6-10 Months Before Your Archaeology Fair
Send out Presenter Agreement forms to the individuals and organizations that responded positively to your first letter. The Presenter Agreement should include venue, date and times for the fair. Presenters should be asked to commit in writing to presenting at the fair, which days they can participate (if the fair is for more than one day), and that they should let you know at least a month in advance if they cannot attend.
With the Presenter Agreement, include a Program Form. The Program Form asks for specific program details: title of presentation, short description of the program, names of the presenters, contact information for the individual and/or organization, audio-visual needs, electricity and internet requirements, and furniture needs. Generally, the organizer of the event provides one table (6 or 8 foot) and two chairs per presentation. If the presenter needs more furniture, they should specify their needs on the form.
Keep in mind: No matter how excited presenters seem about coming to the fair, not all return their forms in a timely fashion. Set an initial deadline and send reminders before and after the deadline.
As the agreements come in, create a spreadsheet with all the presenter information: name of organization, name(s) of presenter(s), presentation title, additional tables and chairs and other things they may need, what days they will be there, contact information, and names of all others who will be with them. This is easily updated as the agreements come in. Also, as abstracts come in, put them into a separate document. Edit and revise as needed and send back to presenters for approval. Abstracts are often written in the passive voice and need to be re-written so that they sound exciting when you compile them into a printed program before the fair.
If possible, plan an activity that your organization can present at the fair. This is a good way to inform people about your organization and its activities.
Lately, the AIA has focused on having an introductory "What is Archaeology?" activity as presenters tend to have more specialized activities. Other sucessful past activities have included: making khipus out of yarn, placing artifacts into the correct stratigraphic layers, children writing their names out with hieroglyph stamps, and decorating bumper stickers that promote site preservation. It is helpful to create signage that provides background information for your activity.