Steampunk - Exhibitor Applications Now Open 2018

Click here, and to skip straight to the application.

When is it: October 6-7, 2018, 10 am – 6 pm
Where is it: Inside 11 venues in Balboa Park.
What’s it all about: People can do incredible things… when they let themselves do it!

And we’d like to invite you to once join us for Maker Faire San Diego! Last year, we broke attendance records and we’re looking to do it again. But we can’t do it without YOU.

This year we’re really focusing on our thematic motto: People can do incredible things… when they let themselves do it. This festival showcases the amazing work of all kinds of makers – anyone who embraces that do-it-yourself or do-it-together spirit. We’re looking for exhibitors, performers, speakers, start-ups, tinkerers, and anyone excited to showcase what they create with an interested and curious audience.

Exhibitor, Mesa College Fashion, MFSD 2018 Knitting Exhibitor, MFSD 2018 Mario Exhibitor, MFSD 2018 MESH Exhibitor, MFSD 2018 Robotics Exhibitor, MFSD 2018

What’s the timeline?

  • June 1Applications open.
  • August 1— Final application date for exhibits with fire and/or safety concerns: submit a General Safety Plan and/or Fire Safety Plan (forms available soon).
  • August 30Applications close for Commercial Maker and Non-Profit / Agency / Cause / or Mission Based Organization Payment Due. This is only for makers who fit these categories.
  • August 31— All Applications Close.

What are we looking for? Everything!

We are seeking creative people who want to share their energy and talents with others. We are inviting artists, musicians, engineers, craftsmen, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, businesspeople, comedians and creative people of all ages and backgrounds to inspire attendees with what we as humans can do. Here’s a big list.

Remember, this event is all about celebrating the act of making, so a project doesn’t need to be completed in order to be considered. At your exhibit, you can give the audience the chance to learn more about your craft, watch you work, or let them play-test (and beta-test!) your creations!

Maker Faire wouldn’t be Maker Faire without the plethora of hands-on activities or interactive, and applicants with an activity or interactive element are given priority status.

Be sure to fill out your application carefully! Public facing info will end up on our Meet the Makers page if you are accepted.


Special Fee Exhibit Booths

Special rates for Makers-who-Sell (Vendors), Small Companies, Non-Profits, and Corporate entities.

There are certain types of booths for which there are fees.
  • Individual Makers – who exhibit their projects at Maker Faire receive booths for FREE!
  • Maker Business or Non-Profit
    Booth Fee $150 – If you would like to market or sell your own creations at Maker Faire, you are welcome to do so. This type of exhibitor (with revenues of <$100K) is responsible for their own business permits and financial transactions – whether they be via cash, credit card, barter, or some other means.
  • Small Company or Non-Profit
    Booth Fee $500 – This type of exhibitor is a business or non-profit with revenues < $1M.
  • Mid-size Company or funded Start-up
    Booth Fee $1,000 – This type of exhibitor is a business or non-profit with revenues $1M-$3M.
  • Corporate and/or Large Established Companies
    Corporate entities and/or established companies can visit our Sponsor Page.
  • Outdoor Tented Booth Fee
    Please contact us for pricing.
Please note: The booth cost will be invoiced after you are accepted and asked to register, in advance of Maker Faire and will be payable prior to receiving your Maker credentials. Fees include a standard maker booth. If you need more space, please contact us and tell us what you need. We’ll do what we can to accommodate and assist!

So once more! Here are some quick links for you:

We can’t wait to read your applications!

Sophia Bionic Cat - Veteran Karolyn

A veteran with traumatic injuries. A kitten with an amputated paw. Some stories are just too moving for a blog post, but we’re going to try.

Karolyn Smith - Maker 2017 - Veteran

Meet Karolyn Smith. A native of San Diego, Karolyn enlisted in the US Army shortly after the events of 9/11. Serving as a machine gunner during combat patrols resulted in numerous injuries, including severe spinal injuries, post-traumatic stress, and a mild traumatic brain injury.

After years of medication and pain, Karolyn’s life began anew when a cutting edge treatment from UCLA’s Operation MEND gave her a spinal fusion. But that wasn’t all – that same year, Karolyn met Sophia.

Sophia Bionic Cat - Veteran Karolyn

Little Sophia was a kitten and an amputee. “She had no mother’s milk,” Karolyn said, “She was eight days old and she was still trying to get up… I saw the structural issues that I had for so long. I was like, ‘You are me.’”

