There have been some questions about Maker Faire Orlando as well as the Mini Maker Faires that happen throughout the sunshine state based on the news from Maker Media. We thought we would take a minute to assure you that Maker Faire Orlando (Nov. 9-10, 2019) and the Tampa Mini Maker Faire (Jul. 27, 2019) will continue moving forward as planned.
Who is Maker Media, and what do they have to do with Maker Faires?
Maker Media published MAKE: magazine and created Maker Faire. They produced two Maker Faire events, San Francisco and New York, and they licensed the name to hundreds of community organizers around the world who produce more than 200 independent Maker Faire events.
In Florida, Orlando and Miami host larger two-day Maker Faire events, and single-day Mini Maker Faire events are held or are coming up in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Palm Bay, Palm Beach, Pensacola, and Tampa.
As we mentioned, the production teams for these events license the trademarked Maker Faire name from Maker Media. There is brand recognition in the name and in the Maker Movement, and there is a collaboration between the organizations who run them.
Hang on, I still don’t know what a Maker Faire is. Can you explain?
Maker Faire events are an opportunity for curious people who enjoy learning to see what others in the community are working on. It’s a marketplace of ideas and experiments, where makers can show off their passion projects, hobbies, and more.
Maker Faire Orlando, now in its eighth year, is a two-day event at the Central Florida Expo Center and Fairgrounds. It’s one of the biggest volunteer managed Maker Faire events in the world, and last year more than 14,000 people visited the 300+ exhibitors. For 2019 we are bringing back many of our favorite past makers as well as welcoming new exhibits, makers and community groups.
Before Maker Faire Orlando in November, Tampa will host their first Mini Maker Faire on July 27.
So all the events are going on as planned?
Yes! Tampa is currently looking for exhibitors and is selling tickets. Orlando’s “Call for Makers” to exhibit will start in July, and tickets go on sale in August.
We love the Maker Media organization and the team that worked there. They helped us get Maker Faire Orlando started, and they offered an incredible amount of help and advice to make it a better event year after year.
We need community support more than ever. Now is the perfect time to get involved if you want to continue Maker Faire in your local community.
Who runs Maker Faire Orlando?
Maker Faire Orlando is an all-volunteer event that is led by the Maker Effect Foundation, a local non-profit. We’ve been doing this for eight years, and plan on doing it forever.
If you’re interested in getting in touch with us or any of the Maker Faire organizers, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why are there so many Maker Faire events around Florida?
Being a maker isn’t something new. Artists, hobbyists, entrepreneurs, and others are all makers, and the sunshine state has some amazingly creative people living here. Getting together and finding a community with which they can interact and learn from is a natural extension of that creativity.
That led to Maker Faire events as well as makerspaces. Makerspaces are membership-based facilities that offer different services usually based on shared access to tools that normally would be difficult to get on your own. Lasers, 3D printers, welding equipment, woodworking tools, and screen printing are a few examples.
We have an incredible maker community in Orlando. There are three dedicated maker spaces, FACTUR, FamiLAB, and MakerFX. There are also amazing spaces like the Hive, the Melrose Center, and the facilities at our local schools.
And it really is a community. If you attend an event, Open House or “Open Make” at one of these places, you’ll find a lot of people who genuinely want to share what they know to help out with your project. The same can be said for Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Palm Bay, Palm Beach, and many other communities as well.
How can I help?
Thank you! Tell your friends! Invite your neighbors! Yell from the rooftops! But only during the day, please.
All the proceeds from Maker Faire Orlando go back into the local maker community, and we’re always looking for sponsors who value hands-on education and strong community-building events. We need your support now more than ever. The Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth will go on!