I often write about the many Maker Faire and Maker-Faire-A-Like events I attend and this weekend I’ve been attending the Bristol Mini Maker Faire. This is actually an event I help to run so my blog post probably isn’t very objective. I’ll try to stick to facts and general reportage.
This was the 2nd Bristol Mini Maker Faire and the event was held in the event suite at @Bristol Science Centre on Bristol Harbour side. The first Bristol Mini Maker Faire was held at the MShed Industrial Museum across the harbour. The change in venue really stemmed from keenness on the part of @Bristol to run the event on their site. Having a bit of a budget helped too.
Bristol Mini Maker Faire 2 had around 1000 visitor (600 visitors specifically for the Mini Maker Faire the others for both the Faire and the Science Centre) with around 80 makers on 40 exhibition tables. Makers included several from the Bristol Hackspace as well as local start-ups and artists groups like local roboticists and puppeteers Rusty Squid. We had several robotics themed exhibits including Baxter the robot that will put us all out of work (well, his descendent might).
The Bristol Hackspace organised a “ShonkBot” workshop, a very cheap (£10 parts cost) Arduino based drawing robot held together by a CD disk and a load of hot glue. The workshops proved very popular and lots of little “ShonkBots” were made. It was very well run and well organised and I was impressed though initially I had reservations about the amount of organisation and funding that might have been required. Musical instrument makers, a hand/home built motorcycle (one of my favourites), pen plotters, Arduino pets , giant knitting, techno-music robots and of course 3D printers (RepRap Pro are a local company) also attended. I was also delighted to see/hear (I like the sound) and smell (it smelled of machine oil) a Teletype machine brought in by Swindon Hackspace.
I managed to take a few pictures during the event and you can see those here. You can also see tweets from the event here on our #BMMF15 hash-tag (sorry Brighton Mini Maker Faire).
The original Bristol Mini Maker Faire producer had a career change in 2015 leaving a gap so the Faire’s planning was fairly rapid and the countdown to the faire quite short. We’re hoping to run a much bigger Faire in 2016 and going out for sponsorship and a bigger push on marketing. All in all the producers received excellent feedback on the day from Makers, visitors and venue staff. Ruth Murray of @Bristol was exceptionally brilliant and her professionalism and enthusiasm carried the event.
My next Faire will be the Brighton Mini Maker Faire in about 2 weeks where I’m attending as an exhibitor. I also produce the 4th annual Derby Mini Maker Faire which will be held in October.