MAKER FEST is an informal local event typically organized by volunteers/change makers like you and me. From one to several times a year, small groups of like-minded people gather local volunteers in their own community (university, neighbourhood, village, apartment complex) and celebrate the makers they know.
We believe that some makers may start small, but could have an enormous impact even globally. Maker Fest, which was launched in 2014 at Ahmedabad, now hosts thousands of attendees a year. It is the amalgamation of festivals celebrating the innovators and an art show with all the booths for inventors and demonstrations and workshops for attendees. Creators, artists and hobbyist across the country are invited to present their contemporary applications of ideas using the vast ocean of art, science and technology. Also, it is non- commercial and free for the public to attend.
Our vision is to catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship in India at the grassroots level. Maker Faires are filled with people like you and me who are just making things at home and when they get the chance to share their projects and find collaborators, great new products and companies emerge. We hope there will be many of the first events in different cities, and that Maker Fest will spread across India to showcase makers, tinkerers, and do-ers of every stripe.
The place where you hold your event is a critical component of its success, so making sure it’s the right space is important.
This section will show you how to find your venue, design it effectively, and prepare for any production needs that come up:
Select a Venue
Here are some guiding principles to follow when it comes to finding and choosing your event space:
Strive for intimacy and comfort
It’s important to balance the size of your space with the size of your audience. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, but you want to create enough space to give people room to stretch, mingle and breathe.
Keep it simple
Remember that the venue will set the tone of your event. Don’t choose a space that’s easy to get lost in. Open venues are better to work with, with grass on the floor.
Know your scale and ambitions
Work with your budget manager to figure out what you can afford for your event space. Can you get a space donated? Is your venue union-operated? This may impact your budget. Can you get a space with a university?
VENUE-BASED ON EVENT SIZE
If you hold a smaller event (under 50 makers)
- Select a cosy venue. You don’t want your guests to feel like they’re drowning in the space. It should be an intimate and comfortable gathering where they can easily connect with the people sitting next to them.
- The best venues for smaller events include small auditoriums, hotel conference rooms, theatres, “white box” spaces (think art gallery!), and private music venues, small university grounds.
If you hold a larger event (over 100 makers)
- The longer and larger your event, the more challenging it is to create intimacy. Remember: your goal is not to secure the largest venue you can find; it is to select the venue that best fits your needs and the expected size of your audience. You’ll lose intimacy if there’s too much empty space.
- Make sure that your venue has a large space outside of the main stage area to allow for easy traffic flow. You want your guests to have a good networking atmosphere in between sessions.
- The best venues for larger events include lecture halls, auditoriums, museums or city art centers.
If you hold a MUCH larger event (over 300 guests)…
- Look for spaces with outdoor plazas. Is it possible to close down part of a street for your event? Think of some creative possibilities (that are also legal!).
- Make sure to select the venue that best fits your needs and the expected size of your audience. A 300-person venue looks and feels much different than a 1,000-person venue. You’ll lose intimacy if there’s too much empty space.
- The best venues for very large events include concert halls, opera houses, large hotel conference centers and stadiums, Football or cricket ground.
DESIGN THE EXPERIENCE
Design your arena
The way your arena is designed will create an impact on the presentation of your event. Here are some things to know:
Use your full official Maker Fest Logo
Every venue is required to include your official Maker Fest logo with your full event name. So make sure you create a large logo and provide it with proper visibility. If you can’t get a stand-up, a 3D logo or a projection screen could also work.
Consider the view
Position your speakers, the screen and any props thoughtfully to get a so good view for the audience and avoid any distractions for the makers.
Lose the clutter
Power cables, multiple laptops, and projection rigs can leave a chaotic impression of the event on your audience, so make sure to keep them concealed and out of sight.
Adapt a few creative methods to lift up the aesthetics of your arena. Showcase your region, city, or local culture with props, installations and various other visual elements. Even an interesting piece of art, technology or furniture (for example, an object that speaks to your event’s theme) can give your event a unique personality.
