Exhibitor Info

The Atlanta Science Festival Exploration Expo is the culminating event of the festival week, taking place on March 24, 2018 from 11am-4pm. The event will draw thousands of people to Piedmont Park in a fun filled day of 100 interactive activities and performances that celebrate the excitement of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Atlanta. This FREE event is open to all, but the primary target audience will be families with children aged 8-13, with a special emphasis on those with limited access to science education resources.

The deadline for proposing an Expo exhibit has passed – please consider joining us next year. All Expo exhibits must be designed to engage the public in an interactive, hands-on way with some aspect of science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. We encourage exhibitors to feature local STEM discoveries, the specific research and innovations coming out of local laboratories, and the science and technology behind Georgia businesses. All content must be family-friendly, safe and appropriate.

Exhibitor Documents

Many thanks for exhibiting your love of science at this year’s Expo! You will need all three of these documents for a successful day:

  1. Download the REVISED LOAD-IN PLANS (updated 3/21/18). This PDF contains exact driving directions, load-in times and zone assignments, maps, and your booth numbers.
  2. Download and print in color the appropriate PARK ENTRY PASS for your booth’s zone: Curious Kids is orange, Thrive is green, Encounter is blue, Discover is pink, Invent is yellow, STEAM is purple. Write in your contact info and place this on your dashboard for entry into the park during load in/out.
  3. Download the detailed BOOTH MAP, showing the exact location of your booth (reference your booth# included in the Load-in Plans above)

View the What to Expect at the Expo: A Webinar for Exhibitors below and get the run down on exhibiting at this event.

Important Dates

  • December 8: Early-bird Proposal Deadline (for 10% discount)
  • January 9: Application Deadline
  • January 29: All Notifications Sent
  • February 15: Exhibitor Payment Due
  • March 18: Booth Assignments and Load-in Details sent to Exhibitors/Performers
  • March 24: ASF Exploration Expo!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I participate as an exhibitor or performer?

You must submit an online application that will be reviewed by our committee. Accepted exhibitors will be charged an exhibitor fee of $500 for nonprofits, or $1200 for emerging businesses (<25 employees). Larger businesses must become a Festival sponsor (levels begin at $2500) in order to exhibit. There is no fee for performances or vehicles. The deadline for exhibit/performance proposals is January 9, 2018. Early-bird registration provides a 10% discount on current pricing and closes December 8, 2017. We strongly advise, as space is limited, that you sign up as soon as possible to guarantee your spot and your activity.

What is included in my exhibit space?

The exhibit space includes a 10’x10′ tent with back and side walls, one 8′ table with plastic cover (not a floor-length drape), two chairs, and a banner with the name of your activity and organization. Additional chairs, tables, access to electricity and water is available for purchase in advance when completing your exhibit payment. The costs are as follows: table and cover ($25), chair ($5), 20amp circuit (TBD), and water hookup (TBD). You may upgrade to a 10’x20′ exhibit space for an additional $500 fee.

What should my exhibit activity include?

All exhibits should include STEM activities that are interactive, simple and efficient. The best exhibits are typically those that have a clear take-home message. Activities must be designed to engage the public in an interactive, hands-on way with some aspect of science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. We encourage exhibitors to feature local STEM discoveries, the specific research and innovations coming out of local laboratories, and the science and technology behind Georgia businesses. All content must be family-friendly, safe and appropriate. Qualified exhibitor personnel must be present at the exhibit at all times during the hours of the Expo. See our Tips for a Successful Exhibit for additional guidance, and some sample exhibits.

What if another group has a similar activity?

Atlanta Science Festival staff will work with all exhibitors to prevent potential overlaps. The more detail we know about your plans, the easier it will be to avoid repeating the same activity.

How many people can I expect to see?

We are estimating a crowd of approximately 20,000 visitors. When preparing for the event, please plan to serve a large audience, including adequate staffing (including setup and breakdown crews) and materials

Where do I park?

Exhibitors will recieve load-in and load-out instructions 1-2 weeks prior to the event. You will be assigned a time to drop your supplies off at your tent and then move your vehicle. We will have some suggested parking options, but there is no designated parking lot for exhibitors.

Can I sell items at my booth?

Typically, merchandise sales are not allowed. Please contact [email protected] with the subject line VENDOR ALLOWANCE if you would like to make a case for an exception.

Are there restrictions on what kind of marketing materials/giveaways I can bring?

