Ticketing Site is different than the general admission ticket site.

Larger Groups

  • If your exhibit requires more than the allotted Maker Entry Passes, please attempt to use your complimentary tickets or purchase discounts tickets. 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.

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.

Other Ways to Participate

Maker Faire Traveler Program:

We welcome your help at the first ever Chicago Maker Faire. Becoming a Maker Faire Traveler offers the opportunity to lend a hand in the production of this unique and interactive event. Traveler positions are paid and you will be asked to work a four or six hour shift on each day. Availability for both Saturday and Sunday is requested. Each Traveler will receive a 2-day wristband for the event. If you plan to attend the show with friends or family, please ensure that you plan to do so outside of your scheduled shifts, and that all guests have purchased tickets. See the Maker Traveler Google form to apply.

Getting To Maker Faire Getting to Maker Faire


Extensive information about parking and public transportation is available HERE or HERE.

Parking at McCormick Place may be limited due to a large number of events in the area over the weekend.

Alternate parking is available in the nearby North Garage and Waldron Garage. Shuttles will be available to and from those parking lots. See the Shuttle FLYER.

Additional Parking options can be found on this FLYER.


Any items send to McCormick Place or shipped out through GES at the end of the show will incur material handling charges. These charges can be significant, so we STRONGLY SUGGEST that you explore alternate options for shipping and receiving of your materials offsite and bring those materials in and out through the ASUV program. If you plan to ship any items to the McCormick Place for Maker Faire you should order material handling through the GES site. Please make careful note of the pricing and minimums. Handling charges are based on the weight of the freight. Shipments are billed by the hundred weight and rounded up to the nearest hundred. Minimum per Shipment may apply, see the GES site for details. Please prepay all shipping charges - GES cannot accept or be responsible for collect shipments. Crated and uncrated shipments must be separated and clearly identified on separate bills of lading with separate weight tickets - otherwise GES will invoice the entire load at the Uncrated rate. Overtime charges may apply. Rates differ depending on the type of shipment:
  1. Crated - Material that is skidded, or is in any type of shipping container that can be unloaded at the dock with no additional handling required.
  2. Uncrated - Material that is shipped loose or pad-wrapped, and/or unskidded machinery without proper lifting bars or hooks.
  3. Special Handling - Defined as shipments that are loaded by cubic space and/or packed in such a manner as to require special handling, such as ground loading, side door loading, constricted space loading and designated piece loading or stacked shipments. Also included are mixed shipments and shipments without proper delivery receipts.

  4. Please also:
    1. Complete a GES Shipping Label.
    2. Please guarantee your delivery Thursday, April 20 or Friday, April 21, direct your delivery with completed shipping label to:
    • Project - Maker Name & Booth Number
    • McCormick Place
    • 2301 South Lake Shore Drive
    • Chicago, IL 60616-1490

    Early Shipments: McCormick Place does not accept freight deliveries in advance of Maker Faire dates. For shipments that may arrive earlier, please fill out the Special Request Form.

    Finding Packages Onsite: If you shipped materials directly to the facility and ordered material handling through GES but have trouble locating your package(s) in your booth, please inform your Area Manager who will contact GES to have your package(s) delivered to you.

    Return Shipments: Please make appropriate arrangements for a Sunday evening load-out. McCormick Place and the Maker Faire Production Team will not be held responsible for any items left at the site after 8:00 pm on Sunday, April 23. Any items send to McCormick Place or shipped out through GES at the end of the show will incur material handling charges. These charges can be significant, so we STRONGLY SUGGEST that you explore alternate options for shipping and receiving of your materials offsite and bring those materials in and out through the ASUV program. The FedEx location in the building will be open to assist those who wish to ship out through FedEx or have a pre-printed UPS label. This office does not accept any inbound packages or shipments. Hours are:
    • Saturday, April 22—8:30-5pm
    • Sunday, April 23—8:30-6pm
    • Monday, April 24—8:30-12pm

    1. Print your shipping label before you leave your hotel. We do not have the ability to print them out onsite.
    2. Any shipments left onsite will be charged additional fees for any storage and handling by our shipping partner, GES..
    If you have any questions regarding shipping, please contact and/or speak to your Area Manager during the event.

    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 for more information.

    Nearby Airports: There are two major airports nearby: Chicago O'Hare International (ORD) and Midway (MDW).

