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Minnesota State Fair Information

Information for Volunteers

Signup Form and Volunteer Schedule

Saint Mary’s Fast Facts

Minnesota State Fair Website


Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota State Fair booth coordinators:

Lauran Hundshamer-Rott
612-728-5184; cell 952-200-2318
lhundsha@smumn.edu

Bob Conover
507-457-1496; cell 507-429-2549
bconover@smumn.edu

Saint Mary’s University Volunteer Information

August 24 – September 4, 2017

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Volunteers List:
State Fair sign-up

State Fair, Driving and Parking:
www.mnstatefair.org

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota State Fair booth coordinators:
Lauran Hundshamer-Rott, 612-728-5184; cell 952-200-2318 lhundsha@smumn.edu
Bob Conover, 507-457-1496; cell 507-429-2549; bconover@smumn.edu

Appreciation

Thank you for volunteering to staff the Saint Mary’s University booth at the Minnesota State Fair. The following provides information about the fair, the Saint Mary’s booth, directions and parking, etc. (Connect with one of the contacts listed above for more information.)

Questions and Answers
Why do we attend this event?

Our goal is to generate leads and to meet and leave a favorable impression with prospective students, current students, alumni, donors, friends, parents, and other individuals at the Great Minnesota Get Together, Aug. 24-Sept. 4, 2017. The Saint Mary’s booth will have access to iPads with wi-fi access to our website — allowing people who stop by our booth to peruse our website, sign up for a visit or an open house, request more information, apply, view videos, visit the alumni section, give a gift online, and more.

What is my role at the fair?

To meet and cheerfully greet the public, engage in meaningful and accurate conversations about the university and our programs and people, obtain prospective student information, reconnect with alumni, and distribute giveaway items (sweatshirt drawing entries for any prospective students and alumni, and pens for the general public. Drawing entry for trips to Winona, window clings and cell phone wallets are for alumni).

What is the best way to get to the fair?

The fairgrounds are on Snelling Ave., north of I-94 in St. Paul.

Once you’re near the fair, there are many convenient, free “park and ride” lots that you may use to complete the journey. One good one is the MN Department of Education, east of Target and north of Co. Rd. B. (State Farm Rd. and Commerce St.). The bus will drop you right at Fair Gate 5, about a block from the Education Building and our booth. You can try to park near the fairgrounds on the street or someone’s lawn, but that can be a hassle and involve a fair amount of walking. Volunteers coming from the Winona Campus will be reimbursed for mileage and parking; please submit your request to Stacy Popp in the Winona Campus Marketing and Communication Office for reimbursement.

Directions to the fair:
www.mnstatefair.org/pages/local_map.html

Park and Ride locations:
www.mnstatefair.org/pages/park_ride.html

Where is our booth located?

It is in the Education Building, near Gate 5 on Snelling Ave. Inside the Education Building, we’re in the back right corner of the building.

Here’s a map of the fairgrounds

How much travel time should I build into my schedule?

If using the park and ride system, you may want to arrive an hour before your shift as there is a heavy volume of traffic. If driving and parking near the fairgrounds, add about 30 minutes into your travel schedule. Please arrive early for your shift so shifts workers overlap and no one has to stay longer than their scheduled time slot. (If you’re running late, try to contact someone from the earlier shift or let Bob Conover or Lauran Hundshamer-Rott know.)

How long is my shift?

The shifts are four hours long. It is vital the booth be staffed at all times. If working the evening shift, please do not leave before 9 p.m. Per fair rules, the booth must be staffed from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily or we could lose our fair booth. (See the volunteer schedule at the State Fair sign-up.)

What if I can't make my appointed shift?

Please try to find a replacement. In an emergency, please contact Lauran Hundshamer-Rott, 612-728-5184; cell 952-200-2318; lhundsha@smumn.edu or Bob Conover, 507-457-1496; cell 507-429-2549; bconover@smumn.edu (See the volunteer
schedule at State Fair sign-up.)

What should I wear?

Along with your new Saint Mary’s red polo shirt, wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Please note it can get very warm inside the Education Building. Neat shorts, capris, or skirt (khaki or black preferably) are acceptable. In a pinch, a Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota black or red polo shirt with the full logo could be a substitute — please not anything with just “SMU.”

What Saint Mary’s information can we hand out?

You are encouraged to direct visitors to one of our two iPad stations, with wi-fi connection, to browse our website, sign up for a campus visit or open house, Request More Information, Apply, visit the alumni section, etc. The Saint Mary’s booth will also contain two collateral pieces, one hand-out flyer for the Winona undergraduate college and one for the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, as well as a Visit Winona brochure. Please take a moment to review the information when you arrive. If someone has a question that you can’t answer, please write it down in the provided notebook.

