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News Posted March 23, 2014

Last year was great: This year will be even better!
Maker Faire NC 2013 was the most attended MFNC we’ve had so far. With over 5000 attendees, 80+ Makers, and 50+ volunteers, we really had a well attended and diverse event. The event was so well attended that our number 1 complaint was that it was too crowded! Definitely after our last event we decided that we needed to make some venue changes in order for us to continue to have a well-attended, growing, family friendly event.

New Venue, New Layout!
So, one of the changes we’re making this year is that we’ll be moving to a new building at the Fairgrounds. We’re moving from the Kerr Scott building (with about 20K sq. ft) to the Expo Center (with 50K sq. ft.)! This space increase will give us better options for wider aisles and more Makers. The staff visited the space in late summer and immediately reserved it. Additionally, we picked the weekend BEFORE the gun show, so no more confused folks who think their attending the gun show when they buy their tickets for MFNC (no, really, that happens).

Along with more space, we’re also doing some more deliberate space planning with a section of MFNC specifically dedicated to Makers who sell things. Many Makers and attendees have asked for this kind of division and we’ll have that in place with possibly other sectioning around themes. The planning is still in process as we receive and vet Maker applications.

More Volunteers Needed This Year
With all this space, and our expectation for even more attendance this year, we’ll need even more volunteers. Jim Matlock is your Volunteer Coordinator again this year, and he’s put together a plan for around 120+ volunteer shifts that will need to be filled. We really appreciate that you are volunteering for MFNC and we’re excited to offer you many options for the roles you can fill. Volunteer Role signups will be opening shortly and we’ll send more information when the sign-up system is setup and on-line.

Section Leaders
We have a few new Volunteer Roles this year, and one that will be particularly helpful will the role of a Section Leader. You may have heard about this role last year, but we didn’t get many of those slots filled. This year however Jim will be recruiting from the list of previous volunteers to find candidates who can help manage subgroups of other volunteers. If you’ve been a volunteer previously and have an interest in this leadership role, please let Jim know.

Sponsor Spotlight: SparkFun
One exciting change this year is that we’ve got SparkFun on board as a sponsor! If you haven’t heard of SparkFun, check them out at their website. SparkFun will be adding to the educational side of Maker Faire NC by providing a How to Make e-Textiles booth. E-textiles involves sewing circuits using conductive thread. With e-textiles, you could make a really cool costume, a unique piece of clothing or jewelery, or some other kind of cloth accessory.

As part of this educational booth, we’re looking for volunteers who have experience with hand sewing who would be interested teaching MFNC attendees how to sew a simple kit provided by SparkFun. There will actually be a training session the day before MFNC for instructors. If you’re interested, let us know!

First Newsletter DONE!

Well, that’s a wrap for this first newsletter. Any questions about what you’ve read? Just drop a line to Jim Matlock using the form in the section below.

Coming Soon

  • Volunteer Training
  • Signing up for shifts
  • Ordering T-Shirts
  • What we’re doing to improve safety this year
  • Numbers, numbers, numbers!

News Posted April 27, 2014

Thanks for Volunteering…Please help us find MORE Volunteers!
First off, we’re really glad to have you onboard for MFNC this year. We are excited about the larger space and the potential for more makers, more attendees, and more spectacle. Without help from volunteers like you, we definitely couldn’t pull something like this off.

Having said that, we are going to need MORE volunteers than we had last year. We had about 50 volunteers last year filling about 80 shifts. This year we have about 130 shifts that will need to be filled and we’re thinking we’ll need at least 75 volunteers to cover that much. So, if you know friends or family that would be interested in helping, please send them the web link to our Participate page.

Additionally when you attend Maker themed events in May, please take a moment to make a pitch for both attending and volunteering at MFNC, and let us know when you do. We will have postcard handouts available soon and so we may possibly be able to arrange to get you some for handing out at events you attend. Just let us know.

Shift sign-up is now open
Shift sign-up is now open on the SignupGenius web site:


To sign up, use the access code 06072014, enter your contact information, and then choose the shift or shifts you are willing to commit to working. Sign-ups are open till May 29, then the slots are locked and can only be changed by contacting the volunteer coordinator.

How to get your T-shirt
This year we’ll be doing T-shirts a little differently. Each volunteer will receive a code to use for ordering their free t-shirt through Eventbrite once they have signed up for their volunteer shift. The T-shirts will then be available at the MFNC site for pick-up when you work your first volunteer shift. Please contact the volunteer coordinator if you have any concerns or questions about getting your t-shirt.

Sponsor Spotlight: Spoonflower
We’re very pleased to have Spoonflower once again as a sponsor at MFNC this year. This locally-owned business has been a real anchor for MFNC and is always quite popular for the textiles crowd. For those who don’t know about Spoonflower, their core business is producing custom printed fabrics which can be used by crafters, artists, quilters, or whoever else is interested in unique textile designs. Recently they’ve also branched out into custom wallpaper, gift wrap, and decals as well.

This year Spoonflower will be doing some collaboration with one of our other sponsors, SparkFun, and they will also be providing the fabric labels we’ll be using this year to help designate staff and volunteers as we mingle with the public. Make sure to take some time to visit their booth this year!

Second Newsletter DONE!

Well, that’s a wrap for newsletter number 2. Any questions about what you’ve read? Just drop a line to Jim Matlock using the form in the section below.

Coming Soon

  • Our new Volunteer Manual
  • Meet the Safety Captain
  • The Dark Side of being the Volunteer Coordinator
  • More sponsor highlights and maybe some maker highlights too!

Volunteer Manual Here!

Here’s a link to the Volunteer Manual.

After you’ve had a chance to look it over, make sure to print the last page and fill it out. That’s your Volunteer Agreement. Just bring it with you to the Fairgrounds when you come to work your shift. We’ll also have copies at the Fairgrounds in case you forget.

News Posted May 23, 2014

Filling the Shifts
If you check out our shift schedule on SignupGenius you can see it is getting very full… EXCEPT for the Saturday 4pm shift. I’ve actually trimmed back a few slots in that time frame but we still need some spots filled. If you can help with that, either by taking on another shift or helping us find another volunteer, we’d really really really appreciate it.

Sewing Instructor Training
We finally have worked out a time that our master instructor from SparkFun will be able to train those of you who are going to help us with the e-textiles booth: Friday 5-6pm. If you can’t make that time, no worries. Just arrive at least 30 minutes before your shift starts and either our master instructor or someone else will show you what you need to know. And thank you again for helping us with this new MFNC offering!

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