    Tips for Out of Towners

    What to Pack: The month of April is characterized by rapidly rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing from 53°F to 64°F over the course of the month, exceeding 77°F or dropping below 39°F only one day in ten. It is best to pack with layers in mind. Please wear comfortable shoes. Be sure to bring a jacket for the evening program; Saturday we will be open until 7:00 pm.

    Local Resources

    Choose Chicago offers a visitor’s guide and other great resources to assist you during your stay.

    Onsite Details + Resources Onsite Details + Resources

    Set Up + Load In Process

    Thursday, April 20

    Set Up 8:00am – 5:00pm

    Friday, April 21

    Set Up 8:00am – 5:00pm

    Saturday, April 22

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

    Sunday, April 23

    Set Up 8:00am – 9:30am
    Showtime 10:00am – 5:00pm

    *We strongly recommend that you setup on Friday, April 21.

    Makers who need to work longer hours than listed must make arrangements with the Production Team. Email Major construction must be completed on Friday, and all final touchups must be completed by 8:30 am on Saturday, April 22.

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


    Maker Faire starts promptly at 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 and Drop: If you need to drive onto the loading dock to unload, follow these instructions:
    • Marshalling Yard is: 2900 South Moe Drive, Chicago, IL 60616. (see Fig. 1 & 2) Contact the Truck Marshalling directly at 312-808-3100 and for recorded directions hotline call 312-808-3161.
    • Directions: I-55 North to Lake Shore Drive South exit, stay in right lane and exit at 31st Street. At the end of the exit ramp is a sign that says “McCormick Place Truck Marshalling”. Take a right via a wide U-turn that will take you to the Marshalling Yard that is on the left. (see Fig. 1 & 2)
    • Once you have your window card from the Marshalling Yard turn around and go back to 31st Street, turn left and cross over Lake Shore Drive, turn left onto Fort Dearborn Drive to begin POV loading dock queuing.

    (Fig. 1) I-55 Exit

    (Fig. 2) Lake Shore Drive South exit ramp and 31st Street

    (Fig. 3) Fort Dearborn Drive POV queuing

    (Fig. 4) Fort Dearborn Drive POV queuing

    (Fig. 5) Entrance to the Loading Docks

    (Fig. 6) Loading Dock C

    (Fig. 7) Loading Dock C

    On Site Access: No vehicles will be allowed onto the lot after 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: Carts and dollies will not be provided onsite, you must bring your own.

    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.

    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 9:00am on Saturday and not moving your vehicle until after the Security Team announces that it is safe, approximately 6:00 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. Contact

    Check In Process


    • To streamline the check-in process, all Makers and assistants need to obtain their Entry Passes in advance. Refer to the email you receive 5-7 business days after your Acceptance Letter for instructions on how to obtain passes and tickets.
    • Your Exhibit Location:

      When you arrive onsite and check-in you will receive a map indicating your booth location.
    • 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 ShowClix by following the instructions in your email.
    • Know your Project Number.


    • During setup hours: Show your Maker Entry Pass for scanning. If you arrive during Show Hours, please present your Maker Entry Pass or ticket at the main gates.
    • Go directly to your Check In Station located inside the hall.
    • You will be checked in, given your Welcome Packet, and directed to your exact location.

    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. Check In will move to Ballroom E354 during show hours.

    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: Makers are permitted to bring food and beverage items into the facility for personal consumption only. Any food and beverage needed to serve attendees must be purchased through Savor. Vendors, promoters, Makers, or guests are not permitted to sell or give away food or beverage items without completing the appropriate form. 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.

    ATMs: ATMs offer audio assistance for the visually impaired and meet height and reach requirements for the physically impaired.
    Cash machines are available in each building:
    • South Level 2.5 in the Convenience Center
    • North Level 2, near McDonalds
    • West, Level 1 near the Transportation Center
    • Lakeside Level 2, near the Arie Crown Theater box office
    All cash machines accept American Express, VISA, Master Card, Cirrus and Plus.

    Business Center: A FedEx Office is located within McCormick place. Please see the flyer for more information.

    Accessibility: McCormick Place has sidewalk ramps, automatic doors at all street levels, restrooms and elevators accessible for persons with mobility impairments. Payphones are accessible and are equipped with volume and TTY capability for those with speech and hearing disabilities.

    Accessible parking is available in Lot A (located on Martin Luther King Drive), Lot C (located underground in Lakeside Center) and the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place parking garage. For wheelchairs, mobility scooters, power chairs and oxygen equipment rentals, contact our preferred service partner, Scootaround Mobility Solutions at 888-441-7575 or visit

    Elevators + Escalators: All large and heavy equipment should be transported using the freight elevator. No equipment may be transported on escalators. This includes items such as easels, chairs, tables, wheelchairs, baby carriages and other similar devices.

