ShopBot in Cleveland — Spring Make 19

Hone your craft. Build your brand. This was the idea behind Spring Make 19 in Cleveland, Ohio April 25th – 27th. As a first time sponsor of the event, we weren’t quite sure what to expect, but things got off to the races quickly!

The first day of the event, Thursday, April 25th, contained what were called “crash courses.” These were specifically in the areas of metals and woodworking. The Metal & Black Smith Workshop space was outfitted with welding equipment, blacksmithing tools, and just about anything someone working with metals would want access to for making things. The Wood Shop had hand tools, lathes, power tools, work benches… and both shops were in a constant state of use.

Even though this first day was meant to be a set-up day for ShopBot and other exhibitors, there were plenty of people on-site participating in the crash courses. Because of that, we found ourselves fielding questions and talking about our tools with people while we were setting up our space. It might have made set-up a little slower, but it certainly kept us busy long after the actual set-up was complete.

Friday, April 26th was the start of the “meat” of the event: Speakers, hands-on workshops, and classes. On both Friday and Saturday, there were keynote speakers to open the day, during lunch, and to close out the day. These sessions were the times when everyone—attendees, speakers, teachers, mentors, and sponsors—were in the same space at the same time. All of speakers were there to talk about topics related to creativity, but in a variety of ways. How? Via making, educating, marketing, sharing, and learning, some covering several of these areas at a time.

Then there were the hands-on workshops happening throughout Friday and Saturday, all taking place in the metal shop and the wood shop. For metals, the sessions were Forging Basics, Basic Welding. Basic Knife Making, and Sheet Metal Shaping. For wood, there were areas set aside for Woodturning, as well as mentors to help people in the realm of “Achieving  Your Best Finish.” Since we were set-up right by the wood shop, we saw all kinds of activity going on in both shops, as there was an open area between the two where people could transition back-and-forth. Some people combining what they were doing in the metal shop with things in the wood shop, and vice versa.

The classroom sessions on each day covered a wide range of things, all related to social media subject matter, whether it was about content generation (sound and video editing, CAD, photo and video styling, building things) or strategy (obtaining sponsorships, gaining subscribers, maintaining subscribers).

Whichever type of session or workshop people attended, they were there to learn. And not just from the small sessions. The keynote speakers were a huge draw when it came to this as well. A prime example of this was the lunchtime speaker on the final day, Jimmy Diresta. As a social media influencer with over 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube, Jimmy is in the kind of position that most of the people attending Spring Make aspire to be in. Full disclosure: Jimmy is a ShopBot user.)

Spring Make is the brainchild of Lincoln Electric’s Director of Marketing Communications, Craig Coffey. It was great to be a part of this group of sponsors: Lincoln Electric, Pferd, Rigid, Torchmate, JET Tools, WeldTables.com, SawStop, Woodpeckers, and Beaumont Metal Works … and we look forward to next year’s Spring Make!

 

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