What went well:
-The venue building was awesome! That brick factory is a spooky as visiting the titanic at the bottom of the ocean. Very spacious and has lots of different kinds of spaces. Closed and private vs. open and sunny.
-Site 3 offered good hospitality. They offered accommodation (couch surfing style) and and awesome social after hours.
-Some very interesting presenters where there! It’s very stimulating to see peoples’ projects and to get to chat with them.
-The Makerfaire organizers where very accessible and helpful. I was able to find them in person and by email. I was able to request a table change and that sort of thing easily to make sure the needs of my presentation were met.
-There were loads of volunteers.
What went not so well:
These are not show stoppers and this section only appears longer since I explained the items more than the positive items.
-Upon arrival it wasn’t clear where to park or go with my pile of things to present. I saw a sign with an arrow in one of the after videos but it wasn’t there when I arrived for setup. Obviously I can keep walking around knocking on doors till I find something. I’d have hardly noticed that I had to wander for a while to find my way but I noticed that each time I picked the wrong doors, the venue people (security) had a strange cold attitude. Sort of like “Can I help you? Who do you think you are knocking or opening this door?” This happened when looking for the washroom too. They had a wonderful sign on one of the can-I-help-you-who-do-you-think-you-are doors that said that the washrooms are in building 14. I had to ask the can-I-help-you-who-do-you-think-you-are people where building 14 was. They didn’t think to put an arrow on the sign saying “Washrooms in Building 14”.
I was wondering how many people who came to the faire but wound up at a different event at the venue due to not finding the right door.
-No reasonable fountain or water source aside from vendors. I was living off of 4.00 lemonade for a while since the fountains in washroom area were not working properly. Not that I mind supporting the vendors but this was probably a concern for the general public as well. I paid a hundred bucks and the public was paying good money and that should buy them basics like water.
–Access control was a little over baked. On Sunday when there was just a couple hours left (perhaps 3), I could not get out to the car easily because they were closing off the doors. I asked the organizer why and they said they were stopping the “freebies” (meaning the general public trying to get in for free). To be frank, this got my goat a little because the general public was paying a PREMIUM to get in and why would they bother to come in at all if the show appears almost over?
Sure enough the close down of the faire started early as there was nobody left. Perhaps if you can get your family into the faire for 30.00 for a whole day, then if there is just a couple of hours left, they should get in for less. Why waste the tail end of the day?