Update: We are not accepting exhibitor applications for the 2021 State Fair.  Please check back April 2022.

The Iowa State Fair offers a great opportunity to showcase University of Iowa programs that connect Iowans to their university. More than one million people attended the 2019 Iowa State Fair. The University of Iowa booth is in the Varied Industries Building, a high traffic area at the fair. It is safe to say that more than 400,000 will be exposed to the UI booth during the 11-day run.  Exhibitors must represent UI departments, programs, or centers.

How does your exhibit meet the goals of the University of Iowa’s Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2021?

  • Research & Discovery: Perform high-impact research.
  • Student Success: Provide a transformative educational experience that educates all UI students to be engaged citizens.
  • Engagement: Engage with Iowa and the world to broaden education, improve health, and enhance economic development.

What criteria should be used when considering proposals?

  • Is your message simple and consistent, and can it be communicated within a brief interaction?
  • How is your exhibit interactive and engaging?
  • Does it showcase ways in which the university impacts the lives of Iowans?
  • Does it tell a story about the university that would be interesting to Iowans?
  • How will you utilize giveaways to enhance the visitors' experiences?

Who is the target audience for the exhibits?

Iowans, including alumni of the University of Iowa, current and prospective students of the University of Iowa, parents and family of current and prospective students, Hawkeye athletics fans, children and general fairgoers.

What type of interaction should we anticipate?

Most interactions will vary between the curious (30 seconds) to the inquisitive (3-5 minutes). Since it’s the fair, don’t expect lengthy interaction with everyone. Many will peek in to see what you are doing as they pass by the booth. Others will stop to see what you’re doing and glance at the visual materials you have on display. This is where interactive engagement is most helpful in your effort to captivate the audience.

The UI State Fair booth is for institutional outreach - data collection for research purposes will not be permitted.

Is there internet access in the booth?

We are unable to guarantee internet access in the booth.  If your exhibit relies on internet access, please be prepared to provide your own mobile hot spot.

Please describe the exhibitor space.

We will provide a 55" monitor (aspect ratio 16:9) with appropriate technological access including a power strip and one extension cord. 

Exhibitors will have access to one 6' table and two chairs.  Please feel free to provide a departmental table cover during your exhibit period.

Are there any restrictions on giveaways?

Stickers and balloons are prohibited by the Iowa State Fair.

Is it possible to have display/giveaway materials transported and stored prior to the state fair?

Exhibitors may have gate access to transport materials from 8-9 a.m. on the day they present, but this is not guaranteed. Please contact us to discuss arrangements. Exhibitors will be responsible for transporting materials to and from the state fair.  

Is there any funding available to exhibitors?

The university will provide admission for six people staffing your exhibit and parking for six vehicles, but other costs associated with your exhibit—including printing, photography, travel, meals, etc.—are your responsibility. In some cases deans or department chairs may be able to provide financial support.

University of Iowa staff will gladly answer your questions about the exhibit space and discuss ideas for a compelling exhibit. 

Additional questions?

Kristin Beckman, State Fair Booth Coordinator, kristin-loupeebeckman@uiowa.edu; 319-335-1759.