November was a crazy month for our team. We ran the first ever Oracle Maker Faire co-sponsored by Maker Media and followed that with an Integrated Cloud Hackathon in Australia--we'll leave the latter for a later post. For now, let's talk about the Maker Faire!
Putting together an Oracle Maker Faire has been an idea we were noodling on since our fearless leader and GVP, Jeremy Ashley, was on the agenda of the Maker Con in 2014. This year, we decided it was a must for our schedule. A Maker Faire is quite an event. Their description is "Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning." It's sort of like a science fair on steroids with all kinds of interesting technology, ideas, arts, and just general awesome sharing.
To pull this off, we needed a big space. Luckily for us, the Oracle Conference Center has a large auditorium and a very patient staff who agreed to help us put the whole event together. First, we needed to drum up some publicity for the event. For all the campuses in the Bay Area, that's quite a task. We started with the various folks who have participated in our previous events. We managed to find the right contacts to announce the event to the entire Bay Area set of campuses over email and let us put up posters in the elevators. We held some info sessions outside cafeterias at HQ. We got a lot of inquiries from people who wanted both to participate, volunteer to help and to attend.
Then came the actual event! Since Maker Media sponsored the event, they shipped us a 12' tall inflatable Makee Robot to display. Below is a picture of just some of our many volunteers all gathered around "Rosie #8".
Some of our many volunteers with Makee the Robot
We created posters, banners, flyers, table cards, a website and more. We wanted to make sure that we had lots of ways for people to find and check out all the makers and creations they were interested in.
Table cards and Make: magazines for the Faire
Adrian and Serguei putting together one of the banners for the auditorium
Of course, what is a Faire without Faire food? The Oracle Conference Center staff was so accommodating. They set up corn dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and churros for the attendees! Oh, but the best part of the food was the Maker Cookies. We had two versions--Maker and Maker with Kid!
We ended up with 31 different exhibits, 48 Oracle employees participating along with an additional 37 Oracle Maker Kids! To try to capture the range of the different people exhibiting and attending and volunteering, we decided to make a "Guest Book". Actually, we ended up with two guest books. We asked everyone to "measure in" so we could see how tall all the people there were. Here's a view at the beginning of the checkin and near the end on one of the guest books.
Guest book entries as the day went on
From what we could tell, our youngest attendee on the book was only just barely 2 years old and shall we say, a bit wee.
The Faire itself was crazy fun. We calculated more than 500 people came through to attend the Faire and the Color Workshop put on by Apps UX's own Julia Blyumen. We had a set of 6 different Makers speak, plus Sherry Huss of Maker Media on the origins of the Maker Movement, and Jeremy Ashley on the impact of the movement on Oracle. All in all, it was an amazing, exciting day!
The Faire in full tilt!