The 2018 Nation of Makers Conference (NOMCON), held on June 9-10, is the inaugural annual national conference to bring together leaders from maker organizations representing the diverse sectors, people, regions, and foci that represent the U.S. maker movement. Hosted by the national nonprofit Nation of Makers, the conference aims to spark and increase connections across sectors, generate robust collaborations and partnerships, set a research agenda for the U.S. maker movement, and promote the growth of an inclusive maker community. A central goal of the event is the promotion of relationship-building across lines of regular conversation, generating an increased sense of connected community throughout the entire ecosystem of maker-supporting entities.  

What is NOMCON?

Where is NOMCON being held?

NOMCON 2018 will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center (201 w. Marcy Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501). For more details about the conference location, please click here to view a video about the Sant Fe Convention Center.

In Santa Fe, there are a number of accessible, public transportation options:

1. If you are eligible for para-transit in your hometown, you can sign up to use Santa Fe Para-transit. You will need to provide a copy of your hometown para-transit eligibility letter to the Santa Fe Ride Office:  fax the letter to (505) 955-2049 or scan & email it to Geraldine Salazar at gdsalazar@santafenm.gov . After sending the document, call Geraldine via phone at (505) 473-4444 to confirm the office recieved your documentation. Geraldine can also assist you in scheduling rides.
2. The Santa Fe Trails bus has a downtown route -- Route M -- that goes by the Conference Center. I have been told that all Santa Fe Trails buses are wheelchair accessible. (link to map; Weekday schedule; Saturday schedule; Sunday schedule)

3. The Santa Fe Pick-up Shuttle also stops at the Sheridan Ave./Downtown Transit Center by the Convention Center and includes stops near many area hotels. I have been told that all Santa Fe Pick-up Shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible.

This list was compiled with the help of Geraldine Salazar, who works for the City of Santa Fe. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact her via phone at (505) 473-4444 or email at gdsalazar@santafenm.gov.


The theme for the NOMCON 2018 is power of the network - celebrating the diverse community of makers across our country that represent a multitude of backgrounds, geographies, and perspectives. The theme of Intention Inclusion will be woven throughout the each of the five program tracks.

As a community, we have a rich tradition and diversity that is often not as visibly called "maker". We recognize that, in addition to elevating examples and telling untold histories, there is a need for us as a community to be self-reflective, to document and share best practices, and support each other in deliberately becoming more inclusive. For all of these reasons, we are committed for this gathering to add meaningfully to the maker movement conversation nationally.

What is the theme of the 2019 conference?

NOMCON is intended for those leaders who help make the maker community! This event is perfect for those that:

  • Run or organize spaces (hackerspaces, makerspaces, Biospaces, FabLabs, etc.)

  • Organize events (hackathons, maker camps, workshops, summits, etc)

  • Represent organizations that support the maker community (for-profit, non-profit, educational, government, or institutional)

If you are a leader who supports makers, this conference is for you!

Register today!

This conference is not a good fit for those that are simply interested in making as an individual or simply want to show off a project that they have made. Although you may hear about a number of events, organizations, or spaces at NOMCON, this is not a marketing venue to attract individual makers to any one thing. The intent of NOMCON is to give and get insights from other organizers in the Nation of Makers community.

Who should attend?

Many events in the broad maker community focus on promoting makers and their projects, inspiring someone to try making, or teaching people how to be makers. The organizers themselves rarely have a chance to step back and thoughtfully consider how to best support the community they are creating. At NOMCON you might learn:

  • How to host inclusive events

  • What it takes to growing a space without draining your bank account

  • What groups around you may not see themselves as makers

  • How to avoid maker burnout

  • How to show results when impact matters to a funder

  • How to engage the press (and avoid negative media attention!)

