Explore U and Activities Fairs FAQs

The Spring Activities Fair 2024 is now full.

Student groups who weren’t able to claim a table may report to the check-in table outside of the Great Hall at Coffman Memorial Union between 10:45 AM and 11:00 AM. Our staff will release available tables to groups on a first come, first served basis starting at 11:00 AM.

Contact the Student Activities Office at sao@umn.edu if you have any questions.

Explore U and the Fall Activities Fairs take place at the start of fall in September and a Spring Activities Fair takes place at the start of spring. These events provide student groups the opportunity to table and promote themselves to potential new members. This is a great way to get the word out about your student group! For more information, please contact the Student Activities Office at sao@umn.edu (opens in a new tab) or z.umn.edu/studentgroupadvising (opens in a new tab).

2023-2024 Dates

Explore U: Saturday, September 2, 2023: 12:30pm-4:30pm

Minneapolis Fall Activities Fair: Wednesday, September 13, 2023: 11:30am-2:30pm

St. Paul Fall Activities Fair: Thursday, September 14, 2023: 11:30am-2:30pm

Spring Activities Fair: Wednesday, February 7, 2024 11:00am-3:00pm


What are the Fall and Spring Activities Fairs?

The Activities Fairs are one-day events where student groups table to promote themselves to new members. There are two in the Fall (Minneapolis and St. Paul locations) and one in the Spring in Minneapolis. These events are open to all UMN Twin Cities students.

What is Explore U?

Explore U is a tabling event for first-year and transfer students. This event is hosted by Orientation and Transition Experiences and allows first-year and transfer students to explore both student groups on campus, as well as local businesses.

When and where do they take place?

Explore U takes place on the Saturday before the Fall semester begins on Saturday, September 2, 2023: 12:30pm-4:30pm at Huntington Bank Stadium.

The Fall Activities Fairs take place in the first two weeks of the Fall semester on the Coffman Front Plaza on Wednesday, September 13, 2023: 11:30am-2:30pm and the St. Paul Student Center Garden Terrace on Thursday, September 14, 2023: 11:30am-2:30pm.

The Spring Activities Fair takes place in the first few weeks of the semester on Wednesday, February 7, 2024: 11:00am-3:00pm in the Coffman Memorial Union Great Hall. Location is subject to change.


Where and when can my group sign up for the Activities Fairs?

Registration for Explore U and the Fall Activities Fairs are now closed.

Registration for the Spring Activities Fair is now open!

  • Fill out this form on behalf of your group to start the registration process for the Spring Activities Fair. Once your group is confirmed, you will receive email confirmation from the Student Activities Office.
  • Unconfirmed student groups can come the day of each event and can reserve a table if a confirmed student group does not arrive.

Who can table at the Activities Fairs?

Any currently-registered student group (registered for the 2023-2024 academic year) in good standing with Student Unions & Activities (SUA) may sign up for a table at any of the Activities Fairs. Student group officers and members must be at the table at all times during the event.

I am a University department—can I participate?

No, the Explore U and Activities Fairs are for student groups only.

Do I need to re-register my group first?

We highly recommend completing the re-registration process to ensure your group's information, including officer listing, is up to date to avoid issues at the event. All currently registered groups are allowed to participate in Explore U and the Activities Fairs. You can view your group’s registration status on the Student Group Directory. If your group has expired or if you would like to re-register your group, you can start the registration process on the Annual Student Group Registration page. Groups may contact gopherlink@umn.edu with questions related to registration.

How do I know if my group signed up?

After making a request, a confirmation email will be sent to the primary and secondary email addresses that were entered on the form. Space is limited so requesting a spot does not guarantee a space in the fairs until your group receives the confirmation email. Confirmation emails will be sent.

What is the deadline for signing up?

The Fall Activities Fairs and Explore U sign-ups have closed for the 2023 academic year.

Spring Activities Fair sign-up will close when all tables have been claimed, or on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 11:59 PM.

I signed up for a fair, but my group can't attend anymore.

Please contact sao@umn.edu with your student group name and student group ID number.


How much do the fairs cost?

Explore U and the Fall and Spring Activities Fairs are free of charge.

Why does the site say that I need to pay $500 to participate in Explore U?

You are looking at OTE's (Orientation and Transition Experience) site for vendors. These are for businesses, restaurants and organizations that are placed on the bottom level of Mariucci at Explore U. Student groups do not need to pay and signups are first-come, first-served and found on the Activities Fair sign up form.

Unconfirmed Groups

What happens when a fair fills?

Groups may choose to show up on the day of the event to try to get a table. Table availability is dependent upon how many groups do not check in by the required time.

Can my group wait on the day of the fair to try to claim a table?

Yes, but though your group may wait as early as you want, there is no guarantee that tables will become available.

Once all groups have checked in, student groups who did not sign up in advance will be accepted in the order they arrived and based on the number of remaining tables.

Event Day

When can student groups check-in begin?

At the time indicated on the confirmation email. You can arrive as early as you want and wait in line before check-in begins. You will then check-in with SUA staff before claiming a table.

Is my group assigned a table?

Tables are assigned based on first-come, first-served on the day of the event. Groups must check in prior to claiming a table.

What happens if my group is late to check in?

Groups that don't show by the final check-in time will lose their spot to a group that is waiting.

What is my group allowed to bring?

Due to space constraints, you can only bring items that fit under or behind your table. Groups typically bring tablecloths, tri-fold boards, flyers, brochures and giveaways. Due to space constraints, if you need to set anything up (ex. a large sign or banner), you may only do so behind your table, not next to it. Groups are encouraged to consider sustainability and hand out more eco-friendly materials and/or limit printed materials.

Are there any rules about food and giveaways?

Printed material must include the group's name and contact information. Food must be pre-packaged, individually-wrapped and store-bought. Any beverages handed out must be Coca-Cola products. No fundraising activities or sales are allowed.

Following Housing & Residential Life policies, groups are not allowed to give these items away: door stops, candles & incense, decorative lighting, door-mounted dry erase boards and alcohol-related paraphernalia.

How many members are allowed at our table?

At least one student member from your group must be at the table at all times. While tabling, members must stay within ten feet of the table.

At Explore U, due to space constraints, each group is limited to only four student members or officers at a time. Each group member must wear a provided name badge at all times. Advisors may not represent a group.

What do I do if I want to express concern regarding a group at the Activities Fair?

Visit sua.umn.edu for more information on submitting a complaint against a group.

Where can I share feedback about my experience at the Activities Fairs and Explore U?

Student groups may share feedback using this form (opens in a new tab).