Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2012

Planning is underway to produce Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2012.  In recent weeks I’ve attended Kitsap Mini Maker Faire and Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.  We are following the expert advice from Maker Faire producers and Ignition Nortwest event producers.  In this early planning phase, we are doing four things simultaneously:

  1. Securing a venue and a date.
  2. Estimating a budget.
  3. Pursuing sources of revenue including civic and private grants and sponsorships.
  4. Meeting with Makers and Crafters in the Northwest who are the engines that will make this Maker Faire happen!


I’m getting quotes for cost at venues including Seattle Center, various Community Colleges, and larger community spaces which can accommodate 70 six-foot tables (booths), hundreds of chairs, demo space for robots and larger objects, and plenty of room for pedestrians and strollers to move between interactive workshops.  The venue also must have adequate restrooms for families, wheelchair access, parking for families with car seats and strollers, and public transportation.


It rains in Seattle.  It also snows.  When the sun shines in the few summer months, there are dozens of weekend events competing for attention.  We’re planning to host an all-indoor Seattle Mini Maker Faire during one of the rainy spring months of 2012.  Please post in the comments the dates of any big competing events in the spring of 2012.

Updated in 1/28/12:  The Date for Seattle Mini Maker Faire is now set for June 2nd and 3rd, 2012 at the Seattle Center!

The Maker Faire official website states the following about what Maker Faire is and is not:

Maker Faire brings together families and individuals to celebrate the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset and showcase all kinds of incredible projects. At Maker Faire, you’ll find arts and crafts, science and engineering, food and music, fire and water but what makes this event special is that all these interesting projects and smart, creative people belong together. They are actively and openly creating a maker culture.

In its simplest form, Maker Faire creates conversations with Makers. It is a show-and-tell format for people of all ages that brings out the “kid” in all of us. Maker Faire is a community-based learning event that inspires everyone to become a maker and connect to people and projects in their local community. Yet, Maker Faire is a “fair” which should be fun and engaging.

What Maker Faire is Not

Maker Faire is not a trade show. We see Maker Faire primarily as an opportunity for people to share ideas and projects. So Maker Faire is non-commercial in nature, in that we don’t want it dominated by traditional sales and marketing. Instead, we hope to create authentic interactions that satisfy each person’s interests. At the same time, we’re not anti-commercial. We are grateful to have businesses as sponsors. We also allow makers to show their work and offer items for sale. We want to help makers succeed in starting a business, if that’s their goal. However, we don’t want to change the look and feel or spirit of the event.”

Get Involved!

Here’s how you can get involved in this early planning phase:

  • Fill out the Maker Application and offer to:
    • produce and teach a workshop in a classroom setting.
    • produce and teach drop-in workshops in a “booth” setting.
    • host an interactive booth that shows making or crafting something neat-o keen-o.
  • Help procure corporate or civic sponsorship!
    • Donate money, professional services or materials to the event.
    • Sponsor the event!  We are looking for sponsors who can donate money, materials or services in exchange for your logo on our advertising materials and your logo on display at the event.
East Bay Mini Maker Faire East Bay Mini Maker Faire East Bay Mini Maker Faire

What Goes Into Creating Maker Faire?

Maker Faire is truly a co-creation. It’s a collaboration of many people, especially makers, who each contribute to the event. However, Maker Faire also requires a strong person or core group with the vision and passion to create the context for all this to happen. Maker Faire requires extensive preparation and planning in advance of the event and complex coordination with a larger team during the event.


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.
This entry was posted in Make:, Maker Faire, Robot and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2012

  1. Kim Werker says:

    It was great to meet you in Vancouver, Christin! I’ll do my best to stay in the loop as your plans evolve, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if I can help, or hook you up with people who know things you want to know!

    • Christin says:

      Hi Kim!
      I had a meeting with members of the Board of Ignition Northwest last night and we discussed the budget and exciting financial details of putting on Seattle Mini Maker Faire. Could you help me connect with the people in Vancouver who handled the finances (ticketing, accepting donations, tax implications) for Vancouver Mini Maker Faire?



  2. Rosie Perera says:

    Awesome! Glad to see someone planning to put on a Maker Faire in Seattle. I went to the Vancouver one and loved it. Would love my Seattle friends to be able to experience one. (I used to work at Microsoft, too.). You should connect with these folks:


    Seattle, WA
    44 Members

    Do you love software and have interest in cleantech? This group is for you!Our goals are humble and focused – our main thing is to try to help connect folks interested in C…

    Check out this Meetup Group →

  3. Never been, but wanted to. That will change next year! Hopefully yours will be my first. I’m from Arkansas, so helping locally won’t be an option, but I may be able to help in others ways.

  4. Pingback: Seattle Maker Faire: The Case for Magnuson Park | Engineer Zero

  5. Patty Lipka says:

    Hello Christin!
    My name is Patty Lipka and I am the Program Director for the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville Florida. We are hosting our first Maker on Saturday April 21, 2012 in Gainesville. I enjoy collaborations and would like to keep in touch with your progress.
    We are currently on the hunt for our Maker folks out there as well as sponsors.

    My very best to you,


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