If you haven’t been to Maker Faire yet, you are missing out! We highly recommend visiting the event not only as an attendee but also a maker. Crowned as “The Greatest Show (& tell) on Earth”, Maker Faire is flooded with companies and individuals with unique products, technologies, and skills on display– not only the latest 3D printers and drones, but also toothpick art, bubble art, and metalwork. With thousands of Makers crowding the San Mateo County Events Center, the show attracts an impressive 125K attendees in Bay Area alone.
EyeQue exhibited at Maker Faire Bay Area for the first time this year. With a few large events under our belt, we were confident that Maker Faire was going to be a fun show. With the goal of introducing EyeQue’s at-home vision testing technology to as many people as possible, we decorated our booth with instructions of use and armed our staff with several demo units per person. After two and a half long days of the show, we’ve met so many interesting people including some backers from our first Kickstarter campaign in 2016, and received glowing feedback– we walked away feeling thrilled about the turnout.
We’ve concluded a few points for other startups who may be considering whether or not to exhibit. Our unanimous response is “DO IT!” Here’s why:
1. You will be VERY busy with enthusiastic and curious passersby
The amount of foot traffic exceeded our expectation. We were located in Tech 2, one of the main exhibit halls. There were several hundred booths in the hall (we were nexto Mozilla Firefox and the HAM radio section, an eclectic collaboration), and people flooded our booth as soon as the show opened on Saturday morning! Moreover, the attendees were so curious and interested in what we had to offer (an amazing opportunity to train your staff), we gave several hundred demos each day.
Fun fact: The show opened at 10am with a line out in the parking lot.
2. You can get valuable customer feedback
The show can help with exposure and can get you the valuable customer feedback that professional trade shows simply cannot offer. What’s the difference? People who go to Maker Faire are consumers, not industry professionals. The latest technology and the newest, coolest gadgets are their hobbies, not day jobs. We hear feedback as we give demos on what works and what doesn’t; to a consumer-facing company like ourselves, this type of response is priceless. According to Maker Faire’s official show stats, 77% of attendees go to the show with family and friend.
3. Setting up and tearing down is a breeze
Make Faire has been hosting their flagship shows for over 10 years, and they are pros at making things easy for exhibitors. Clean, well defined space makes things easy to find. Dedicated, friendly staff to help you with whatever you need for your booth. Although the show itself was more bare-boned (think wire walls, concrete flooring) than some professional shows we’ve been to, we saw the advantage which made it was extremely efficient to set up and tear down.
4. Sell at the show!
Maker Faire allows sales so take advantage of it! Every booth had special deals for Make Faire attendees. Set up your own and see your product fly off the shelves. Having a mobile credit card processing system is a no brainer, but many people use cash so make sure you have change on hand.
5. Get inspired at the show
Even though the show will keep you and your team busy, making time to explore the halls and booths will help you relax and get the creative juice flowing. From “DIY hanging terrariums” to “learn how to solder”, the show has a plethora of activities to experience and cool things to see. Our favorite was the 3D balloon dragon exhibit in hall
All in all, Maker Faire was an amazing experience for all of us at EyeQue. We will be back next year!