Sophia and Karolyn - Bionic Cat at Fab Lab

There was an abandoned male kitten, Leonidas, that had bonded with Sophia. Karolyn adopted them both and found herself inspired. She embarked on a quest to create the first ever 3D printed detachable prosthetic for a cat. “This bore out of the necessity to know how she must feel, because it’s how I felt,” she remarked, “It’s what I saw coming down the line for her.”

At first, Karolyn was surprised no one had created a 3D printed detachable prosthetic for felines yet. “Of course no one’s done it, because it’s really frickin’ hard!” Karolyn laughed. “But that’s what innovation is about.”

Karolyn turned to the incredible makers at Fab Lab San Diego, where together they designed and developed a prototype.  Now, Karolyn is learning more and more about coding at the Fleet Science Center, growing as a maker, and developing the expertise and connections needed to finalize the design of the prosthetic.

The prototype is in its third iteration, still in development, and Karolyn is reaching out. She’s sharing her story and seeking those like-minded individuals eager to help cats like Sophia and their owners, or maybe just excited for the challenge.

“I came to the shelter to save a cat… but she really saved me.”

Hear the story. Learn the details. Meet this inspiring maker.

We’re honored to have Karolyn Smith speaking at Maker Faire San Diego.

Stay tuned for our speaker schedule.

Advanced tickets are on sale now.

Interested in learning more right away? Head to, Karolyn’s nonprofit ambassador program, or seek out her children’s book titled, Sophia: The Bionic Cat. The book was written in an open dyslexic font, a new open source font created to increase readability for those with dyslexia.

Sophia & Karolyn - Kitten and Veteran Collage



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Call for Makers - Exhibit at Maker Faire San Diego 2017

Calling all makers! Want to exhibit at Maker Faire San Diego this October? Come show-off your your work, creation, and hobbies with an enthusiastic audience! Maker Faire San Diego showcases the amazing work of all kinds and ages of makers – anyone who is embracing the do-it-yourself (or do-it-together) spirit and wants to share their accomplishments.

Click here to skip straight to the application.

Apply to exhibit at Maker Faire San Diego
Balboa Park | October 7+8, 2017
10am – 6pm

Zenotrope - Exhibit at Maker Faire San Diego

What are we looking for?

You can apply as an exhibitor, performer, and/or speaker! Yes, you can have an exhibitor booth, and sign up to be a speaker. (However, you do have to submit two (2) separate applications and make sure your booth is staffed during your speaker time.) We’re looking for makers who make everything, including:

3D Printers and CNC Mills
Arduino projects
Beer makers
Bicycle Hackers
Conductive materials projects
Drones (Racing, DIY, etc.)
Electric Vehicles
Food makers (not concessionaires)
Home devices
Homegrown (NEW!)
How to Fix Things or Take them Apart (Vacuums, Clocks, etc.)
Interactive art projects
Kit makers
Large-scale Art
Music Performances and Participation
Puppets, Kites, and Other Whimsical Creations
Radios, Vintage Computers and Game Systems
Raspberry Pi
Rockets and RC Toys
Science, Biology/Biotech, and Chemistry projects
Shelter (Tents, Domes, etc.)
Space projects
Student projects
Sustainability & Green Tech
Textile Arts and Crafts
Unusual Tools or Machines

Making ceramics - Exhibit Maker Faire San Diego

More Information

Remember, this event is all about celebrating the act of making. A project doesn’t have to be complete to be considered. First and foremost, we’re looking for exhibitors who can give attendees the chance to learn. That could be through demonstrations, by letting them play-test your creations, or any number of ways! Afterall, Maker Faire wouldn’t be a Maker Faire without the plethora of hands-on activities and interactives. Applicants with an activity, demonstration, or interactive element are given priority status.

Makers can exhibit absolutely free! Vendors, businesses, and non-profits, do have to pay a small fee. Click here to learn more.

In addition to sharing passion projects and innovations with enthusiastic crowds, exhibitors will also have an exclusive opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow makers during the Maker After-Party!

Exhibited in 2016? We’d love to have you back. Have a friend you think should exhibit? Encourage them to apply!

Drone Users Group - Exhibit at Maker Faire San Diego

We look forward to reading your application!