    Normally, escalators are not operated on move‐in and move‐out periods. Passenger elevators are not to be used for transporting heavy freight and equipment.

    Smoking: McCormick Place provides a smoke-free environment. Outdoor locations have been designated to service visitors affected by the City Ordinance.

    Weapons: The following items are forbidden:

    • Functional firearms (including air soft guns, BB guns, cap guns, paintball guns and pellet guns)
    • Functional projectile weapons (including blow guns, crossbows, long bows, silly string, slingshots, water balloons and water guns)
    • Metal-bladed weapons (including axes, daggers, hatchets, knives, kunai, shuriken, swords, sword canes and switch blades)
    • Explosives (including firecrackers and fireworks)
    • Chemical weapons (including mace and pepper spray)
    • Blunt weapons (including brass knuckles, clubs and nunchaku)
    • Instruments which cause excessive noise (including vuvuzelas)
    • Prop weapons will be allowed providing they are composed of cardboard, foam, wood or other light materials. Prop firearms are allowed only if they cannot be mistaken for real weapons. The barrels of all prop firearms must be covered with brightly-colored caps. Prop bows will be allowed providing all arrows have soft tips. Metal-bladed weapons can be bought and sold provided they are not sharpened, remain in their sheathes while on display and are placed in sealed boxes immediately upon purchase. Replica firearms can be bought and sold only if they cannot be mistaken for real weapons. The barrels of all replica firearms must be covered with brightly-colored caps.

    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 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 each evening after the show closes. 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: Limited overnight security is provided to prevent unwanted entry. If it is valuable, take it with you! You can find the security office in room N226 in the North section of the building.

    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. 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 Security Office located in Room N226.

    First Aid Facilities: McCormick Place provides wheelchair-accessible first aid stations in each building. They are operated and staffed by licensed medical professionals. Stations are fully-equipped and include automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to respond to life-threatening occurrences. The First Aid area is located in Lakeside on Level 1 nearby the Arie Crown Theater Dressing Room Entrance. First Aid will be available during all SET UP, SHOW, and LOAD OUT hours.


    • If you hear a fire alarm, see a fire or smell smoke, immediately call MPEA Security at the appropriate number above, or by two-way radio. They will notify the Chicago Fire Department if needed. If you call “9-1-1”, be sure to call MPEA Security immediately thereafter. Both McCormick Place and Navy Pier have certified fire personnel on-duty who can quickly handle this situation.
    • If an evacuation is needed, the Chicago Fire Department and/or MPEA Security will make an announcement over the building’s P.A. system. They have specific plans, depending on the situation, to inform and direct all building occupants in a calm and clear manner. If it is deemed necessary to evacuate the building, specific instructions will be given by MPEA Management. However, if a “clear and present danger” exists, begin evacuating those in danger to a safer location…as you report the emergency to MPEA Security.
    • Once outside the building, DO NOT RE-ENTER under any circumstances until you are told it is safe to do so. If you believe someone is still in the building, immediately notify the Fire Department or your Supervisor.

    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.


    Recycling stations will be located throughout the event and facility, 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. They can also assist if you have questions about how you can best recycle items from your booth. 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.


    The month of April is characterized by rapidly rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing from 53°F to 64°F over the course of the month, exceeding 77°F or dropping below 39°F only one day in ten. In the case of rain, the show will go on, so please be prepared! You are responsible for providing any supplies needed in the event of rain. We recommend bringing any of the following: Tarps or plastic covering and containers to protect product/equipment in case of rain; packing materials/tape, shipping labels (FedEx, etc.), zip ties, scissors, extra boxes, cleaning supplies and paper towels, extension cords and surge protectors, hand sanitizer, a reusable water bottle, comfortable shoes, a jacket, light rain gear, hat and sunscreen, device chargers.

    Sunday Load Out

    Teardown: Teardown begins after 5:00 pm on Sunday. All exhibits must be intact and open to the public until that time.

    Exhibits must be removed by 9:00 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 5:00 pm on Sunday and will not be able to enter until the public has vacated the grounds, and the McCormick Place determines it is safe to do so.

    For exhibits who require Monday load-out, Monday hours: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm.

    If you will need heavy equipment assistance on Sunday, the hours are limited, must be completed before 9:00 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 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.

