2 Open 2 Sauce

In just its second year, Open Sauce hosted more than 20,000 visitors, and over five times as many exhibitors as the year before. Here’s a brief look at a little of what I saw while I was there.

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Open Sauce, the world’s largest gathering of makers, creators, engineers, influencers, and tech enthusiasts, gathered for just the second time earlier this month, and was, by all accounts (including mine), a spectacular event. Born of the minds of William Osman and Ian Dokie, that wanted to make “...the event that my 15 year old self would go crazy for,” as Osman put it. Apparently there are a whole lot of other people who would go crazy for it too, and this year they did. Over 500 came to show their products and projects, and more than 20,000 came to see them.

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This year's venue, The Cow Palace, was much larger than last years, and it was packed all weekend

Friday was open to industry people, and gave everyone who would be spending most of the weekend at their booth or on the stage as part of a panel the chance to meet, talk and share stories and builds with the other creators before the real crowd arrived. For many of us, it was a chance to connect with old friends, make new ones, and meet friends and fellow makers IRL whom we had previously only spoken with online. There were also panel discussions with more of an industry-based slant - what’s happening now, what happening for the rest of the year, what’s happening next year. (Spoiler alert - it’s mostly about AI.)

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Industry Day gave folks like Josef Prusa a chance to talk to folks like Amitabh Shrivastava about his BackPack Refrigerator

Along with the more than 500 exhibits from all corners of the world, the weekend was filled with guest speakers, panel discussions, and demonstrations on two separate stages. Creators included the likes of Adam Savage, Mark Rober, Ali Spignola, Colin Furze, Mehdi Sadaghdar (ElectroBOOM), Emily the Engineer, and Joel Gomes (Integza), to name just a tiny fraction. Topics and discussion ran the full spectrum, from the ridiculous to the sublime, and included things like OUCH! Working with High Voltage, Big Ideas in Short Form, Creating Content in 2024, Building a Brand as a Creator, and Not Jeopardy (a ridiculous gameshow-style event that tested the STEM knowledge of three makers).

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Adam Savage shared his passion for the maker community not only on stage, but two days earlier when he invited 200 makers to his workshop

To get more of an idea of the scope of this year's event, I definitely suggest that you take a look at the Featured Creators List and the Exhibits List (There were 29 different categories), but I will warn you - looking at these lists will definitely start you figuring how you can make it out to San Francisco for next year's event.

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One of the best things about Open Sauce is getting to spend actual IRL time with people you've only been able to talk with online, like Allie Katz!)

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Bryan Murphy was there showing off his ISS Mimic Project, but he always has time to explain the inner working of his RC Skeleton Tricycle

If you are in any way connected to the maker community, even as just an observer at this point, I would highly recommend trying to get to next year’s Open Sauce. You can currently get discounted tickets for next years event on their website. Of course, depending on where you live, a trip to San Francisco might not be possible, but you also have the option of seeing all of the video recordings of the panels, games, and talks, along with all of the recordings from the 2023 event, by joining Open Sauce at Home. Hopefully I’ll see you at next year’s Open Sauce, and until then, Happy Hacking!

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Mark Rober's Crunch Labs came with super-sized demos of some of their usually tabletop-sized kits

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Arc Attack was there playing music and showing just how much Carla trusts their Faraday suit

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Austin Bradley was there showing off many of his creations, including Coco the Furby Robot Dog. See you in my nightmares!

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Not sure how well it would do on the water, but as an art piece, this LED boat was absolutely stunning! (A still pic doesn't do it justice)

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