– The Maker Faire San Diego Team

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Maker Faire San Diego Balboa Park

Save the Date: Maker Faire San Diego 2017

The Return to Balboa Park

Fire up the laser cannons and let’s get this robot rolling! Maker Faire San Diego returns to Balboa Park October 7 + 8! We can’t wait to see what our makers have been up to and what new exhibitors will join us.

Makers Gonna Make

Do you tinker? Do you program? Experiment? Build contraptions or construct costumes? Maybe you run a maker space and want to share your resources with the world! Be on the look out for our Call to Makers. Because we want YOU to exhibit!

Remember, your project doesn’t have to be complete by October. The best part about a Maker Faire is watching people create something wonderful and getting your hands dirty! We’re partnering again with the San Diego Maker’s Guild – so stay tuned for updates and check out meet-ups for the opportunity to join with the maker community here in San Diego.

The Venues

We’re thrilled to be back in Balboa Park! Changes are coming to MFSD 2017, but we couldn’t be more excited! We’ll have 10 zones for our makers to exhibit and for participants to explore, so start breaking in your new walking shoes (self-lacing or hover shoes encouraged), because you’ll want the full two days to dive in.

Switch to Channel Maker Faire

As always, join us on TwitterInstagram, and DEFINITELY Facebook for updates, news, and our amazing maker community. Follow and share what you’ve learned or made with us at #MakerFaireSanDiego!

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What Will I See at Maker Faire San Diego 2016?

Very short answer? A LOT! But here’s the big five in the form of a little list.

1. Over 200 Makers

From robotics to crafts to tech (new and old), cosplay, and innovative projects, there is truly something for everyone! Makers are always excited to talk about and share their amazing work. They’ll see problems and find solutions. They’ll see beauty and want to recreate it, or design something all-together new and stunning. Bring your curiosity and explore the huge range of incredible, fun, and awe-inspiring things being made in our region.

You can also check out some our awesome Makers here to get a taste of what you can see firsthand at the event!

San Diego Makers to See in 2016

2. Access To 12 Venues

In addition to our outdoor exhibit spaces and special venues, your ticket gets you general admission to ALL 10 participating Balboa Park museums, all outdoor exhibit areas, Spanish Village, and The Old Globe! Follow the circuit and hit every spot on the map. No two will be alike!

3. Beer Gardens

Embrace your local brewing community while meeting the Makers behind some of San Diego’s most unique home and microbrews all while enjoying a taste (or two). This year, the San Diego Museum of Man will host micro and home brewers while San Diego State University to teaches you everything you need to know about the science and chemistry behind our amazing home brewing community. If you’ve ever been curious about the science, history, fun, and story of beer in San Diego, grab the beer lover in your live and kick off the celebrations in “Oktober.”

4. Featured Speakers

Creative minds, entrepreneurs, educators, and people who really, really love Making will be giving special mini talks throughout the weekend! Talks will cover a huge range of subjects and give you a more in-depth look at incorporating making into education, creating new tech, art, or even your own business. Stay tuned for the line-up by checking out our Makers page.

5. Hands-on Activities

With tons of hands-on activities and interactive displays YOU can experiment with everything. We’re confident you’ll go home with some of your own awesome work! From building robots, making leathercraft, taking a 3D photo or portrait, or trying your hand at ceramics, there’s something for every interest, too. This year, activities include:

  • Soldering LED pins at the San Diego Natural History Museum
  • Building and firing air rockets at the San Diego Air and Space Museum (all ages)
  • Tapigami, making incredible artworks out of simple masking tape at the San Diego History Center
  • Google Cardboard, an awesome virtual reality headmount for your smartphone, at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center


We’re pretty excited about 2016 and hope you are too! We highly recommend the 2-day ticket to make sure you can experience everything MFSD 2016 has to offer!

Spread the word and remember to get your Early Bird tickets before September 1st!

MFSD Buy Ticket Now button

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Maker Faire San Diego Press Preview 2016

The city has come together for a peek at Maker Faire San Diego! This morning, makers took over the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park… and it was awesome!

Surrounded by flaming sculptures, robots, a giant walking spider pod, hand sculpted soapbox derby cars, rocket launchers and many more spectaculars, Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined the San Diego Maker’s Guild and Balboa Park Cultural Partnership for the official announcement and call to makers, for Maker Faire San Diego! Now in our second year, we’re thrilled to be a part of INNOVATE San Diego – a week-long series of events showcasing innovation in our Cali-Baja region.

