Join the Maker Festival Organizing Team | 2018 Opportunities

Posted on April 16, 2018 Under news

Are you looking for awesome practical volunteer experience? Want to work on a large scale event as part of a kick-butt volunteer organizing team? Looking to upgrade your skills? Interested in hanging out with fellow capable, caring and creative humans who stick to meeting agendas, enable each others ideas and always provide snacks? Want to see your hard work manifest in to a real thing experienced by thousands? Below is a list of available opportunities for 2018!

Why join the team? Here’s why:

  • > You get to work on a killer organizing team with a bunch of highly-skilled and uber-capable humans.
  • > You’ll learn new skills, gain real experience, and take part in pulling together a large scale city wide event.
  • > You’ll get to see your hard work manifest in to an accessible public event experience by tens of thousands.
  • > You’ll be at the center of the maker and tech communities and get to meet plenty of influential and interesting people.
  • > You’ll have personal contact with the leaders and organizers of dozens of creative and tech communities across Toronto and the GTA.
  • > You’ll play a meaningful part in contributing to our mission – which you can read more about here.

Maker Festival is a 100% volunteer powered non-profit that runs on the generosity of humans. We’re committed to organizing an entrance fee free Extravaganza, and use our platform to support Toronto’s local makers & creative organizations.

If you have something to offer that you can’t see on this list, please do fill out the form anyhow and indicate the role or skills you’d like to contribute!

Below is a list of available opportunities for 2018! Please take a look and fill in the Expression of Interest form at the bottom of this page by May 1st, 2018.

Please note: this isn’t the big Call for Volunteers to help us run the Maker Extravaganza. That call will go out in May/June, and you can subscribe to our mailing list to stay in the loop.

OPPORTUNITIES

Outdoor Lead
The Outdoor Lead will curate and manage the Extravaganza’s outdoor area, consisting of Asquith Overhang (a 150’ stretch under the Toronto Reference Library Building) and the adjacent Asquith Ave itself. It will be your responsibility to wrangle the permit process with the city (actually already 95% done this year!), research and outreach to possible awesome exhibitors, play the layout, and coordinate the setup and execution of the outdoor area over the duration of the Maker Extravaganza. The job starts ASAP, beginning at 3-5 hours per week April. Hours will ramp up to 10 hours per week for May, June and early July, and you’ll need to be onsite 10+ hours a day for the Fri-Sun (July 6-8) of the Extravaganza.

 

Responsibilities:

  • > Sourcing and communicating with awesome exhibitors and activities for the outdoor area, coordinating set up, signage, decorations and the distribution of volunteers on the day.
  • > Finding ways to make the outdoor area more spectacular – food trucks, installations, performances, demonstrations with FIRE, 1000 square feet of fake lawn, anything – you find it, and we’ll help you make it happen.
  • > We’ve already begun the application process with the city for the street closure permit (which was successful both of the last two years), but you’ll follow up with them on supplementary applications (food service permits, waste disposal plans, traffic blocking plans, electricity/generator plans, special fire performance plans, etc), and keep moving the process along. We have last years outdoor coordinator still on staff, and she has graciously offered to help with these tasks.
  • > You’ll be responsible for notifying the neighbourhood residents and businesses by producing and distributing flyers.

Required Skills & Experience:

  • > Most importantly, you want to make an awesome public event happen – imagining the final result makes you a little nervous, but mostly excited.
  • > You love details, communicate well, and don’t shy away from serious spreadsheets & maps (or whatever project management tools take your fancy).

What will you get out of it?

  • > You get to work on a killer organizing team with a bunch of highly-skilled and uber-capable humans.
  • > You’ll learn new skills, gain experience, and take part in pulling together a large scale event across Toronto.
  • > You’ll be at the center of the maker and tech communities and get to meet plenty of influential and interesting people.
  • > You’ll make contacts with the city and learn a lot about the process for organizing large scale & outdoor city events.
  • > You’ll get to see your hard work manifest in a great experience, and watch over 10,000 people interact with it.

Workshop Coordinator
Source and manage the Maker Festival Workshops. You will control the Beeton Auditorium area in the Reference Library, right next to the stairs to the second floor. There are three different rooms, and 15 hours of the festival, so you need to schedule and coordinate about a dozen different organizations as they put on workshops for hundreds of people over the weekend. You’ll help hundreds of people learn a new skill, or improve the skills they already have.

