I recently participated in the Seattle Mini Maker Faire on June 8th and 9th and it was an incredible experience. I set up a booth to demonstrate the Tabletop Moviemaking Studio and I also had kits available for sale if Maker Faire attendees were interested in purchasing one.
While selling kits was absolutely fantastic, I had no idea how rewarding it would be to share my kit and idea with passers by. I loved being able to explain the rational behind the kit and method. I believe strongly in the idea that young people should make/author/build/create at every possible opportunity and that these moments of creative play and problem solving have long-term benefits. The world needs creative makers way more than passive consumers.
Everyone I spoke with was very inquisitive and complimentary, with many congratulating me on developing the idea so fully. I even got to meet a couple of my original Kickstarter backers! As an entrepreneur/creative type it felt really good to get positive feedback from people. Events like the Seattle Maker Faire were very affirming and helped renew my enthusiasm for Tabletop Moviemaking Studio.
This was the first time I had ever participated in a Maker Faire or set-up and run a booth. I thought I should have a banner so I designed one and had it made two days before the event. I thought it looked nice. I was running the booth by myself which was kind of ridiculous, but I had just arrived to Seattle the day before after driving up from LA! I was just happy I didn't forget anything critical.
I didn't really know what to expect because most of my previous workshops were structured around producing short movies. With the Maker Faire, I had a few Tabletop Studios setup up for people to play with, but many people who stopped by my booth were interested in taking their own kit home! This was very exciting for me, but I wasn't prepared for the amount of interest in my kit. This was a good problem.
I had assembled 10 kits that morning which was laughable, as they were gone in the first hour. The rest of the day I was running around like crazy snapping kits together on the fly and building the Tabletop Moviemaking Studio right there in front of people. It was something between a balloon animal artist and a short order cook, with the average time of assembling a kit being about 4 minutes. While I was building one kit, I was simultaneously welcoming a new group of people to my booth and encouraging them play with the demos. The cycle repeated itself throughout the two days and it was awesome.
I was really impressed with everyone who organized the event. This being my first Maker Faire, I think they set the bar really high in terms of creating positive experience for the exhibitors. From floor plans to parking passes to tables to power, all the little details were lined up. They even gave me a certificate! All in all it was a wonderful experience from start to finish.