Light the arena
Light enough of the arena so that viewers can easily see maker’s product. If possible put a light on your Maker Fest event’s logo. Highlight the logo and the installations, especially the sponsor exhibits!
Green your event
What does being “green” mean?
Being green means being as environmentally friendly as possible. This means sourcing locally if you can, reducing waste, being energy efficient and working to have a Maker Fest event that’s sustainable.
Select a date which gives you enough time for preparation. We recommend selecting a date which gives you time a minimum of 6 months for preparation.
Forming a team efficiently planning and leading the team-work is the key to successfully hosting Maker Fest. Team selection or core team can be done on the basis of requirement of the event and available resources. A person can be employed to contribute to multiple tasks related to the event. Not to forget Maker fest is the volunteer-centric event, so try and enrol as many volunteers in the team.
- Event Lead
- Maker Relations Lead
- Partnership Lead
- Operations & Production Lead
- Art Director
- Content Producer & Curator
- Media Operations Lead
- Sponsor Relations Lead
- Photo & Video Lead
- Social Media
- Offline Marketing Lead
- Accounts & Budget
Set a budget
It’s important to create a budget early in the planning stages at least 6 months before the event, and manage it diligently leading up to your event. This way, you won’t have to deal with any unexpected (and costly) surprises.
Create a categorized list
Create a checklist for all of the things you might spend money on, do some research on general costs for each and add an estimate to the list. To be safe, you’ll want to overestimate — about 1.5 times what you would normally guess. Use this checklist to develop a line-by-line breakdown of key categories such as:
1. Venue (including food and beverage)
2. Logistics(Maker logistics, Workshop Logistic, Event Logistics)
3. Production Cost(Exhibit Design, Stall Management)
4. Photo and Video (during and after the event)
5. Marketing – Social Media & Offline
6. Administration and volunteers
7. Most organizers use some kind of spreadsheet to make things easy (Link to
Cash and in-kind donations
You’ll be surprised at how many costs can be supplemented with in-kind donations. This can be done through sponsors, or those willing to donate their services for something in return. Maybe the local baker can provide cupcakes in exchange for tickets to the event. Sponsorship and in-kind donations should also be added to your budget, so you can keep track.
Manage your money
We let Maker fest organizers decide exactly how they want to manage their money.
You may set up a nonprofit as a way to manage the funds of your Maker Fest event. You can also run the event funds through an existing nonprofit; just make sure to let us know.
It’s important to keep track of expenses, and what needs to paid when. Make sure to hold all invoices in one file, and add a due date to your list of expenses so you can hold yourself accountable.
Know where to put it
It’s important to make a smart choice about where you keep your money, and who has access to it. Make sure it’s in a safe place, and the tax implications based on wherever it is held.
Download the Budget Planning Document.
Getting sponsors can be a challenge for many organizers. Generally, when you’re approaching a potential sponsor, you’ll need to explain what a Maker Fest event is, excite them about the opportunity, and convince them it’s worth their while.
How to reach out to sponsors
The “who” and “how” are two important things to keep in mind when it comes to reaching out to sponsors.
Find the right contact (and timing)
You’ll want to contact the right person (or persons) at the company, someone who can make decisions about sponsorships. (You can usually find this on the “about” or “contact” page of their website.) If you’re still not sure, check with someone in their administrative department. Either way, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to reach out to sponsors.
Send a letter
Here’s a sample letter you can customize and use when reaching out to potential sponsors:
Dear [sponsor contact],My name is [your name] and I’ll be organizing a Maker Fest event in [location] on [date].
Maker Fest is an annual event that brings together the world’s leading thinkers and doers to share ideas that matter in any discipline — technology, entertainment, design, science, humanities, business, development.
In the spirit of “Learn Do Share,” Maker Fest, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share an experience.
