Stuff costs money: the first rule of event-making economics.
DW here, and I now know that it costs about $500 to rent ten walkie-talkies for the weekend. I know that crowd control barriers are $7 per length and there’s a $79 delivery and pickup fee. Tent rental is about a hundred bucks per unit. I know prices and various sources for six-foot tables and folding chairs. A permit from the city for each vendor costs about $50. Equipping 110 organizers and volunteers with event t-shirts is a non-trivial part of the budget, and of course because we love our volunteers we’re going to feed them.
So while Maker Expo is free for the public to attend and free for non-selling makers to exhibit, it is by no means happening for free. It is happening because our sponsors stepped up and supported this thing that we’re building with hundreds of volunteer hours. One of those sponsors is Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship.
Above, my big smiling mug is picking up their sponsorship cheque from Nicole Gerry, Co-ordinator: Accounting and Financial Training. Wanting to avoid postal delays and misdirection, I asked to be called when the cheque was ready. When I got that call, I said “I’ll be there in eight minutes!”
That sponsorship is coming to Maker Expo because Victoria Larke, (above) Founding Manager of the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship, made a decision that what we’re delivering is important for the community and aligned with her organization’s goals. Regular readers may remember that Cam and I connected with Victoria, Stephen Preece, and Laura Allan at Laurier back in June. We hashed out a plan whereby Laura would invite 120 of her second-year business students down to Kitchener City Hall to meet up with makers, study their operation, and offer some business insights. You had me at “curriculum integration”! (I’ll be speaking to Laura’s class next week on this, so get ready with all your questions, Hawks!)
We are doubly happy that Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship is supporting Maker Expo with funding too, because ultimately the best sponsor relations are mutually beneficial in a really obvious way. So, a massive Maker Expo thank you to you Victoria and the Schlegel Centre. They’re right here in our community at the corner of University Ave and Albert Street. Follow them on Twitter at @LaurierEship.
This is how we build Maker Expo.