 

Responsibilities:

  • > Sourcing and communicating with awesome workshop instructors
  • > Creating a schedule which maximizes the use of the rooms, while leaving enough time for change-overs other logistical hassles.
  • > Working with instructors to create event pages (with tickets for sale, e.g. Eventbrite) for each event, and creating blog posts and email newsletters promoting those events
  • > On the days of the Extravaganza (July 7th and 8th), helping instructors setup and tear down (and get in and out ON TIME), checking in the workshop participants, and handling last-minute registrations and cancellations.

Required Skills & Experience:

  • > Most importantly, you want to make an awesome public event happen – imagining the final result makes you a little nervous, but mostly excited.
  • > You love details, communicate well, and don’t shy away from serious spreadsheets & calendars (or whatever project management tools take your fancy).

What will you get out of it?

  • > You get to work on a killer organizing team with a bunch of highly-skilled and uber-capable humans.
  • > You’ll learn new skills, gain experience, and take part in pulling together a large scale event across Toronto.
  • > You’ll be at the center of the maker and tech communities and get to meet plenty of influential and interesting people.
  • > You’ll get to see your hard work manifest in a great experience, and watch hundreds of people sitting down to learn new skills and have fun.

WordPress Developer
We’re looking for an experienced and passionate WordPress Developer to provide ongoing website support from May – July! As part of the Marketing & Communications team, you’ll help us wrangle our WP website, troubleshoot and modify plugins, and come to our aid when things melt online. You have solid experience in HTML, CSS, PHP, and of course, the magic that is WordPress. All the while, you’ll keep it real through UX and Responsive Design wizardry. The scope of this role can be scaled depending on how much time you’re able to invest, but at a minimum we’re looking for someone with a flexible schedule who can commit to 2-5 hours per week, as needed from May through July 2018.

 

Responsibilities:

  • > Designing and implementing new features and functionality
  • > Establishing and guiding the website’s architecture
  • > Ensuring high-performance and managing all technical aspects of the CMS
  • > Helping formulate and maintain an effective, responsive design
  • > Testing and debugging on live and staging servers

Required Skills & Experience:

  • > Experience with HTML5, CSS3, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery and MySQL
  • > Ability to understand CSS changes and their ramifications to ensure consistent style across platforms and browsers
  • > Expertise with WordPress, plugins, and themes
  • > Experience designing and developing responsive design websites
  • > Experience with Google Analytics and SEO best practices

Non-essential Skills & Experience:

  • > Sociable – not necessarily a party animal, but you play well with others.
  • > Dedicated – you get what we’re doing with Maker Festival and want to help us reach more people, more efficiently.
  • > Team player – although you are self-directed, you also love being a part of something bigger, where we help each other reach our goals.

What will you get out of it?

  • > You get to work on a killer organizing team with a bunch of highly-skilled and uber-capable humans.
  • > You’ll learn new skills, gain experience, and take part in pulling together a large scale event across Toronto.
  • > You’ll be at the center of the maker and tech communities and get to meet plenty of influential and interesting people.
  • > You’ll help us bring the Festival website to the next level – improving both the front end user experience, and the streamlined back end experience for a motley crew of DIY event organizers.

Sponsorship & Fundraising Coordinator
You’ll work closely with the Executive Director to ensure the financial sustainability of Maker Festival through sponsorships. You’ll be responsible for reaching out to, and building relationships with, potential and current sponsors and donors. You’ll close agreements, and ensure our promises are fulfilled. You’re not shy to ask for money, you can set a monetary value on invisible things with conviction, and you can confidently negotiate with prospective sponsors. You love building relationships, you can spot potential alignment a mile away, and you consider emails to be carefully curated works of art. You’re organized, professional, thorough, strategic, and you LOVE details. This role will begin with a minimum of 8 hours/week in May, increasing to 15-20 hours/week in June, and peaking in the first week of July in the lead up the the Maker Extravaganza on July 7 & 8.