    Common Login Issues

    If you are having trouble logging in to your Maker Admin Tool, 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 must be fixed on the backend. Please contact

    2. Problem: I am not able to login and I do not receive an email when I hit the Reset Password button.
      Solution: Please use the Sign Up button rather than the Login or Reset Password buttons. We have updated our system as of late 2015 and we do not currently have a login associated with this email address.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Maker Station and Location

    Exhibit Questions, Changes or Setup Requests

    Everything Else..

    Rules and Regulations

    As guests at McCormick Place 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.

    Animals and Pets:
    • Domestic animals: If you plan to use a domestic animal (i.e., cat or dog) in your exhibit, be sure to contact your Show Manager for approval. An insurance disclaimer will need to be completed and a permit will need to be obtained through the City of Chicago. A $275 fee is required when applying for the permit. Permit applications are due March 21. The necessary forms and information are available by contacting
    • Non‐domestic, endangered or exotic animals: The use of these animals must be approved by your Show Manager. In addition to the disclaimer form, you must also contact our Loss Prevention Manager at (312) 791‐7113.
    Balloons, Radio‐Operated Air Devices, Drones and Aircraft Landing:
    • Radio‐operated blimps and similar devices are permitted on the event floor with pre‐approval in writing from Show Management and with a certificate of accident insurance.
    • To prevent escape to the ceiling, helium‐filled balloons and similar objects must be secured. If they do escape to the ceiling, you may be charged removal fees.
    • Helium‐filled balloons or any other helium‐filled object may not be distributed.
    • Mylar balloons are prohibited due to their effect on the fire detection systems.
    • Exhibitors are not permitted to use a drone within the Complex for proprietary and safety reasons unless prior approval has been obtained.
    • The City of Chicago does not allow small aircrafts to land within city limits, unless in designated locations.
    • In accordance with the City of Chicago Fire Department and the City of Chicago, smoking is not permitted in McCormick Place. Smoking stations are located outside of the facility.
    Exhibits in Meeting Rooms:
    • If a meeting room has been assigned to your company for exhibit or meeting use, please contact the McCormick Place Event Management Department for specific meeting room guidelines.
    • Storage of combustible materials in meeting rooms, ballrooms or service corridors is prohibited.
    • Crates, cartons, pallets, pallet jacks, forklifts, etc., are not allowed in meeting rooms. All freight must be uncrated or removed from pallets prior to entering the room. Movement of freight should be done using flat trucks dedicated to carpet use. If other flat trucks or dollies are used, appropriate floor protection (Visqueen or Masonite) must be installed.
    • Storage of containers, skids, etc. is prohibited inside the facility. These items must be moved to the appropriate crate storage area. Please contact your Contractor or the official event service contractor to assist you. Removal of such items is a Fire Safety regulation and subject to inspection by the Fire Marshal.
    Hanging Items:
    • Hanging items are defined as any materials, including but not limited to, signs and machinery, which are hung from or attached to ceilings, exhibit structures or building supports. All requests for hanging items must be reviewed and approved by Show Management. The responsibility to hang an item is shared by your general service contractor and the utility provider. NOTE: Items weighing 500 lbs. or more: Drawings must be reviewed, signed and stamped by a licensed structural engineer to CERTIFY STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY AND SAFTEY.
    • These rules and regulations provide absolute limits which cannot be exceeded under any circumstances or conditions.
    • Fire Retardant regulations also apply to hanging items. Refer questions regarding fire retardancy to the Fire Safety Manager at (312) 791‐6079.
    • No hanging items are to be hung from any electrical fixtures, raceways, water, gas, air, fire protection, communications lines, piping, supports or hangers.
    • All electrical and neon items must conform to City of Chicago Electrical Codes.
    • The use of MIS, Octonorm or similar components systems for hanging signs is not permitted in our facility.
    Vehicle Displays:
    • Any vehicle or other apparatus that has a fuel tank and is part of a display, is required to be equipped with a locking (or taped) gas cap and can contain no more than 1/8 tank of fuel.
    • Once the vehicle has been positioned, it cannot be moved until move-out begins, without prior approval by the Fire Safety Manager or Designee.
    • Battery cables must be disconnected once the vehicle is positioned. The engine cannot be operated during show hours.
    • Refueling must be done off property.

    Americans with Disabilities Act: All exhibits must comply with the ADA. For information on compliance, contact the McCormick Place Fire Safety Manager.

    Hazardous Materials Management: Neither McCormick Place Housekeeping Department nor your official service contractor manages hazardous material removal. However, your Event Manager can provide contractor names specializing in this service. Exhibitors are responsible to make their own arrangements.

