VIRGINIA TECH Science Festival - Science is bigger than you think! - Saturday, October 8, 2016
Science is bigger than you think!
Saturday, Oct 8, 2016

Exhibitor FAQs

At which Week of Science events can I exhibit?
You may exhibit at any or all of the School Preview Day, Virginia Tech Maker Festival, and the Virginia Tech Science Festival. Just let us know on your exhibitor application. We also encourage you to register for and attend the STEM Summit.

When is my proposal due?

  • Exhibit proposals deadline - August 31 (earlier is better)
  • Exhibits accepted or rejected - two weeks after proposal, no later than September 4
  • Location assignments - September 11

Where in Blacksburg will the Virginia Tech Science Festival be?
Virginia Tech Science Festival exhibits will be at the Moss Arts Center, Newman Library, Alumni Mall (for vehicle exhibits), Henderson Lawn, and College Avenue.

What does it cost?
There is no fee to exhibit. We encourage your organization to consider becoming a sponsor.

How many visitors should I expect at the Virginia Tech Science Festival?
Last year, about 6000 people attended the Blacksburg festival. Visitors include families with young children, Virginia Tech students, community members, other exhibitors, and dignitaries. Not every festival visitor visits every exhibit.

How many visitors should I expect at School Preview Day?
Last year, about 700 K12 students attended school preview day, but not every student visited every exhibit.

How do I ensure my exhibit is successful?
Provide a hands-on experience that teaches a science concept or skill. Science is bigger than you think. Prepare a handout that can be distributed to educators or learners who want to do more. Check out the video at  5-become-an-exhibitor for lots of great suggestions. Also, browse Before the festival day, let your community know you'll be there by using the #VTSciFest hashtag and linking to the Virginia Tech Science Festival Facebook page in your social media networks.

May I hang a poster?
You may not hang posters at the Moss Arts Center or Newman Library. You’ll need to bring an easel, attach your poster to your table, or find a different way to send your message.

Do I need to provide a Certificate of Insurance?
Yes. Unless your organization is part of Virginia Tech, you will need to provide this document from your insurance company. For Virginia Tech Science Festival and Virginia Tech Maker Festival exhibitors, Certificates of Insurance must have a minimum general liability coverage amount of $500,000; the certificate must list "Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University" and the "Commonwealth of Virginia" as additional insured; and the certificate must include the organization name, event date(s) and location(s) in the description area. A higher coverage amount or additional types of insurance (automobile, etc.) may be required based on the circumstances of the individual event.

For School Preview Day exhibitors who are not affiliated with Virginia Tech, the certificate must list the exhibit host location as additional insured.

Certificates of Insurance must be submitted by August 31, 2016. If the certificate is not received by the Virginia Science Festival staff, the exhibit cannot occur. For a sample insurance certificate, see Contact your insurance agency for more information.

Does my exhibit need to be staffed the whole time?
Yes. Someone must staff your exhibit at all times that the event is open. As you make staffing arrangements, be sure to allow time for rest and food breaks for your team. Some exhibitors tell us they wish they had had time to see the rest of the festival. Keep this in mind as you schedule your people too.

What kind of space will I have as an exhibitor?
Generally, exhibits get a 6-foot table and 2 chairs, but feel free to be creative. Roving exhibits and mascots are fun. Outdoor exhibit spaces are available at the science festival. Please let us know what you need. Costs may apply for larger spaces or additional materials. If you want to display a poster, you’ll need to bring an easel, attach your poster to your table, or find a different way to send your message; posters may not be attached to walls. Additional rules apply for inflatables, generators, water, amplified sound, flying objects, flammable materials, fire, and other special situations.

Can I do something crazy that doesn't fit with the exhibit space parameters?
Maybe. Let's talk. Contact Phyllis Newbill at

Will I have access to power and/or wireless?
Maybe. Power availability depends on the location of your exhibit. If your exhibit can't work without power, be sure to note that on your application. There are a number of prime locations that do not have power available. There are also spaces that have power nearby for recharging, but not at the site. There is wireless internet access available to Virginia Tech affiliates inside the Moss Arts Center and Newman Library. Guest wireless access can be obtained for you if you need it. Data coverage from most cell phone service providers is strong in Blacksburg and Roanoke. Check your service provider's map.

When can I load in and load out?
For all locations, load-in begins at 8:00 AM on Saturday, October 8, and must be complete by 10:00 AM. Load-out begins at 3:00 PM and must be complete by 5:00 PM. If you have special logistical needs, please contact Phyllis Newbill at

What about the weather?
The Virginia Tech Science Festival is a rain or shine, hot or cold, windy or calm event. There are limited rain contingency locations at the Moss Arts Center and Newman Library for outdoor exhibits. Some exhibits may have to be cancelled in the event of a monsoon.

Can I sell at my exhibit?
No. The primary mission of the Virginia Tech Science Festival is to educate and entertain our festival visitors, and we want the focus of the exhibits to be interactive activities. As a result, festival policy prohibits all exhibitor/vendor sales at our event. However, the festival is a great way for organizations of all types to introduce themselves to the region. Exhibitors are welcome to distribute free promotional materials and also to direct festival visitors to their organizations and websites for off-site giving or purchasing opportunities. Please refrain from passing out extraneous flyers, as they lead to litter.

Are there limitations on what I can display?
Yes, a few. The promotion and display of firearms, tobacco, or pornography is strictly prohibited. We may reject exhibits that are determined to be excessively commercial. We reserve the right to reject any exhibit for any reason.

What if I need to change my exhibit?
If you make any significant changes to Virginia Tech Science Festival exhibit plans, please notify Phyllis Newbill at  at least one month prior to festival day.

May I have an open house at my lab or museum as my contribution to the Virginia Tech Science Festival?
No. Feedback from previous events taught us that kids and families need us to keep the festival together.

What if I have more questions?
Contact Phyllis Newbill (

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