City of Monash and Monash University: Monash Maker Faire
An incredible future-focused partnership showcasing the maker movement to the Monash community.
Monash Maker Faire was developed and delivered following the success of the Monash Mini Maker Faire in 2019.
Continuing the existing partnership, Monash Tech School and City of Monash, with support from Monash University, upscaled the Monash Mini Maker Faire concept to deliver a large-scale, community-focused celebration of the maker movement at Monash University’s Clayton campus on Sunday, December 4 2022.
Six months of extensive preparation involving industry sponsors and a cross-organisational team was vital in the success of the day. A strong project focus and an effective communications campaign produced 10,000 attendee registrations prior to Monash Maker Faire.
To successfully deliver a large-scale Monash Maker Faire, the team needed to engage with a variety of audiences, including makers, industry professionals, potential volunteers and public attendees.
Communications with makers started early and were vital to ensuring the event ran smoothly. The 2019 database of makers was contacted to re-exhibit, whilst other makers heard about Monash Maker Faire through social media and word of mouth. Multiple of the Monash University student teams applied to exhibit, which enabled the activation of the Monash Makerspace. The student teams were all extremely passionate about their demonstrations and contributed to further Monash University's interest and involvement in the event. The organising team coordinated maker applications, risk assessments and exhibit placements to maker specifications. Succinct and effective communication through maker manuals and maps assisted with bump-in and out procedures on the day.
Marketing and promotional designs were produced onsite with the goal of producing collateral that was sustainable for future events.
The pre-event communications and marketing campaign was driven by a strong social media presence on multiple platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok. The campaign worked to various goals, including recruiting makers and volunteers, encouraging attendee registrations, and engaging the community with Monash Maker Faire and the concept of Maker Faires.
Additional means of pre-event promotion were also employed. Flyers were distributed to local schools, libraries, community centres and around Monash University campus. The City of Monash provided support through billboards on Eastlink, Dandenong Road and Nepean Highway, along with large format outdoor displays around the Monash precinct. A variety of newsletters included a call for makers and information on attendee registration, including the In Our Classrooms newsletter, City of Monash newsletters, and partner school newsletters. Content for schools to post on Compass School Manager was distributed to Monash Tech School partner schools to publish.
Despite the heat outside, the day was well received and functioned effectively within the faire grounds. The Woodside Building for Technology and Design, the Monash Makerspace and the Campus park were activated with a range of 62 maker groups and 6 interactive workshops.
Different areas of the faire grounds focused on different kinds of maker groups, with University teams filling the Makerspace, school groups taking over the Classroom, game makers in the Arcade, and community makers throughout the Hub and the Community. Within each area was a variety of exhibits that sparked different interests and curiosities among attendees.
Throughout the day, large crowds of attendees of all ages explored the spaces, visiting exhibits focusing on a range of technologies, ideas and innovations. The scope of the displays was wide and included activities such as Virtual Reality, coding, art, mosaics, rockets, robotics, sustainability, and gaming. A number of exhibits directly engaged children and families, whilst others were suited to all attendees, making the day a fun experience for all ages.
Students, teachers and parents from 5 of our partner schools attended as exhibiting makers to showcase their innovative STEAM creations to the community. City of Monash Councillors Tina Samardzija (Mayor) and Nicky Luo (Deputy Mayor), Department of Education North East Regional Officers Mark Flack (Area Executive Director - Inner East) and Carolyn Elliott (Senior Education Improvement Leader) formally toured the faire directed by organisers of the Monash Maker Faire.
All 10 sponsors, 62 maker groups, and 58 volunteers were vital to the success of the day.
Monash Maker Faire was a true partnership project between the Monash Tech School team, City of Monash Economic Development Unit, and Monash University, which enabled productive leadership, management, collaboration, and facilitation in the lead-up to and during the event.
The event organisers and supporters were very pleased with the attendee and maker support established for Monash Maker Faire. Scaling up from Monash Mini Maker Faire meant that some connections with industry and makers were already established, whilst other partnerships were built off the 2019 reputation and the excitement to hold a larger Maker Faire. The brand and reputation built from the Monash Maker Faire will assist the organising group to attract interest from industry, makers and attendees for December 2024.
The range and quality of makers exhibiting across the areas of the faire grounds impressed those that attended and lived up to the aims of the organising group. Exhibits and workshops embraced the maker movement and engaged people of all ages, encouraging them to be curious, make their own inventions, and have fun.
Having now adjusted marketing materials and collateral to Monash Maker Faire branding, future events will become more cost-effective and sustainable. Feedback from attendees, makers and volunteers has been a basis of learning for the organising group and will assist to inform planning decisions for future Monash Maker Faires. In addition, we hope to help establish other Maker Faires across Victoria via the Tech Schools Network.
The success of the event and establishment of a Monash Maker Faire profile has generated momentum that has left the organising group excited to put together another Monash Maker Faire in 2024.