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The Maker Faire Orlando team is visiting San Francisco this weekend for the first-ever Maker Faire Producers’ Summit. With over 100 producers attending from over a dozen countries, we are excited to share, learn, and make some new friends. We are also looking forward to hearing from the Maker Media team about the worldwide growth of Maker Faire – and the new tools and resources they are creating to help our community-produced events grow and thrive.

Community Maker Faire Marketing Workshop

Jessica King, our Executive Producer, will be leading a session on marketing for community-based Maker Faire events. We’ve even brought our friend Professor Hans Von Puppet along to help open the session.

Marketing Checklist

Jessica also created a sharable community marketing checklist that illustrates how we have learned and grown over the last 4 years – and we are excited to add the ideas that we gather from other Maker Faire producers.

Marketing Stuff we believe

  1. “Marketing is the science of altering consumer behavior”
    • Your efforts should be directed at a specific audience (makers, volunteers, sponsors, attendees) at a specific point in your event cycle.
    • Know what action you want that audience to take – make sure there is a clear call to action
    • Experiment – have a hypothesis, test it a few times, measure the results – and if its not working – or too expensive (time or money), stop doing it. If its working well, DO MORE!
    • Keep learning and trying new things. Don’t stop testing new ideas.
  2. Know what you are (or aspire to be), and what you are not. Drive Perceptions
    • Don’t expect people to know what Maker Faire is – or is not. Your marketing materials should clarify and sometimes combat perceptions. Examples:
      • Mini doesn’t mean small
      • Mini doesn’t mean kid-focused
      • The stuff you make IS good enough!
      • Artists ARE makers
      • This is a community-produced event
      • There is something YOU will like at this event
  3. Stand Out to get attention!
    • There is WAY too much noise in everyone’s social feed, mailbox, etc.
    • Highlight the different, the unusual
    • Be a little over-the-top. Find the stuff that excites you and run with it.
  4. Promote your Makers – tell THEIR story
    • Your makers are unique and interesting. Learn their stories and tell their stories.
    • If you promote your makers – they will promote your event
    • Find a balance between highlighting the Makers and the things they make.
  5. Always have something new to talk about
    • People will ignore the same event messaging if it is constantly repeated.
    • See “Promote your Makers” for an endless amount of content
    • Get out in your community. Have a meetup, attend a meeting of one of your community groups, mackerspaces, etc. Take a giant inflatable robot on field trips. Even if only a few people attend these events – many, many more will read, like, share, etc.
  6. Don’t Forget to Have Fun. 
    • Events are a ridiculous amount of work. Inject some fun to stay sane – and to draw people into your production and volunteer team. The fun will recharge everyone’s batteries for the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

Candy Kit Rex

If you want to learn more about our community marketing, check out our Maker Faire Orlando 2015 post-event web (and app) analytics post, or send us a note at makers@makerfaireorlando.com. If you REALLY want to learn more about our community marketing – and have a lot of fun along the way – consider joining the team – we’d love your help!