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Exhibitor Guidelines

Exhibiting in the WVU Building at the State Fair

Exhibit space and tables in the WVU Building are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to colleges, units and partners. Interactive and engaging exhibits are the most popular with attendees, and we encourage you to "come out from behind the table" and engage with fairgoers.

About the State Fair of West Virginia

The State Fair of West Virginia dates back to 1854 when the first recorded agricultural fair was held in the Greenbrier Valley. In 1921, the fair was incorporated as an annual tradition and since 1941, the fair has held the designation of the State Fair of West Virginia offering fun, excitement, entertainment, education, exhibits and much more to thousands of visitors who come to see the sights.

Giveaways

Exhibitors are encouraged to bring giveaways for daily drawings, but please do not give away candy or balloons.

Popular items among fair visitors are trinkets, pens, magnets, pencils, calendars, stickers and posters. You can easily give away thousands of any of these items. If you leave your items unattended, visitors will take handfuls. A wise exhibitor strategy is to hold the trinkets in your hand and hand one directly to each visitor.

Exhibit Times

With the exception of the opening day and final day, the WVU Building is open from 10 a.m. 6 p.m., with the exception of August 8th (he State Fair officially kicks off at 11a.m.), and on the final day (August 17), the WVU Building will be open through 5 p.m.

Please plan to staff your exhibit the entire time it is on display. If you need to leave the WVU Building for an extended period of time, please inform an Extension or University Events staff member.

Exhibit Spaces

Each exhibit space includes, at minimum:

  • one 8-foot table (one 6-foot table if space is tight)
  • one blue table cloth
  • two chairs

Registering for an Exhibit Space

If your exhibit display is freestanding, please indicate the length and width, in feet/inches on your registration form. This assists with planning the event layout for exhibits in the building. Exhibitors are provided a copy of the map identifying exhibit locations. A sign on each table denotes exhibit space.

Electrical Outlets

Electrical outlets are limited, so electricity cannot be guaranteed. Participants should bring at least one grounded, 25-foot-long heavy duty extension cord and a surge protector.

Internet Access

Wireless Internet service is planned for the WVU Building to support exhibit programming.

Note: It's less than inviting when visitors stop by an exhibit only to see a worker using the computer. A laptop and work space are available in the staff area for workers to check and send email as needed.

Your Role

Each day, thousands of people from across the United States will visit the WVU Building. Exhibits help mark your spot and give a glimpse of the program you highlight. What really makes an exhibit memorable is the person staffing it and the ability for visitors to engage with you/your program.

What makes your program unique? Show them. Today, more than ever, engaging people is key to piquing their interest in what you do, particularly with young children. They want to see, feel and do. So, try to make your exhibit interactive and get people to participate.

Do you have giveaways? Have people participate in your activity and provide them with a giveaway for trying it out or talking with you. And, try standing in front of your exhibit and handing giveaways to people so that you make eye contact and have some conversation with them.

Is a visitor standing back, looking at the exhibit? Ask them if they are interested in your program!

Remember, every conversation, smile, or eye contact has the potential to make a positive impression for WVU and for your program, so do your best to be on and engaged.

What to Wear

Wear comfortable shoes as its a long day on your feet. We suggest wearing your proudest gold and blue casual wear or WVU sports gear. Each worker is provided an official WVU Building apron to wear.

Setup Times

Vehicles must enter and exit the fairgrounds daily by 8:30 a.m. Displays should be setup by 9 a.m., and taken down after 6 p.m., if you'll be departing the following day. Vehicles cannot enter the fairgrounds during evening hours, and so any exhibit pick-up will have to wait until the following morning.

Exhibit Unloading

  1. Enter at the W. Fair Street Gate or another gate on 219-S.
  2. Inform the guard at the security stop that you are there with WVU to set up an exhibit in the WVU Building.
  3. Ask security for directions to get to the building.
  4. Vehicles must be removed from the fairground prior to 8:30 a.m.

Note: To make setup easy, it is strongly suggested that you work with WVU Extension to have your exhibit and display materials shipped prior to the event and returned afterward by the WVU Physical Plant. 

Parking

Parking at the State Fair is much like parking at a home WVU football game. General parking is located near the main entrance of the fairgrounds and is free. Depending on when you arrive, there may be a slight walk to the entrance and then on to the WVU Building.

Many private homes/businesses also sell parking spaces in and around the fairgrounds. There are often parking areas close to the WVU Building for a nominal cost per day.

Exhibit Setup Procedures

After unloading and parking your vehicle, you'll want to setup your exhibit after confirming your space with a WVU Extension staff member.

The state fairgrounds encompasses a large space, and it's advisable to have a lightweight folding cart to transport material to your designated area.

Lunch Options

Lunch, snacks and beverages are available from many on-site fair vendors. Several fast-food establishments can be found along 219-N.

Departure Procedures

  1. Disassemble your exhibit display. Remember to pack up any cords, surge protectors or other equipment that is yours.
  2. Pickup all trash from around your display area and place in, or near, the closest trash receptacle this includes boxes you have emptied.
  3. If WVU Physical Plant staff will be transporting your exhibit, ensure all boxes are properly tagged with your unit information. We will let you know when to expect those items to return to Morgantown.
  4. Otherwise, proceed with your vehicle to the W. Fair Street Gate prior to 8:30 a.m. to get on the fairgrounds to pick up your exhibit.

Have a safe trip home!

If you have other questions about exhibiting at the State Fair of West Virginia in the WVU Building, please contact Tara Curtis (304-293-7996) or Robin Anderson (304-293-4222).