    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 McCormick Place assume no responsibility for any losses due to fire, theft, accident, or other causes.


    To help us produce a fun and safe environment for Makers and the many attendees, the members of our Safety Team will assist in monitoring our safety program throughout Maker Faire. All individuals who would like to participate in any interactive activity at Maker Faire are asked to read and sign a waiver. If your exhibit has an activity, please make certain that each attendee is wearing an Activity Wristband prior to joining the activity. Please direct attendees to the nearest Activity Wristband Station or Information Booth to obtain a wristband.


    Fire Safety Regulations
    • Fire Prevention reserves the right to make any final decisions regarding the outlined requirements, according to Section 2-36-220 of the Municipal Code of Chicago on Fire Prevention. Prior to the show opening and at any time during the event, the Fire Marshal may inspect the booths to ensure these requirements are met. If they are not, adjustments can be costly, and if a booth imposes a significant fire hazard, it will be prohibited from exhibiting. The Fire Safety Manager at 312-791-6079 or can answer any questions or provide a set of fire code information.
    • Booth Staging: In addition to equipment and furniture placed within a booth space, exhibitors are allowed to stage the following items:
      • Boxed or loose product, materials or literature.
      • Fiber cases used to ship pop-up displays.
      • Personal items such as luggage, purses, briefcases or coats.
      • The following restrictions must be observed when staging these additional items:
        • The amount of product, materials or literature that may be staged within a booth space must not exceed a one-day supply.
        • Items may be placed either in a display case, on a counter, on a shelving unit, in a closet, on a table, under a table or stacked neatly within the booth space.
        • Items that are placed under a table must not protrude outside the table dimensions.
        • Items that are stacked must not create a tripping hazard or hamper easy movement within the booth space.
        • Items may not be placed on or within six inches of floor ports, electrical wiring or cabling.
        • Pallets, empty crates, cartons and boxes may not be stored in the booth space.
        • Staging will not be allowed behind the back wall of the booth and behind the drape within the booth.
    • Fire Retardancy: Booth construction and decoration materials must be fire retardant. It is suggested that a certificate of retardancy be available at the show to prevent the need for possible on-site testing of the material. Fabrics must pass the NFPA-701 Code, and all other construction and decoration materials must pass the NFPA-703 Code as well as the UL-1975 test. General guidelines for material fire retardancy include:
      • Backdrops, tents, canopies, dust and table covers, drapes and similar fabrics: These fabrics can often be made fire retardant by a dry cleaner that can issue a certificate of fire retardancy. Suppliers and/or display manufacturers can also provide a certificate included with the materials.
      • Corrugated cardboard/display boxes: These materials can best be made fire retardant at a factory.
      • Wood and wood by-products: If wood materials are not sufficiently fire retardant, a certified fire retardant specialist using pressure impregnation or similar impregnation method must treat them.
      • Polyurethane foam, plastic and similar products.
    • Open Flame Devices Used for illumination or decoration, such as candles, gelled alcohol fuel fire bowls, firepots or fireplaces must comply with the following:
      • Prior notification and review by McCormick Place, Fire Safety Manager, the Fire Prevention Bureau, Fire Marshal, Authority having jurisdiction for each and every display.
      • Must be contained inside a non-combustible enclosure that totally encapsulates the flame providing a measure of safety to the public.
      • Must be positioned on a non-combustible surface with a 24-inch clearance of the flame device from any combustibles and booth back wall.
      • Must have a mechanism available to quickly and safely extinguish the flame.
      • Must have at least one multipurpose fire extinguisher rated minimum 2 – A :10- B:C strategically located with the booth.
      • Booth personnel should be familiar with the operation of the fire extinguisher.
      • Booth personnel must be in attendance whenever the device is in use.
      • Maximum one-day supply of the replacement fuel allowed in booth.
      • Device must be allowed to cool before refueling.
      • Flame must be extinguished ½ hour prior to closing.
    • Hazardous Demonstration/Display Materials/Pyrotechnics: When designing demonstrations and displays, note that the following devices require preapproval by McCormick Place and the Chicago Fire Department:
      • Lasers, open flames (including candles)
      • Smoke-producing devices
      • Indoor Pyrotechnics have special permitting procedures through the City of Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau. Contact the Fire Safety Manager.
      • Heating appliances
      • Welding, brazing or cutting equipment
      • Radioactive materials
      • Compressed gas or compressed liquid cylinders if applicable used in the booth must be securely anchored to prevent toppling.
      • Gasoline, kerosene or other flammable, toxic liquid, solid or gas.
      • A limited supply of these fuels may be stored in the demonstration device, but cannot be stored overnight. All fuel transfers must use safety cans.
      • When displaying a flammable or combustible labeled product, the display container shall be empty. Up to two aerosol cans may be used for demonstration purposes only. 20 Approval requests must be sent in 60 days before move-in of the event. The request must state how the demonstration will avoid hazards to people or nearby objects. Plexiglas or similar protection is required whenever sparking may occur. Fire extinguishers will also be required. Any chemical, substance or material deemed hazardous by O.S.H.A. requires pre-approval and must be accompanied with the appropriate M.S D S. McCormick Place Fire Safety Office will need copies of the M.S.D.S. before the materials arrive.
    • Prohibited Materials: The following items are fire-hazardous and prohibited in McCormick Place: • All flammable compressed gases, such as propane and butane • Explosives and live ammunition • Untreated Christmas trees, cut evergreens or similar trees • Fireplace logs and similar materials • Charcoal • Untreated mulch, Hay, Straw, Bamboo and Spanish moss Cooking and Heat-Generating Devices If cooking or heating appliances will be used, they must be powered electrically or by natural gas. Stoves and heaters for booth usage must be UL listed/approved and also be adequately ventilated. Nothing combustible may be placed near any heat-producing appliance. A UL listed/approved, 2 – A :10 – B : C ABC-type fire extinguisher is required in such exhibits.
    • Exhibits or Product Displays in Meeting Rooms: Storage of combustible materials in meeting rooms, ballrooms or service corridors is prohibited.
    • Fire Hose Cabinets, Pull Stations, Aisles and Exits: Each of these fire safety supports must be visible and accessible at all times. Adjustments to space and equipment may be required. Chairs, tables and other display equipment must be clear of all aisles, corridors, stairways and other exit areas.

