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IdeaFestival Bowling Green 2018

How old do participants need to be to attend?

IdeaFestival Bowling Green is designed for middle and high school students, but there is no age requirement. We ask that all participants, to be able to be mature enough to sit quietly during the speaker sessions, be respectful of the activities space, etc.


How will lunch work?

Lunch is provided to all IFBG participants at Fresh Food Company, the main cafeteria campus, located on the first floor of the Downing Student Union (DSU); the cost of lunch at Fresh is included in the cost of the ticket. When participants check to the festival in the morning, they will be provided will a lunch pass to use at Fresh (please note: we cannot replace lost lunch passes.) Participants can get lunch during the activities time; activities will be located on the third floor of DSU. Because WKU classes will be in session, the cafeteria may be crowded. We will designate lunch times to each school group — either 12-12:30 or 12:30-1:00 – to help with overcrowding.

Other options: We know that some participants will be eager to try out some restaurants not normally available to them. Please note, however, two things: first: we cannot reimburse you if you do not eat at Fresh. Second: we plan on participants eating during the activities time, which runs from 12-2:30, so eating at a location other than Fresh could reduce the time you have to spend at the activities. All campus restaurants will be operating in a normal schedule. Links to a list of restaurants, map, and hours of operation can be found on the WKU Restaurant Group webpage: https://www.wku.edu/wkurg/

Will food be available before lunch? The morning speaker sessions will be at a new location this year: Van Meter Hall. Please note that there are no restaurants or coffee shops in Van Meter, so you will need to eat breakfast before arriving at the festival.

Do I need to pre-register?

Yes; due to space constraints, all participants must be registered in order to attend.

When does registration start?

Registration will open sometime in December; if you are on our email list, you will be notified when registration is open. Click the Request Information button on our homepage to get on our email list.

What will be the last day to register?

The last day to register will be January 31; if we sell out before that date, you will be placed on a waiting list.

Can people come to the festival without students?

Yes! Individual registration is available; tickets cost $12.

You said only 50 students from each school may attend. What if I have 52?

Contact us — we’ll see what we can work out.

What if you sell out?

We will have a waiting list and notify you as soon as possible if we can fit your group in.

Do chaperones pay?

Each school will receive one free chaperone ticket per every ten students attending. Bus drivers will also receive a free ticket. 

What if I bring a different number of students than I registered for?

Please be as accurate as you can when you register and notify us if your numbers change. However, we know there is some unpredictability inherent when arranging a student trip, so we will be as flexible as we can on the day of the event in accommodating more students and refunding money for fewer students, but we cannot guarantee admittance of additional participants or refunds after January 31 if your numbers are different. Contact us with any questions or concerns.

Is there a choice of speaker sessions?

All participants will see all speakers.


Will all the activities be the same as last year?
No; although one or two may be the same, most of our returning activity creators will be changing things up. We also will have many brand-new activity creators with brand-new experiences to share. Finally, we will be bringing a new focus to the activities, encouraging participants to take the opportunity to talk to the creators about their work and career paths; to reflect on how ideas in the speaker sessions apply to the hands-on, minds-on activities; and to share their own ideas with other participants.



What is the schedule for the day, and what if we need to leave early?

The day will begin with registration from 8-9:00 am CST at Van Meter Hall. From 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CST there will be two speaker sessions with a break in between; each session will feature three speakers and a Q&A period. From 12-2:30 p.m. CST, participants will go to lunch and explore the activities at the Downing Student Union. If your school needs to leave early, we can schedule you for the 12-12:30 lunchtime, but the activities cannot be available any earlier than 12:00.


May participants bring cell phones?

Yes; we trust our participants to use their technology sensibly and respectfully. During the speaker sessions, we encourage the audience to submit questions to speakers via Twitter, and we love when participants take photos of activities, especially when they tag us. We are on Twitter at @IdeaFestivalBG, Instagram at @ideafestivalbg, and Facebook at IdeaFestival Bowling Green. For all posts, use the hashtag #IFBG18.


Where do we park?

Parking information will be sent out and posted here in early February.


Where will we be on campus?

Unlike in previous years, our morning speaker sessions will be in Van Meter Hall, which is at the top of the hill on campus. After, participants will walk down the hill to Downing Student Union for lunch and activities, where they will stay for the remainder of the festival. See the WKU campus map.


What if I have questions about accessibility and accommodations?

Please let us know on the registration form if anyone in your group will need assistance getting from Van Meter Hall to the Downing Student Union. Please also let us know on that form about any other accessibility/accommodations questions or concerns. You can also contact us via email or phone at erika.solberg@wku.edu or (270) 745-3015.


How should my students prepare for the festival?

After you register, will be sending out suggestions about ways to engage with your students before and after the festival.


What happens in the event of bad weather?

In the case of bad weather, we will notify registered individuals and school groups as soon as possible of any delays or cancellations and subsequent refunds. We will make every effort to hold the festival because rescheduling will likely not be feasible. If WKU has not closed on Febryary 15, we will hold the festoval, even if some school districts have closed due to weather.


Updated January 11,  2018.

IdeaFestival Bowling Green Just Imagine logo

What's the Big Idea?
February 15, 2018

Van Meter Hall and Downing Student Union
Western Kentucky University


Minds-on, Hands-on, Activities


Past Festivals



Student Engagement Materials



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 Last Modified 3/14/18