FAQ – Davinci’s Faire, Tech Talks & Manatee STEM

Frequently Asked Questions

DaVinci’s Faire events are a little different from your standard conference experience. To help you prepare, we’ve answered some common questions below…

How are you able to put this conference on for free?

It’s not easy! We rely on our generous sponsors to provide the necessary funding and materials to put on our various events throughout the year. It simply would not be possible without their support. Please take a moment to visit our Sponsor page and visit our sponsors to say “thank you” for their continued support.
We also rely on a small army of volunteers who handle everything from keeping the website updated to arranging the chairs prior to the event, and cleaning up once it’s finished. If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact us. Our volunteers wear “staff” shirts at our events. If you see one of our volunteers, please let them know you appreciate their efforts.

Why an “un-conference”?

There is a very unusual dynamic that occurs during our events, with the content created by the attendees. Inspiration and creativity cause unexpected things to happen during the course of the day. Hear something that compels you to share your ideas? Tell your fellow attendees. Want more detail about the topic? Ask the speaker to explain. Open up a hallway conversation or grab interested parties for an informal “birds of a feather” session. The process is very fluid, and naturally leads to great outcomes.

What kind of activities can I expect?

In the main auditorium, you’ll find tech talks and panel discussions. In the open space, find shared ideas, birds-of-a-feather sessions, discussion groups, and performance art. It’s all about sharing information and doing it with personal passion. In the main hall, you’ll find the Robotics teams, Makers & Inventors, the Science & Technology mini-festival, coding zone, and the Board Gamer’s area. No sales pitches allowed in sessions— just sharing of information. Here’s a great video that highlights the kinds of things you’ll get to experience at DaVinci’s Faire.

Where is the List of Topics and Speakers?

This year we will be running a single track of Tech Talks in the auditorium, at the top of each hour. We post profiles and topics from people who are coming to speak. Outside of the Tech Talks, there are a lot of activities happening throughout the venue at MTC, and you never know what you’ll see. That’s the thing that’s special about an open spaces format. Stuff happens, and you get to participate!

What kind of topics can I expect?

People who have come in the past have given talks on educational topics, information technology how-to’s, funding, business development, entrepreneurship and start-ups, using social media, marketing, science-fiction, inventions and gadgets, community and economic development, robotics, art and design, new developments in software engineering, website development, marketing, and almost any topic about the relationship between technology and running a business, educational institution, charitable organization, professional organization, etc. Since this is an event to foster creativity, the sharing of innovative ideas is a central theme of the event.

Can I get a table to show off my cool inventions and stuff?

Absolutely! When you register, simply choose the Robot Team or Maker/Inventor – Space and Table options. It’s $10 to reserve a table (no cost if you’re a high-school robotics team). Be mindful that the tables are about teaching, not about selling. You may have product information available – but the focus here is enlightenment, and not about your sales cycle. Make it fun and interesting, ideally for all ages, and you’re welcome to show off a little 🙂

What other kinds of interesting activities can I expect?

Our Coding Zone is a ton of fun, an interactive workshop for students to get some exposure to software coding principles. Typically there are exercises for a range of experience and capability – so there’s something for everyone. Last year we had a sell-out crowd at each workshop timeslot.

Along with multiple robot competition rinks, drones and F1 race cars – designed and built by area STEM students, we co-locate DaVinci’s Faire with the Manatee STEM Competition. Don’t miss the cool projects and your chance to vote for the Peoples’ Choice Award in this Science, Technology, Engineering and Math competition.

What sort of food and beverages will be available?

DaVinci’s Faire will provide lunch free of charge on the day of the event. Bottled water and coffee are also available at the conference location. You are welcome to bring a bagged lunch with you if you prefer. There are snacks out in the morning and afternoon to keep the kids going!

You didn’t answer my question!

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.