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Tindie Weblog | 8 Suggestions for Exhibiting Dwell at Maker Faire and Past

Banner, tablecloth, hands-on shows, a number of individuals, customized shirts: 4 Bit Industries holds a clinic on correct Maker Faire setup.

As outlined in this publish from early November 2022, I placed on a show at the newest Maker Faire Orlando (MFO). I’ve proven at a number of such occasions, and attended just a few as a spectator as properly. As such, I’ve picked up just a few suggestions over time; nonetheless, there are some things I may undoubtedly do higher.

In the event you’d prefer to attend an occasion like this, whether or not as an official vendor, or just to advertise your concepts and get suggestions, listed below are 8 issues that you simply’ll need to remember. Whereas most of my expertise has been at Maker Faires, a lot of what’s offered will apply to related stay occasions, maybe even talking at one thing like SuperCon

#1 Be Prepared To Discuss

To generalize, many people within the hacking and electronics neighborhood aren’t significantly verbose. In some conditions, nonetheless–i.e. speaking electronics initiatives–a few of these similar individuals discover {that a} change has been flipped and many speaking ensues.

In the event you show an attention-grabbing challenge or two, you may even see some persona change in your self. You’ll additionally meet people who find themselves there to hear, those who wish to discuss, and everybody in-between. It’s typically arduous to know the way to deal with this number of personalities–typically on the similar time–however the excellent news is that by the tip of the day you’ll have fairly a little bit of apply. After just a few reveals, dealing with flowing crowds ought to come naturally.

#2 A lot of Water

In the event you’re going to speak always for a day or two (or extra), your voice will get bodily drained. Ensure you deliver a lot of water with you, or that you’ve refill supply. I didn’t deliver sufficient for MFO 2022, however my pals on the subsequent sales space have been form sufficient to share a few of theirs. Additionally sugary caffeinated drinks might be useful, however probably much less healthful.

#3 Have a Objective

Whose show is that this? Why is it right here? My show may doubtlessly use some route.

Why are you going to Maker Faire? To promote? To advertise your self? To get suggestions? The entire above? I’ll admit, I battle with this one, and this yr I confirmed off numerous my PCBs, together with my robotic, talked in regards to the Create/Invent podcast, and plugged my YouTube channel. I had some good conversations, and acquired some nice suggestions and concepts, however I additionally really feel my show could also be a bit a lot for individuals to recollect. Others, like 4 Bit Industries and NightFire Electronics have been there particularly to promote, and each appear to have completed a wonderful job.

Did I make a mistake with my sales space? I’m actually unsure, nevertheless it’s one thing price contemplating. In the event you don’t have a selected aim you possibly can’t actually fail… You may’t actually win both.

#4 Meals

In the event you want water, you’ll want meals. Whereas there are typically choices at stay occasions, however you might not really feel like paying $12 for a poorly cooked scorching canine, and even in the event you like funnel truffles, they in all probability aren’t probably the most nutritious choice. My private technique this yr was to pack three peanut butter and banana sandwiches in a sealable container. No refrigeration wanted!

After all, this is able to not apply to all occasions–such because the SuperCon 2019, which I attended–as some embody glorious meals within the ticket value. Severely, SuperCon was implausible food-wise, however that’s in all probability the exception to the rule.

#5 Comfy Footwear

With regards to private consolation, whereas speaking, you’ll probably be standing for a lot of hours. Put on footwear that you may stand on for the period. My MFO neighbors, Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers, even talked about having introduced flooring mats beforehand, however didn’t have them this yr. Not a nasty thought.

#6 Arms-On Show

For Maker Faires particularly, count on that folks will contact stuff on show. 4 Bit Industries had a very good setup for this, utilizing a sand container and pennies to indicate off their metallic detector package. Additionally they had a pleasant banner, together with a tablecloth. Whereas it won’t be the very first thing you take into account, a tablecloth can actually enhance the look of your sales space.

#7 Portability

Pegboard for NightFire Electronics’ cellular retailer

“Present and inform” occasions often have lodging for loading and unloading your stuff. On the similar time, if you may make your show hand-portable in a single journey, you’d eradicated lots of trouble. For MFO, I had a rolling case for my ClearCrawler, a backpack, and another stuff that might trip on the cart. That being mentioned, some pals noticed my heavy load and helped out with the load-in. Whereas not strictly needed, that was fairly good.

The rolling case setup was extraordinarily handy once I took my ClearCrawler to SuperCon. Since then, it lives within the case itself, making it very simple to move it to Maker Faires and different occasions. No must reinvent the literal and figurative wheel yearly!

#8 Backup!

For occasions that final greater than a pair hours, you’ll probably wish to go away your sales space for a couple of minutes, or maybe get lunch at a location the place you don’t have to speak always. Whilst you can go away your sales space alone, you might not wish to do this for varied causes. Your greatest wager is to have a associate or two with you to share the load, and if that’s not within the playing cards, attempt to be located subsequent to individuals you already know.

Whereas I used to be nominally alone, I used to be positioned within the Tampa Hackerspace space, which meant I knew numerous the encompassing cubicles/individuals. After all, if it is advisable go at it solely alone, you could possibly make pals there!

Why Show?

Prusa doing job – individuals have been on the tables usually!

Placing your issues and even concepts on the market could be a problem for a lot of causes, however you actually by no means know what’s going to occur. I personally acquired some good suggestions that I can hopefully use sooner or later, and have made numerous attention-grabbing connections this yr and at different occasions up to now.

On that observe, when you’ve got a Tindie promoting and/or product associated story, or when you’ve got an occasion referring to our world, we’d love to listen to about it. You may ping us (collectively) on Twitter @Tindie, or you will discover me personally @JeremyScook.

Dalek show was chilly and unfeeling… as you’ll count on



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