 

Responsibilities:

  • > Updating the Festival sponsorship package
  • > Outreach to possible funding sources & coordinating meetings
  • > Meet with and build relationships with potential sponsors and donors
  • > Communicate the Festival, its purpose, and its alignment with the goals of prospective sponsors and donors
  • > Negotiate and close sponsorship agreements
  • > Ensuring sponsorship and donor promises are fulfilled

Required Skills & Experience:

  • > A genuine interest in fundraising / sponsorship and developing the skills involved

Non-essential Skills & Experience:

  • > Experience fundraising through sponsorships, fund-raising events, or equivalent
  • > Experience negotiating / selling
  • > Experience with budgets / cash management

What will you get out of it?

  • > You get to work on a killer organizing team with a bunch of highly-skilled and uber-capable humans.
  • > You’ll learn new skills, gain experience, and take part in pulling together a large scale event across Toronto.
  • > You’ll be at the center of the maker and tech communities and get to meet plenty of influential and interesting people.
  • > In this specific role, you’ll learn how to fund a large scale event by closing sponsorship deals that add up to tens of thousands of dollars.
  • > In this specific role, you’ll also get to develop personal relationships with potential funding sources in education, government, technology and corporate sectors

Print Designer
You’ll work with the Lead Designer and Creative Director to produce a range of visual content for print and web. This includes the official Maker Extravaganza map, the soldering kits, website content, and more. Our brand is inclusive, curious and playful, and we’re looking for a designer who can translate this to our audience. This role will require a few hours per week in May/June. The role will also require your availability on July 2nd-7th during the crunch time for signage as content is finalized.

 

Responsibilities:

  • > Design and revision of the Maker Extravaganza flyer & fold-out map
  • > Package design for the soldering electronics kit(s)
  • > Graphics for online channels (website, social media, e-newsletters, etc)
  • > Wayfinding signage for Festival weekend at the Toronto Reference Library
  • > Design and layout for core team and volunteer lanyard tags

Required Skills & Experience:

  • > Expertise in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
  • > Attention to detail with a strong understanding of layout structures and alignment
  • > Able to work in print and digital media
  • > Can prepare files for large scale/quantity print

Non-essential Skills & Experience:

  • > Sociable – not necessarily a party animal, but you play well with others.
  • > Dedicated – you get what we’re doing with Maker Festival and want to help us reach more people, more efficiently.
  • > Team player – although you are self-directed, you also love being a part of something bigger, where we help each other reach our goals.

What will you get out of it?

  • > You get to work on a killer organizing team with a bunch of highly-skilled and uber-capable humans.
  • > You’ll learn new skills, gain experience, and take part in pulling together a large scale event across Toronto.
  • > You’ll be at the center of the maker and tech communities and get to meet plenty of influential and interesting people.
  • > In this particular role, you’ll get to have a say in deciding how our brand is visually translated, and see your work printed en masse for a large scale community event.

Social Media Coordinator
You’ll work closely with our Creative Director to create engaging content for Maker Festival’s social media presence, including keeping social media channels updated and maker-focused, plus seeking out new social media avenues and ways of connecting with our audiences. This role will require a couple hours per week in May/June. The role will also require your availability on July 6th-8th during the Festival.

 

Responsibilities:

  • > Manage Maker Festival social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other relevant platforms
  • > Create dynamic written, graphic, and video content
  • > Propose new ideas and concepts for social media content
  • > Assist Creative Director with writing and distributing e-newsletters to subscribers

Required Skills & Experience:

  • > Excellent written and verbal skills
  • > Experience content writing
  • > Able to present ideas and follow up
  • > Strong customer-service skills (for in-person interaction on Festival days)

Non-essential Skills & Experience:

  • > Experience with graphic design tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator
  • > Experience with Google Analytics and SEO best practices
  • > Sociable – not necessarily a party animal, but you play well with others.
  • > Enthusiastic – you get what we’re doing and want to help us spread the word!
  • > Team player – although you are self-directed, you also love being a part of something bigger, where we help each other reach our goals.

What will you get out of it?

  • > You get to work on a killer organizing team with a bunch of highly-skilled and uber-capable humans.
  • > You’ll learn new skills, gain experience, and take part in pulling together a large scale event across Toronto.
  • > You’ll be at the center of the maker and tech communities and get to meet plenty of influential and interesting people.

