Seattle Maker Faire meeting with Dale Dougherty


I met with Dale Dougherty, founder of Make Magazine and Maker Faire!  We met last night, August 5th, to discuss producing Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2012 along with members of Ignition Northwest and Jigsaw Renaissance, two amazing non-profit community organizations.  Dale is a cheerful, modest optimist!  At least, that’s my impression of him.  We had a  lively discussion  over  drinks and grilled cheese sammiches.   I’m filled with excitement and optimism after engaging with so many passionate makers and doers!

“Maker Faire is about bringing community together.  It’s a ‘fair’ because it’s supposed to be FUN!” – Dale Dougherty

Dale and the members of INW and Jigsaw brainstormed about logistics and high level goals.  We brainstormed for at least an hour about finding a venue in the Seattle area that would accommodate 50 makers and a wide variety of strange maker projects.  How can we find a venue that safely displays glass making, welding, canning, vehicles and large sculptures on a day that will likely be rainy?  Some great ideas included renting a venue space with “normal” indoor conference space and also an outdoor covered parking garage for makers who need ventilation and non-flammable shelter.   Some of the local community colleges and tech schools meet those requirements.    On Monday I’ll resume my calls to venues.

We talked about all the amazing groups and events in the Seattle region who are living and promoting the Maker Lifestyle!  Dorkbot, Eastside Makers, Seattle Robotics Society, Urban Craft Uprising, Ignite Seattle, Hazard Factory, Yarn Bombers, the galleries in the public art walks and every little urban farm and pea patch in the county!  We want to invite all of them to participate in Seattle Mini Maker Faire!

Dale told stories of his efforts and best practices running World Maker Faire in the Bay Area, Detroit and New York.  I hope to learn from his experience, and make plenty of my own mistakes!  Dale and his team at Maker Faire have written a 104 page Playbook which describes best practices for creating a Mini Maker Faire.  I’ve read most of the PDF doc (skimmed some parts) and am working towards drafting a budget, volunteer job descriptions, and a project time line.

Dale and the members of Ignition Northwest and Jigsaw Renaissance discussed the fun topics of insurance, budget, union venues, and contracts.  Thank you to Mary, Ivan, Budi, and everyone who attended last night from INW and Jigsaw for offering to work countless hours helping me plan, select and sign contracts with a local venue!  If you have any interest in volunteering some long hours to help with these necessary requirements, then please contact me!

I will schedule another meeting soon and expand the invite list to include the makers and leaders from many of the maker spaces and groups in the Seattle area.  Stay tuned!

You can subscribe to this blog and Like the Seattle Mini Maker Faire Facebook page.  Soon I’ll buy a domain and start a separate site for Seattle Mini Maker Faire communications.

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About Christin

I build robots as a hobby and I work with software as my career. Last year I mentored a FIRST Robotics team, Team XBot. I worked at Microsoft for 11 years in such roles as developer tech support, Developer Evangelist, and Program Manager in Visual Studio.
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