The second Maker Faire North Carolina was very cool. I have only fielded one complaint and that's pretty impressive for an event attended by well over 4000 people. Since we wrapped up last month I have also received dozens of suggestions for improving and tweaking Maker Faire North Carolina and I am taking them all to heart!
I am proud to announce the theme for Maker Faire North Carolina 2012: Increasing the Awesome. I'm not a big fan of themes, generally speaking, but I want our third birthday to be something incredible. How are we going to change MFNC? It's hard to say exactly... I agonize over the verbiage on the Maker application because I'm trying to define the event for applicants. Instead I think it will be easier to define for you what Maker Faire North Carolina isn't. Here is one definition that comes straight from MAKE:
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.
Maker Faire should not be become a platform for politics or religion.
Perhaps, for some of you, that's as clear as mud. It's certainly murky for many but if you read between the lines it speaks to a spirit of event that our community sorely needs. Maker Faire North Carolina 2012 will be far more Inspirational Show and Tell and far less Buy This Product. I think that we had a tremendous showing of very talented Makers at the 2011 event but it wound up skewing a little too commercial for my taste. The goal of this event is to inspire, educate, inform, and stimulate and we can't do that without amazing projects and ideas that often have very little direct commercial value.
The application process for Makers in 2012 is not yet open but I can tell you that the organizers will be far more selective this year. We will be focusing more on projects and less on products. Hands-on, interactive, and community-focused projects will be especially encouraged. We will have fewer Makers with larger spaces to show their projects. This is not a hard and fast rubric because I simply can't make one. I can certainly tell you that 2012 will be the best Maker Faire North Carolina ever and that we will be working hard to increase the awesome for you.
I and the other organizers are planning some great things and we're opening our hearts to inspiration. We will be traveling to Maker Faire Detroit, Maker Faire New York, Maker Faire Rhode Island, and maybe some more this year. I bought a new Moleskine notebook specifically for recording ideas for MFNC 2K12!
Stay tuned and remeber to increase the awesome!