10-12 Months Before Your Archaeology Fair
Who presents at an archaeology fair? Compile a list of local archaeology groups, historical societies, museums, re-enactors, universities, research institutions, artisans using ancient or traditional techniques, and any other individuals and groups that you think would be appropriate for your fair. Also, include national, state, and local archaeology and preservation departments, local federal agencies such as national parks, forests, or fish and wildlife preserves, and local cultural resource management companies.
Ideally, a venue should be affordable (free) and should be able to provide tables, chairs, and electricity. Also useful are internet connections, audio-visual equipment, easels, and other display and presentation accessories.
Dates, in some cases, will depend on the availability of the venue. Other things to keep in mind are holidays (national and religious), dates of major community events, potential parades or races that might make it difficult for attendees to access your venue, and any major events your presenters might be involved with (conferences, board meetings, or events at their home institution). If you intend to have school groups present, make sure the date you select is a realistic field trip date. You may not be able to accomodate everyone, but these are certainly things to keep in mind.
Send a letter to the organizations on your list describing the event, mentioning the possible date and venue, and find out if they are willing and able to participate. Include in the letter a description of the types of activities and presentations that you envision at the fair. You can organize a fair around a central theme, but it usually works better if organizations can get creative and produce their own presentations. Presentation should be informative, engaging, interactive, and fun and should encourage active participation. Your organization will need to decided whether or not to present an activity (more on this later) but, either way, plan on having your own table. This will be a space to check in presenters and then later to greet guests to the fair, hand out programs, flyers, and any other handouts you may wish to distribute.