We exhibit at a lot of events - Maker festivals, like our own Gulf Coast MakerCon, and at educational events like our upcoming Roboticon FIRST Showcase , science festivals and more. While some of our exhibit items vary, there's a pretty consistent list of things we always need to have on hand.
We came up with the Maker-Exhibit-in-a-Box for our recent stint at Maker Faire Orlando and it worked like a charm! Or, rather, like an "Exhibit-in-a-Box."
Step 1: Maker Exhibit Essentials
Essentials will vary for everyone, but if you're a regular on any kind of an conference/art/craft/maker festival circuit, you know what you normally need - and what you often wish you had. Now's the time to make that essentials list, and tape it to the top of your Maker-Exhibit-in-a-Box lid so you'll always have it. In our case, exhibit essentials include:
- Clear storage box with lid - We used 66 qt. size because it's easy for one person to carry, and holds all the essentials comfortably, and fits easily in a Honda Civic trunk.
- 2 table cloths (nice to arrange in different ways, to have an extra in case one gets dirty, or if you end up with larger space)
- Extension cord
- Power strip/chargers (in our case, our Roll Up Charging Station)
- Small computer monitor, for showing videos and other info
- A small lamp - some exhibit areas are dark, or sometimes you just want to be able to light up a particular area of your display
- Brochures/flyers/business cards
- Hand cleaner - cause it's germy out there!
- Office supplies like pens, markers, staplers, tape, and scissors
- Duct Tape Hat (A gift from FTC Team Duct Tape, that's an essential in our box!)
- "For more information" sign up sheets - because it's good to capture contact information
All of these things fit neatly in the box, with room left over for some exhibit items like our Itty Bitty Mini Forge , and a box of littleBits.
Step 2: Pack It Up!
You may have to play a little Tetris here, but after you've fit everything else in, put the monitor on top, wrapped in the table cloths, snap on the lid and you're good to go!
Step 3: Voila! Maker-Exhibit-in-a-Box Unboxed
With the exception of the microscope (we were exhibiting our Webcam Microscope) everything on the table (and some things you can't see in this pic, like the extension cord, power strip, and desk light) were all in the box.
Step 4: Pack It Up!
At the end of the event, back it all went, easy peasy - Maker-Exhibit-in-a-Box (let's call it MEiaB), with the microscope on top, and the laptop bag, and we were done. There's some other stuff there from another exhibit - but our stuff is nicely compartmentalized and easily fit in the trunk.
MEiaB made for a much nicer roll out and clean up, and keeping it neatly stocked makes us ready to go at a moment's notice - because you never know when there might be an emergency maker festival somewhere!