Information for Volunteers
When to be there
Fair hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Volunteers work in four-hour shifts:
- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Iowa State Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and University Avenue on Des Moines' east side.
The UI booth is located in the southwest corner of the air-conditioned William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building on the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. It's easy to find on interactive map of the Fairgrounds below.
Parking is available north of the Grandstand, off the University Avenue entrance, near gates 1 and 2. Lots fill fast, especially on weekend afternoons and evenings, so expect some delays. Also consider MTA State Fair Park 'n' Ride Shuttles--all shuttles drop riders off at Gate #10, located at East 30th and Walnut Streets. Parking is free at all shuttle locations. See Park and Ride for more information.
Information about accessible parking, restrooms, and more is available here.
Fair admission and parking passes
University Relations will provide fair admission and parking passes to all UI volunteers and exhibitors. We will send them via campus/ home address over the summer.
Crew per shift includes:
- One or two representatives to answer admissions questions
- Four or more workers will apply Tigerhawk face tattoos, distribute posters, and answer general questions.
There will be several other University of Iowa staff in the booth all 11 days, representing University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the Hawk Shop, and various department and offices. In the center area of the booth, there will also be several daily exhibitors from across campus.
Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to allow for a shift change. Give yourself about two hours to make the drive from Iowa City, and allow for up to an hour for fair traffic and parking during early afternoon peak times.
Please wear the black and gold shirts provided by University Relations for a unified, professional look.
Shirts will be available at the orientations, or sent via campus/ home address over the summer.
Dress professionally, but comfortably. The Varied Industries Building is air-conditioned, but it can get very hot once you are outside on the fairgrounds. We'd suggest black or khaki slacks or shorts to go with the Hawkeye shirts.
Your pre-printed nametag will be waiting for you at the booth. There will also be a supply of blank nametags at the booth.
Guidelines for workers
- Always be friendly; a smile goes a long way!
- As the University's representative, you may be the first contact for a potential student, donor, or ticket buyer. First impressions are important!
- Be polite, patient and professional while keeping an energetic and upbeat attitude.
- Use your “people skills” and always be willing to help fairgoers and other volunteers.
- Be positive about the University of Iowa, all of its programs, and everything else that goes along with being a Hawkeye. Please do not negatively comment about any other schools.
- Make sure you can work the time you signed up for. If you are unable to attend, contact Steve Parrott at firstname.lastname@example.org (319) 384-0037 or Deb Thumma, email@example.com (319) 384-0006.
- Be knowledgeable about the university: if you don't know the answer, ask the site coordinator or Admissions representative, or look it up on the UI Website on the computer at the counter. Those seeking more information can also fill out an information request card.
- You can take a short break (15-20 minutes), but don't leave the booth unattended. Please, no food in the booth; water and beverages are fine. We will provide bottled water for volunteers.
- And most importantly, HAVE FUN!