Startup Zone Coordinator
The Startup Zone Coordinator will source and manage small startup company exhibitors for the “Startup Zone” (or whatever you name it) at maker festival. These companies will be making physical products – have something that can be displayed on an exhibitor table. Talk with them about what would help them. Create enrichment opportunities for these startups – access to mentors, investors, suppliers, networking, whatever you determine would be valuable. Make our startups super happy they participated at Maker Festival.

 

Responsibilities:

  • > Sourcing and communicating with Toronto- and Ontario-based startups that have physical products.
  • > Interviewing them to determine how maker festival can best help them. Implementing the low-hanging fruit of those ideas
  • > Planning and implementing the layout, signage, logistics, etc of the exhibition area.

Required Skills & Experience:

  • > Most importantly, you want to make an awesome public event happen – imagining the final result makes you a little nervous, but mostly excited.
  • > You love details, communicate well, and don’t shy away from serious spreadsheets & calendars (or whatever project management tools take your fancy).
  • > Ideally, you are familiar with startups, or have connections and knowledge which will bootstrap this new initiative at Maker Festival.

What will you get out of it?

  • > You get to work on a killer organizing team with a bunch of highly-skilled and uber-capable humans.
  • > You’ll learn new skills, gain experience, and take part in pulling together a large scale event across Toronto.
  • > You’ll be at the center of the maker and tech and startup communities and get to meet plenty of influential and interesting people.
  • > You’ll get to see your hard work manifest in a great experience, and watch thousands of participants learn about awesome startups we have here in Toronto & Ontario.

Production & Installation Coordinator
You’ll be in charge of all the physical installation requirements at the Maker Extravaganza. With over 100 exhibitors, and over 10,000 attendees, the Toronto Reference Library presents a challenge in installing visible signage, decorations and installations. It will be your job to plan the production needs of the Maker Extravaganza, and work with team members and volunteers to execute its set up. This role will require 5 hours a week in May/June, peaking in the final week lead up to the main event in the first week of July. We predict you will need at least 2-3 full days available between July 1st – July 4th, as well as the two lead-up days July 5th & 6th and the main event on July 7th & 8th.

 

Responsibilities:

  • > Supervise and coordinate on-site installation of signage, decorations, projects and LED lighting at the Maker Extravaganza
  • > Work with Logistics Lead on detailed plans for setup and teardown
  • > Work with library staff and volunteer coordinator to organize human-power for set up on the Friday 6th July
  • > Design and construct any necessary equipment or signage stands
  • > Ensure signage/etc is designed and printed

Required Skills & Experience:

  • > Experience with production or engineering in some form – stage management, prop making, wood-working, electrical/carpentry etc.
  • > Experience planning in some form – events, projects, etc.
  • > Non-essential Skills & Experience:
  • > Carpentry or Electronics
  • > Experience using Google Drive, particularly Google Sheets
  • > Experience organizing events, designing experiences, or managing volunteers

What will you get out of it?

  • > You get to work on a killer organizing team with a bunch of highly-skilled and uber-capable humans.
  • > You’ll learn new skills, gain experience, and take part in pulling together a large scale event across Toronto.
  • > You’ll be at the center of the maker and tech communities and get to meet plenty of influential and interesting people.
  • > In this specific role, you’ll get access to some of the local makerspaces to build necessary equipment and have the opportunity to make big things with a budget!

LED Curator
Light up the Maker Festival with Lots of LEDs! We already own 300 feet of controllable LEDs, and could purchase even more. Help us figure out how to maximize their visual impact, in coordination with our Design and Spectacles teams.

 

Responsibilities:

  • > Consult and plan with our design and spectacles teams, to decide where the LEDs should be installed, and how they should operate.
  • > Recruit and manage an installation and teardown team.
  • > Be on standby to deal with any operational issues during the hours of weekend. Required Skills & Experience:
  • > Most importantly, you have a real eye for LED placement, you can know before it’s installed where they are going to look best
  • > Ideally, you have at least some familiarity with the tech – or are at least comfortable talking with techies

What will you get out of it?

  • > You get to work on a killer organizing team with a bunch of highly-skilled and uber-capable humans.
  • > You’ll learn new skills, gain experience, and take part in pulling together a large scale event.
  • > You’ll be at the center of the maker and tech and startup communities and get to meet plenty of influential and interesting people.
  • > You’ll get to see your hard work manifest in a great experience, and watch thousands of people marvel at your LED installations.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash