What are project fairs?
Project fairs are regional events hosted annually by Rotary districts worldwide to encourage international friendship and collaboration on international service projects. They provide an opportunity for Rotary clubs in the host districts to exhibit their projects, and for international visitors to meet local project coordinators to find an effort that matches their club’s goals. Attendees convene for two to three days to share their interests or concerns, discuss ideas, and establish partnerships.
Why host a project fair?
Hosting a project fair is a great way to meet Rotarians from around the world, promote club and district service efforts, and connect with international partners. Inviting Rotarians to see the exhibits allows for in-person discussions that can foster lifetime friendships and increase the likelihood that projects will gain support.
How do you host a project fair?
- Form an organizing committee comprised of Rotarians from clubs within the host country. The committee should work independently of normal club or district activities and be permanent.
Schedule the fair at a convenient time taking into consideration official Rotary activities, seasons, and holidays. Remember that you will need to allow enough time between the invitation and event so that international attendees have adequate time to make travel arrangements.
Develop a program that is simple and provides sufficient time for Rotarians to meet and discuss their projects. The operating language of the fair should be that of the attendees. Below are some ideas to consider in developing the program.
- Allow enough time between the invitation and the fair so that international attendees can make travel arrangements.
- Plan a general session at the beginning of each day where an overview of the day’s agenda can be given and announcements can be made. You might also wish to include a featured speaker.
- Organize "Round Table" discussions where attendees can share their project experiences. The topics may include, water and sanitation, microcredit, Rotary Foundation Grants, or project evaluation.
- Arrange project site visits for participants to experience local projects first hand.
- Host afternoon and evening fellowship activities such as luncheons, cultural shows, home hospitality, and dinners. Consider leaving one evening free for attendees to explore the local area.
- Offer optional tours for participants following the project fair. If possible the group should be accompanied by local Rotarians during the trip.
Why attend a project fair?
If your club is interested in supporting an international service project, World Community Service effort, attending a project fair is a great place to learn about projects and start building relationships. As an attendee at a project fair you will have the chance to visit with Rotarians who will be exhibiting their projects at project booths. Before you depart and while at the fair you can take steps to ensure that you have a successful experience.
For more information on project fairs, e-mail RI staff.