What do I give prospective students?

Along with the appropriate information sheet, invite prospective students to fill out a “request for more information” form online or a paper card for entry into the drawing for a chance to win a Saint Mary’s sweatshirt, which will be mailed to them after the fair if they win one of 12 to be given away to prospective students.

What do I do with those student “more information” forms?

NEW in 2017! Prospective students will be filling out a Google form on an iPad. Just bring them to an iPad to fill it out electronically.

Where will the giveaways/supplies be kept?

The supplies and giveaways will be stored behind the display. There are 12 boxes of pens to be given away–one for each day of the fair. If you run out one day, please do NOT open boxes that are for other days because we do not want to totally run out before the end of the fair.

Should I keep track of comments and questions?

By all means, record comments and questions from fair visitors. These are very useful! A notebook will be provided. 

What are the booth “giveaways” and instructions?

We will be giving away Saint Mary’s-branded pens and alumni window clings.

Two sweatshirts will be given away for each of the 12 days of the fair to a prospective student and an alum (undergraduate or graduate) who enter.

We will also be giving away two weekend trips to Winona for two. (Alumni only.) This will include hotel, dinner, and several activities.

Note, the prizes will be drawn after the fair on the Winona campus and winners will be mailed their sweatshirt or Winona trip notification. So, shift volunteers do not draw the prizes.

We will also be giving away phone wallets to alumni who show up to the booth wearing Saint Mary’s University clothing.

If prospective students want more information, please have them fill out a Google form — the same one as for the sweatshirt drawing.

What do I do at the end of the shift?

Do not leave until a volunteer for the next shift arrives. If you’re the last shift of the day, stay till 9 p.m.

Please plug in and charge the iPads (and close out any of the non-Saint Mary’s tabs.) Turn out the booth lights, shut off the fans, and tidy up the booth. An organized, uncluttered booth is the most inviting. Plus, no one wants to show up for the 9 a.m. shift and find a messy booth.

Booth Guidelines

HOW TO PROMOTE SAINT MARY’S

  1. Smile! The best way to get people to stop by the Saint Mary’s booth is to smile and greet people.
  2. Ask them if they are familiar with Saint Mary’s University. If not, learn and restate the “About Saint Mary’s” and “Key Messages.” Also, familiarize yourself with the Fact Sheet.
  3. When a potential student asks about a specific program, and you’re unsure of the answers, assure the person that we’ll follow up with more information if they fill out the interest card and provide their question. Also guide them to one of our iPad stations and help them bring up the proper program page.
  4. Focus on the friendly, person-centered atmosphere at Saint Mary’s.
  5. Have fun! If the booth staff is having a good time, the attendees will want to join in the fun.

“FIVE WAYS NOT TO GREET ATTENDEES”

Saint Mary’s booth staff should create a welcoming atmosphere that makes it appealing for attendees to want to stop by. What you don’t do can be as important as what you do.

  1. Don’t Sit. A standing, enthusiastic booth staff attracts more visitors and engages others. Stools will be available for booth volunteers who have health concerns or need a break.
  2. Don’t Read. You aren’t able to make eye contact with attendees as they walk by your booth.
  3. Don’t Eat or Drink. There will be water available in the booth, and we want you to stay hydrated. But please keep your water bottle out of view, and bring a snack with you if you need something to eat during your shift. Our booth displays are large enough that you can go behind them to take a snack break.
  4. Don’t Ignore Attendees. If you’re busy when someone approaches, either acknowledge him/her or try to include him/her in your conversation. If you’re talking with a booth-mate, break it off and turn your attention to the visitors.
  5. Don’t Talk or Text on Your Phone. Time on the phone is time away from potential prospects and tells everyone you have better things to do. If you need to make an important phone call, try to call from outside the building.
About Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary’s University is a place that believes when people work together, the world gets better. We think those who create knowledge have a responsibility to share it. And the purpose of education is to empower. These beliefs stem from our roots as a Lasallian institution. They’re reflected in the lives we change and the relationships we build. On all of our campuses, students connect to something bigger, and leave ready for their moment.

Core Message

At Saint Mary’s the people who get to know you—faculty, peers, staff—all become allies. It’s here, in an intense give-and-take setting, where each of us discovers just how much we can grow. You’ll find, in every one of our classrooms, a relationship-driven, person-centered education. We believe that everyone deserves the chance to make an impact, to achieve beyond expectations, to be known.