Activities Fairs FAQs

The Explore U and Activities Fair Sign Up Form for Fall 2022 has closed. Groups may request to be added to the waitlist at sao@umn.edu (opens in a new tab). More information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (opens in a new tab).

The Activities Fairs take place at the start of fall in September and again at the start of spring. They 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 or z.umn.edu/studentgroupadvising.

General

What are the 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 (including Explore-U for incoming students during Welcome Week) and one in the Spring.

When and where do they take place?

Explore U takes place on the Saturday before the Fall semester begins, at Huntington Bank Stadium. Only first year and transfer students are allowed to attend.

The Fall Activities Fairs take place in the first two weeks of the Fall semester on the Coffman Front Plaza and the St. Paul Student Center Garden Terrace. All students are allowed to attend.

The Spring Activities Fair takes place in the first few weeks of the semester in the North Star Ballroom of the St. Paul Student Center. Location is subject to change.

Signups

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

Signups for the Fall Activities Fairs and Explore U have closed. Student groups may request to be added to the waitlist at sao@umn.edu (opens in a new tab).

For the Spring Activities Fair, signups open in late Fall. Reminders with the exact dates are sent to all the listed officers of your group beforehand so that you may plan ahead.

Who can table at the Activities Fairs?

Any currently-registered student group in good standing with Student Unions & Activities (SUA).

I am a University department—can I participate?

No, the Activities Fairs are for student groups only.

Do I need to re-register my group first?

Not if you are already currently registered. You can view your group’s registration status on the Student Group Directory. If your group has expired, you can start the registration process on the Annual Student Group Registration page. If you have any questions, you may contact gopherlink@umn.edu.

How do I know if my group signed up?

After making a request, a confirmation email will be sent to the main 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.

What is the deadline for signing up?

Groups are given one month to sign up. However, keep in mind that signups are first-come, first-served and often fill quickly (especially for Explore U).

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.

Payment

How much do the fairs cost?

Fall and Spring Activities Fairs are free of charge.

What does this cover?

Table and chair rentals, tablecloths, and table clips.

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.

Waitlist

What happens when a fair fills?

Groups may email sao@umn.edu (opens in a new tab) to request to be added to the waitlist.

What are the chances of moving off the waitlist?

There is no guarantee of spaces opening, but as soon as a group drops out of a fair, waitlisted groups are contacted in the order they signed up.

Can my group wait on the day of the fair for a chance to get 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, waitlisted groups will be accepted in the order they arrived and based on the number of remaining tables.

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 waitlisted group.

At the Fair

When does 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.

Will my group have access to an electrical outlet?

Some tables may have access to a nearby outlet. Your group will need to check in early to find and claim one.

Is my group assigned a table?

No, tables are available first-come, first-served on the day of the event.

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 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 members at a time. Each group member must wear a provided name badge at all times.

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

For more information on submitting a complaint against a group, see here.

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).