Maker Faire Hannover
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Impressions from the first Maker Faire in Germany
Finally! The first Maker Faire in Germany took place in Hannover on August 3rd this year (2013). After having visited the big one in San Mateo in 2012 I had to go there - of course! I wanted to see if this would be comparable to what I knew from the States in any way. I was not really sure what to expect, except that I was convinced that many people would be interested to see it. I don't know what actually made me that sure, but it seemed, that even the organizers were really surprised by its success. I have heard that they expected about 800 people, but the news said, it have been almost 5000 in the end. So far so good. The problem was a bit, that the combination of 30 degrees Celsius outside without air condition inside made it a real challenge to stand the crowd AND the heat in the exhibition hall.
Nevertheless the exhibitors in the hall were a real good mixture of geeks, educators and leisure as well as professional makers. To my surprise there were a bunch of amatuer radio operators (which might be a German specialty?) and far less workshops or tinkering offers than I expected. I also heard from someone that he was surprised about the amount of women visiting... well, you can imagine I had a little discussion with him about that ;-)
There was also an offer of talks, but to be honest, they weren't communicated at all on site and seemed barely visited. I definitely did not feel like listening to a talk when so many things to explore were waiting for me.
Luckily there was a nice outside park like area too, which had enough room and seating for all the people, a main stage with hourly program, a nice water basin to refresh your feet and booths with drinks and fast food. Actually that was the only disappointment: long queues and far overpriced food. The guy selling ice-cream even had the guts to double the price for his scoops during the day from one to two Euros. That was more than a rip off which doesn't belong on a Maker Faire if you ask me... but I bet the organizers didn't even know that the guy was taking his own advantage of the unexpected crowd.
All in all it was worth going, even though it meant a 600 km ride for me. There is definitely a growing awareness about the possibilities of making beyond home 3D printing. Even big computer magazines support DIY and ideas up cycling in their issues. So let’s stay curious how this movement keeps on growing and if we really will use all the opportunities that might come with it. Maybe it really accompanies a time of transformation and change of paradigm? At least I believe there is more in tinkering and making than just some pastime and geeky hobby…
|Images||© Claudia Schleyer|