We Survived Maker Faire Atlanta 2016
Maker Faire Atlanta 2016 did not disappoint as the South's greatest show and tell. The weather in Atlanta was beautiful and that set the stage for an amazing experience that even our CFO enjoyed.
Altanta Maker Faire has a flavor that is unique to the South and Atlanta suburb of Decatur is a great place to host the event. You never know what you are going to see as makers from all over the region work throughout the year to come show off their creations. Geekspace Gwinnett was truly one of the stars of the show with their R2D2 robot which is simply amazing to watch in action. You never know what you are going to see rolling down the sidewalk at a Maker Faire. This of course is a family-oriented event and there was something for everyone.
Our primary reason for being at Maker Faire was to spread the word about Black Girls Code. A few months ago, the Atlanta Chapter decided we would get a booth for the event and I can tell you that this was the perfect event for spreading the word about STEM education. It may seem like bringing sand to the beach, however you never know who you are going to meet and we were able to engage quite a few young ladies and talk about what Black Girls Code does.
On a more personal note, I was able to finally meet one of my role models as it pertains to making, Bob Claggett from I Like To Make Stuff. Bob has had a profound impact on the scope of our projects and what caught me off guard about meeting him in person (after about a year of intermittent emails) was how down-to-earth and approachable he was. His booth had a ton of people around it, but he still took a picture with me and shook my hand like a man - and that means the world to me.
I was also able to reconnect with an old friend and ex-coworker during Maker Faire. My buddy Joe Hart happened to be in town for a funeral but came out to support us at Maker Faire. Joe and I have known each other for over a decade and is one of the most loyal friends I have ever had. Joe works for Skynet Solutions and they help businesses of all sizes improve their web presence. Joe has been integral in helping us reset our SEO plan and he knows his stuff. An hour with Joe helped refocus our web strategy which allows us to continue to operate. Maker Faire is rightfully billed as a family event and having many old friends there really fit the bill.
If you are wondering if Maker Faire is the type of event that you should attend - let me sweeten the pot for you a bit - its free to attend. You may have to pay for parking and you might want to grab a meal while you are out but as far as individual or family entertainment goes you cannot beat it. Each booth is someone's passion and it truly shows. Although our focus is electronics and woodworking, you can find makers in any medium. Whether you're a seasoned maker or just curious about this whole Maker Movement thing - you should seriously consider attending your local Maker Faire or Mini Maker Faire.