We felt [sponsor] would add to the unique atmosphere. We are looking forward to discussing ways in which [sponsor] could help underwrite and add to this incredible new experience. For more information, please take a look at www.makerfest.com
We look forward to discussing further. Sincerely,
What to communicate
Once you’ve made contact with your potential sponsor, it’s important to know the “what” — that is, what you want to communicate.
Use the Maker Fest sponsorship slide presentation
Maker Fest has created a slide presentation which is also in printed format, designed to present to potential sponsors, that you are free to use (or draw on)
when approaching potential sponsors.
Create sponsorship packages
It’s incredibly useful for sponsors to see a detailed plan of what the sponsorship might look like, including the value and what they will get out of partnering with your Maker Fest event. This sponsor package can include:
1. A summarized history of Maker Fest
2. An overview of your Maker Fest event, including theme, speakers and audience
3. Tiers of sponsorship for different amounts (For Example:- Maker Fest events will have Rs.150000, Rs.250000, and Rs.100000+ sponsorship tiers)
4. A detailed budget showing where exactly their money will go
5. A section of an in-kind contribution for sponsors who can’t contribute money (photography, food, t-shirts, printing, and gift bag items)
Download the Sample Sponsorship Document here
One of the most important aspects of the Maker fest is selecting makers once the maker application due date passes the selection of makers needs to be done by core team members only no sponsor or partners should be included (Suggestions can be taken).
The maker selection process is done by two to four core team members so it remains non-partial. Once the sorting of application is done point based selection process should be conducted.
Makers with 8-10 Points – Highly recommended (1st Priority).
Makers with 5-7 Points – Second on priority
Makers with 1-4 Points – Not selected for the current event but mail them courtesy event for the application.
All design assets you may need, such as logos specific to your City, email templates, and presentation templates are found in Dropbox in the “Maker Fest” folder. It is best to use these for all communication with members and partners.
All the organizer should be used to brand booklet for all the communications (online and offline) in order to maintain brand consistency.
PS: What should include in branding book
1. Logo Description and examples
2. Some patterns which can be used as visual elements in the background of (Poster, Badges, swag, stage backdrop)
4. How should cover page of Facebook, Twitter should look like
5. Banners (Pop-up Banners & Wall Banners)
6. Peel Away Stickers, Badges(Team members & Makers)
7. Email Template
8. Event Swags (T-shirts, Hoodies)
Social media + event page
Sponsors: Mention your event’s sponsors on social media accounts — including Twitter, Facebook, newsletter (mailing list) emails or on your blog.
Facebook: The name of your Facebook account should mirror the name of your event (For eg: – Maker Fest Kochi). (Set up your Facebook account as a “Page,” not as a “Group” or “Profile.”) Your official Maker Fest event logo must appear in your Facebook image. No sponsor logos are allowed. In the “Info” tab, include the “About Maker Fest”. Use proper Hashtags for your post i.e. MF [Year] or makerfest [year].
Twitter: Your Twitter account name must mirror the name of your Maker Fest
event. (If your event name exceeds the 15-character limit allowed for Twitter names) You must use your official Maker Fest event logo as your Twitter image.
Email lists: Never use your email list for any purpose other than communicating information specifically about your Maker Fest event.
Other social media channels: All of the standard naming, sponsor and
branding rules apply.
YouTube: Adhere to YouTube’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines
when promoting any video on the Maker Fest YouTube channel.
Website: Contact Maker Fest team member before setting up the website for your own city. Buy domain which mirrors the name of your event ( For Example:- www.makerfestkochi.com).
Logos: Use your event’s Maker Fest logo, and don’t allow journalists to use it
(in print or on video). Supply journalists with your customized Maker Fest logo.
Comments on Maker Fest: Maker Fest staff should be the sole official
spokespeople for Maker Fest and the program as a whole; any journalist seeking comment from Maker fest should be routed through Maker Fest core team.