Please resist handing out paper as much as possible. Additionally, flyers cannot be left unattended or placed outside of the booth.

What if it rains?

This event will occur rain or shine. In case of dangerous, severe weather, we will announce alternate plans 48 hours in advance of the event. Please check atlantasciencefestival.org for more details.

Tips for a Successful Expo Exhibit

Showcasing cool science doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. Creating a fun booth that engages participants in the wonder of science, technology, engineering & mathematics can be easier than you may think. As you put together your exhibit or activity, have a look at the suggestions below to help guide you.

Be prepared

  • Recruit enough volunteers to staff your booth in shifts, so that no one person gets burned out. Take breaks, visit the other exhibits, get food, or have some down-time away from the chaos of the Expo.
  • Ensure volunteers overlap shifts so that they can share tips with one another. 2-3 people staffing the booth at any one time will help with explaining and crowd control. Matching outfits for your crew are highly encouraged! Or consider purchasing Atlanta Science Festival t-shirts ahead of time for your crew.
  • Try to avoid too many handouts. Not only are we trying to be conscious of our planet’s resources and not waste paper, but too many materials can be overwhelming and distracting from the activities.

Know Your Audience

  • Remember that one of the primary goals of the Atlanta Science Festival is to help make science relevant to everyone. Keep in mind how to make these connections. Use examples and activities from everyday life to help them see how science affects us all. Help the visitors to see how science impacts them.
  • If you can, provide participants ways to learn more on their own – provide a QR code to a website to reference later or direct them to your organization’s website. How can they continue to learn more about your topic?
  • Because we are expecting large numbers of attendees, keep your activities efficient – prepare for each activity to handle at least 3-5 participants at a time. To keep a steady stream of visitors moving throughout the park, your activity should last no more than 5 minutes.
  • Don’t forget about parents! Engage them in your activity too or have staff available to talk to them while kids are exploring. This gives them the chance to go home and have conversations about what they learned.
  • To welcome non-English speakers, try to find a presenter who speaks Spanish or another language and we will help advertise your activity as accessible to non-English speakers.

Grab Their Attention

  • Think carefully about how you can get visitors engaged with your activity immediately.
  • Allow them to make discoveries on their own. Let visitors touch, feel, explore, and play as you guide them through the science concepts that are being presented. This helps create the scaffold for a personal connection to the topic in your exhibit.
  • Smile!

Keep Them Engaged

  • Providing hands-on activities and face-to-face interactions are great ways to keep participants interested in your exhibit.
  • Ask questions of all the visitors. What are they observing? Do they have any guesses on what they think will happen as they experiment? Let their curiosity drive your interactions.
  • Tell kids and parents what it’s like to be a scientist! Help them to see that science is a great career path.
  • Have an expert on hand at all times. Let visitors meet a real scientist or engineer!

Sample Exhibit

Title: Prosthetics & Orthotics

Description: The Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics Program at Georgia Tech hosted a 10’x10’ booth with three different activities. The most popular activity was a guided opportunity to experience having a prosthesis. Participants tried on a pair of walking boots with prosthetic feet mounted on the bottom. As they stood up, the participant experienced the range motion and movement of a prosthetic limb.

Visual Hook: Walking boots, a variety of prosthetics and stimulators.

Take Home Message: Conveyed the science behind a common medical technology, while also showcasing the importance of engineering in the development of prosthetics and orthotics. Attendees tended to stay at this activity for a long time (5-10 minutes) which allowed for rich conversation between volunteers and the entire family.

Sample Exhibit

Title: Exploring STEM Through Aviation

Description: Delta Air Lines hosted a 20’x20’ booth with a model engine, landing gear, wind tunnel, and other aviation items. One of the most popular activities was exploring one of the four forces of flight with a wind-tunnel constructed by Delta’s Technical Operations crew specifically for the Expo. The participants wer able to see how much weight a wing could lift. Pilots and technical crew were on site to greet visitors and share how they use STEM in their jobs.

Visual Hook: Model engine, landing gear, & wind tunnels. Pilots and technical crew in uniform.

Take Home Message: Showed how early interest in how things work and taking things apart can lead to careers in aviation and engineering.

Questions? Contact [email protected].

© 2018 ATLANTA SCIENCE FESTIVAL Alex the astronaut

Interested in subscribing to our mailing list?

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to stay informed about opportunities and events with the Atlanta Science Festival.