So What’s It Like at a Maker Faire? (with Illustrations)

Last week I made plans to visit the Mini Maker Faire held over the weekend by Barnes & Noble. Their website listed this event as the 3rd annual Mini Maker Faire, but the Maker Movement has been around since 2013.

So, what’s it like at a Maker Faire? After last weekend, I can confidently say, I still have no idea. The event was severely underwhelming and not representative of anything I’d call a maker faire.

There are only so many ways to say you’re disappointed, so I thought I’d tell you the story with illustrations.

 

I went to the Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire on Saturday with my sister. We wondered where they’d hold the event, but when we arrived, there were several people going into the store at once. It seemed we were in the right place.

Maker Faire BN entrance with lots of people going in

Upon entering the store, a large cardboard cutout loomed in front of the Nook and ebooks desk. The Maker robot had signs attached to it that listed the Mini Maker Faire hours and a disclaimer that we might be filmed.

Maker Faire sign large paper cutout of a red robot

Ready for flashy displays of creativity (and hopefully a chance to participate too), we walked further into the store and saw….nothing. There was nothing different about the store layout.

Maker Faire back of author's head looking out over ordinary bookshelves at Barnes and Noble

Confused, we decided to take a loop around the store. There was one table in the center of the store, right in front of the kids’ section. Inside the kids’ section there was another table with what looked like coloring pages.

Maker Faire BN 2 tables a blue one in front staffed by a man and one in the back staffed by a person wearing red cardigan

Later, after completing a full loop (we were browsing at the same time), we also noticed a table by the entrance staffed by the Pikes Peak Library District. They had some sort of puzzle at their station. To be fair, we didn’t stop at any the tables. And later we saw one kid messing around with a tablet-controlled robot. But compared to what we’d imagined a Maker Faire to be, this experience was just sad.

Maker Faire robot black with blue circles on its head rolling on a wooden floor

Sad, lonely robot.

I’ll have to try and attend a real Maker Faire someday.

Maker Faire disappointed pose

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