    Release + Consent


    If accepted, Maker Media, Inc. agrees to the participation of the person or organization identified below (“Maker”) in Maker Faire Chicago 2017 (“Maker Faire”), and the Maker agrees to participate, in accordance with terms of this Agreement. In this Agreement, “we” or “us” means Maker Media, and “you” means the Maker identified below. “Exhibit” means the display and/or demonstration, presentation, performance, and/or other activities and materials that you provide or present in the space or work area assigned to you by us at Maker Faire. We reserve the right to refuse your participation or reject your application without cause.

    Your participation creates a Contract that limits the liability of Maker Media, Inc.; the Maker Faire sponsors, suppliers, concessionaires, staff, booth exhibitors, and venue; and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives, affiliates and owners (collectively and individually, “Promoters”). You agree to all of the following provisions, which are part of the Contract:

    You agree to comply with all applicable laws, the Maker 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; and for payment of all taxes (including sales and use taxes), license fees, or other charges applicable to your participation in Maker Faire. 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.

    By using a ticket or entry pass and participating in Maker Faire exhibits and activities, 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.

    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.

    You agree that we will not be liable in any way to you if we cancel Maker Faire. You waive any claim or potential claim against us if Maker Faire is cancelled, and release us from any resulting or related liability, cost, expense, or damage. Neither you, nor we, our affiliates, or the venue proprietor (collectively, the "Event Providers") will be liable for lost profits or other indirect, incidental, consequential, or exemplary damages in connection with Maker Faire and/or this Agreement, whether or not such Event Provider or you have been advised of the possibility of such damages or lost profits. Neither party’s liability in connection with Maker Faire, or under this Agreement (except for your indemnity obligations), exceeds three thousand dollars ($3,000). No Event Provider shall be liable to you for any damage, loss, harm, or injury to your person, property, or business, or any of your visitors, officers, agents, or employees, resulting from theft, fire, earthquake, water, unavailability of facilities, any errors or omissions in Maker Faire-related materials, insufficient participation, accident, or any other reason in connection with Maker Faire or related activities (such as staging), except to the extent directly attributable to our willful misconduct or gross negligence. You agree to indemnify, and hold harmless the Event Providers 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.

    This Agreement (including the Maker 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. The Limitations on Liability section (above) of these Terms and Conditions of Participation, shall survive the termination or expiration of this Agreement.

    You and your Exhibit may appear in recordings of Maker Faire and related promotional or documentary materials. Your rights are waived to any images and/or recordings you may appear in while at Maker Faire and any/all related promotional or documentary materials.

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

    By signing below, 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.