As a maker leader, you will also be invited to participate in the greater community dialogue of how we should grow the Nation of Makers, and what projects we, as a community, should consider taking on to help both the maker movement and our communities, both locally and nationally. NOMCON is an opportunity to learn from and collaborate with your peers in the Nation of Makers community to help the community as a whole grow and thrive!

Why should I attend?

What can I expect?

Expect to learn, to be challenged, and to contribute to a meaningful building of the maker movement!

NOMCON will be an opportunity to meet and share best practices with your peers in the maker community. This will be different from any maker event you’ve been to in the past! Each session will be tagged as recommended for those who run spaces, who are event organizations, or who represent organizations (for-profit, non-profit, educational, government, or institutional).

Programming will consist of keynote speeches, five programming tracks, and a variety of networking opportunities--including a dedicated Project Planning Session on Sunday!

The five programming tracks on Saturday and Sunday will feature three types of sessions:

Program Tracks:

  1. Making Local: Highlighting the regional impacts of the maker movement with a spotlight on the efforts in New Mexico

  2. Making Sustainable: Exploring ways that makers make money, sustain their efforts and or source sustainable to survive and thrive

  3. Making Makers: Exploring the ways that educational efforts in formal K-12, higher ed, informal, career and technical, and adult learning environments are being advanced through making

  4. Making History: Celebrating the inclusive past and predicting the potential future impact of the maker movement

  5. Making a Difference as a Maker Community: Documenting the impact of the social and global change efforts elicited by the maker movement locally and around the globe

Each track will contain:

  1. Ignite Talks: Eight, 5-minute sessions presented by YOU, the maker community! Share your passion and spark a new conversation.

  2. Working Sessions: Facilitated by makers from around the community, these are opportunities to dive deeply into topics of interest, share what we know, and learn from others. Each track features a working session beyond the ignite talk session, where participants can discuss and ideate “next steps” forward with the ignite session presenters. In addition to the the ignite sessions, the agenda features additional facilitated working sessions for deeper dives into content across and within sectors.

  3. Project-Planning Sessions: Our final session of the conference is slated to be a project planning session, where new and scaleable efforts can be discussed, and implementable actions and next steps can be identified, allowing the conference participants to leave with a clear vision of next steps, committed project partners, and what we hope will be a sustainable roadmap to future success.

We’re excited to partner with a number of exhibitors as well, to provide an Exhibit Hall and swag creation experience like none other. The Exhibit will be open on Saturday and Sunday.

Keep informed at: https://www.nomcon.org/conference-agenda to stay up to date with the conference agenda!

Note: We are partnering with a NSF-funded project to co-host a pre-conference Unconference on Making Liberatory Spaces focussing exclusively on intentional inclusion the Friday before NOMCON. Due to popular demand, the event is completely sold out!

In order to create the most inclusive access possible, we have created a "pay-what-you-can" pricing structure. Please see https://www.nomcon.org/pay-what-you-can/ for details. This is for registration costs only.

Several community members are organizing group rides and housing to help lower the cost of attendance. Join the Slack group at https://nation-of-makers.slack.com/ and check out the #traveling_to_nomcon channel for more details.

I want to attend, but I can't afford to. Is there any financial assistance for NOMCON?

Yes! Without the generous support of our sponsoring partners, NOMCON would not be possible. If your organization is interested in supporting NOMCON as a sponsoring partner, please download our sponsorship package here, and contact Dorothy Jones-Davis at: dorothy@nationofmakers.us.  

I’d like to sponsor NOMCON. Are there still sponsorship opportunities?

I’d like to exhibit at NOMCON. How do I sign up for a booth?

Given the nature of our maker community, it is important to note that the Exhibit Hall will not be a typical vendor space. Special attention will be made for how exhibitors create interactive experiences; those wishing to exhibit can expect an exploratory conversation in the process to ensure the planned experiences are in keeping with the overall vision for the conference and the space. If your organization is interested in exhibiting at NOMCON, please download our exhibitor package here, and contact Trey at: Trey@nomcon.org.