Press releases: All press and press releases must be routed through for approval by the Maker Fest program’s media liaison. Press releases must contain the “About Maker Fest” and “About Maker Fest [City]” text: (to be provided and updated according to the event)
Interviews: If you are interviewed for broadcast TV or radio, clearly state that
your event is a Maker Fest event, and explain what that means (it is independently organized, etc.). Represent yourself as a participating organizer in your specific Maker Fest [City] program. Interview requests for Maker Fest staff: Route requests for interviews with Maker Fest staff, Maker Fest[City] Media Liaison.
Press attendance: At Maker Fest, we keep the number of journalists to a
minimum. We ask you to do the same. Only invite the media you know personally. Media section on your website: If you’re planning on having media cover your event, create a media section on your website. Direct all your media requests to a single, consistent resource.
What your media section should say:
All press requests should be sent to [name]. [Name] is the official spokesperson for Maker Fest[City]. Please note that Maker Fest [City] event organizers are not able to speak for the Maker Fest. Any inquiry regarding Maker Fest should be sent to:
While we appreciate any coverage, we kindly ask that all journalists and/or
bloggers be respectful of the difference between the Maker fest and Maker fest [city] brands.
The ‘city’ in ‘Maker fest [city]’ stands for “independently organized events.” Any headline or text which implies “Maker Fest” is coming to [location] is misleading.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS
Maker Fest [City] YouTube: Maker Fest[City] Talk videos should be uploaded to
YouTube channel. Before you upload any video, you must confirm that all the
images, music and video clips used in your videos are cleared for distribution on YouTube. Securing rights to any copyrighted materials are entirely the responsibility of the Maker Fest [City] organizer.
Distribution: Talks and other content recorded at your event may not be distributed on broadcast television, cable television, satellite television or on-demand TV.
Sponsor logos on your videos: Sponsor logos may only be shown on one slide at the beginning and end of each video (depending on the sponsorship agreement). This slide must be 3 seconds long at maximum and adhere to our official sponsorship slide template. There may only be a single slide in your video to feature all of your sponsor logos. Sponsor logos may not appear anywhere else in the video. If you have multiple sponsors you must feature all of your sponsor logos on the one slide. Never superimpose your event logo or a sponsor logo over the speaker’s talk or slides. Never feature rolling credits. Slides related to sponsors must appear in the following sequence:
1. General event intro graphics (optional)
2. Your Maker fest [City] event logo (Required)
3. Sponsor pre-roll card (cannot exceed 3 seconds optional)
5. Sponsor pre-roll card (cannot exceed 3 seconds optional)
6. Post-roll card (optional)
The pre- and post-roll sponsor logo slides you display in your videos should use the layout of these templates (versions for 4:3 and 16:9 provided). If you are unable to edit these image files, recreate the layout in your image/slide editor of choice. Sponsor logos must appear smaller than your Mini-Maker Fest [City] event’s logo.
Creative Commons: Photos of Maker Fest[City] events must be released under a Creative Commons license (“Attribution – Non-Commercial – Non-Derivative”), so they can be freely shared and reposted.
Credit: When posting photographs anywhere (e.g. on Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), clearly credit the photographer in metadata,
captions and tags Maker Fest[City] photos: If you use an image from another Maker Fest[City] event, contact the event’s organizer to confirm that use of the image is authorized.
Flickr: You should upload all of your Maker Fest [City] event photos to Flickr
before uploading them elsewhere (Facebook etc. and share the account details with the Maker Fest core team).
Resolution: Shoot and upload photos in the highest possible resolution. (For
JPEGs to be considered “high resolution,” they must meet or exceed a minimum of 1920 X 1080 @300 dpi.) If large file sizes cause problems having to do with bandwidth or storage, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo editing: Do not modify photos unnaturally — e.g., do not adjust contrast,
colour balance, apply filters or airbrush in a way that makes them look unrealistic.
Watermarks: Do not put watermarks; text or other labels onto the photos Do not superimpose your event logo or your photographer’s information.