MFSD 2016 - Media (3)

Two newcomers!

We’re also thrilled to officially announce two new venues for the event. The Old Globe Theatre and San Diego Museum of Man will join the festival!

Other participating museums include: Japanese Friendship GardenMuseum of Photographic ArtsReuben H. Fleet Science CenterSan Diego Air & Space MuseumSan Diego Automotive MuseumSan Diego Hall of ChampionsSan Diego History CenterSan Diego Model Railroad Museum, and San Diego Natural History Museum.

MFSD 2016 - Media (4)

We invite you to join us!

“San Diego is a city with incredibly talented people and an innovative spirit that can’t be matched anywhere else,” Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said. “It’s why we are proud to introduce INNOVATE San Diego – an event that will showcase San Diego’s ingenuity, creativity and innovation economy on a global stage by bringing together nearly a dozen great events under one banner.”

MFSD 2016 - Press (10)

Steve Snyder, President of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, shared excitement at having Maker Faire San Diego back in Balboa Park, inviting everyone to come explore and engage. Dan Henricks, representing the San Diego Maker’s Guild, invited all makers in our incredible region to showcase their hobbies, talents, and incredibly creative minds.

Councilmember Todd Gloria wrapped up by inviting all to participate, “Today you’ve had a glimpse of what to expect throughout the Park when San Diego’s makers once again show off their creations. I can’t wait to see what else is in store.”

And we can’t wait either! Join us! Apply to exhibit as a Maker, sign up as a Volunteer, or get your early bird tickets now!

MFSD 2016 - Media (2)


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Maker Faire San Diego 2016 is coming!

Maker Faire San Diego is BACK! With air rockets, robots, towering sculptures, and a world of virtual reality, you are invited to be creative, engage with amazing technology, and get your hands dirty on October 1+2 in Balboa Park. Early bird tickets are even on sale now!

Over 10 institutions in Balboa Park will be participating in Maker Faire San Diego 2016:

Japanese Friendship Garden
Museum of Photographic Arts
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
San Diego Air & Space Museum
San Diego Automotive Museum
San Diego Hall of Champions
San Diego History Center
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
San Diego Museum of Man
San Diego Natural History Museum
The Old Globe

Still not sure what Maker Faire is all about? Trying to figure out how to describe it to your friends? It’s part high-tech science fair, part-county fair, part something entirely new. Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, engineers, artists, scientists, artisans, machinists, cosplayers, and so much more. Makers will be sharing, showing, and making awe-inspiring creations that are practical, built for fun, or constructed just to push the limits of imagination and technology. And most importantly? All of these makers don’t just want to show you what they have created, they want to teach you how you can do it too. There will be lots of hands-on activities and enthusiastic people who will talk to you about making anything you can dream up.

This will be a huge collaborative effort between the San Diego Makers Guild, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, and the City of San Diego. Stay tuned for the latest updates as we work to showcase innovators and creators of all kinds. Want a sneak-peek of what you’ll see at Maker Faire San Diego? The North County Mini Maker Faire is happening this weekend, June 18th-19th, at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, CA. Check it out.

We look forward to seeing you in October!

Maker Faire San Diego 2016 - What will you make?

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IMG_7343 (1)

Almost action time! Maker Faire kicks off tomorrow Oct 3 (Saturday!) at 10AM. Balboa Park is undergoing a busy and wonderful transformation. The crews of the Battlepond have been hard at work setting up the pool, serene for now and tomorrow home to a series of lively battles. Robot Resurrection’s team made an epic journey from World’s Faire in New York last weekend to set up in the Plaza de Panama, soon to be the Mayor’s Maker Plaza.  (more…)

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Map version FINAL5-page-002

Two days, ten participating  museums, robots, drone battles and Battle Pond, soldering, food trucks, competitions, crafting, and lasers and that’s only the start! With so much to do and see and hear and make, we want participants to make the most of Maker Faire. Check out our “Plan Your Visit” page beneath the Buy Tickets tab to see extended tram hours, travel information, and how to best explore our modern world faire.


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Maker Faire
Buy your tickets today! Save 20%

Maker Faire is a two-day festival of innovation in Balboa Park. On October 3-4 get hands-on. The celebration will showcase all kinds of amazing people who make all kinds of amazing things and can show you how to make it too! Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to scientists to artisans to garage tinkerers and so much more. Come see what’s being made in our region!

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