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IdeaFestival Bowling Green FAQ
Please contact us with a questions or concerns not addressed by this page.
The day will begin with registration from 8-9:00 a.m. CST at Van Meter Hall. Starting at 9:00 a.m. CST, there will be two speaker sessions with a break in between. Around 11:30, participants will start to go to lunch in shifts and start to explore the activities at the Downing Student Union. The activities will be open until 3:00 CST. If your school needs to leave early, we can schedule you for one of the earlier lunchtimes, but the activities will not be available until 11:30. 
Tickets are $20. This cost includes lunch. Schools receive one free chaperone ticket for every 10 students plus a free bus driver ticket.
IdeaFestival Bowling Green is designed for middle and high school students and interested community members, but there is no age requirement. We ask that all participants be mature enough to be attentive during the speaker sessions, be respectful of the activities space, etc.

Anyone can attend! Individual registration is available.

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

Registration is open as of November 1. (Those on our email list receive a notification when registration open. You can click the Request Information button on our homepage to get on our email list.) After registration is open, there will be a Registration button added to our homepage that will take you to the registration form. Note: The Center for Gifted Studies will be closed for WKU's winter break December 18 - January 2 Any registrations received during that time will be processed when we reopen in the order in which they were submitted.

The last day to register is January 13; if we sell out before that date, you will be placed on a waiting list.

Payment is due by January 13. For schools, a purchase order sent to us by January 14 is satisfactory as long as it is understood that the amount on the PO is the amount that will be paid to us even if the number of participants changes. Anyone who has not paid by that date will be moved off the registration list in order to accommodate those on the wait list.

Up to 50 students may attend from each school. If you have more who want to come, contact us, and we’ll see what we can accommodate.

We will have a waiting list and notify you January 17 if we can fit your group in.

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

Please be as accurate as you can when you register and notify us if your numbers change before the payment deadline of January 13. If you bring fewer students than you registered, we cannot provide refunds after January 13. On the day of the event, if you bring more students than you registered and provide payment for them, we will attempt to accommodate them but cannot guarantee we will have space. We encourage schools whose students are paying for their own tickets to set a student payment deadline before January 13 to make sure you have an accurate count. Contact us with any questions or concerns.

Lunch is provided to all IFBG participants at Fresh Food Company, the main cafeteria on 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 into the festival in the morning, they will be provided with 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 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, that we cannot reimburse you if you do not eat at Fresh Food Company. Also, eating at a location other than Fresh could reduce the time you have to spend at the activities. All campus restaurants will be operating on a normal schedule. Links to a list of restaurants, map, and hours of operation can be found on the WKU Restaurant Group webpagehttps://www.wku.edu/wkurg/

The morning speaker sessions will be at Van Meter Hall. There are no restaurants or coffee shops in Van Meter, so you will need to eat breakfast (and get coffee as needed!) before you arrive. No food or drink is permitted inside the auditorium.

All participants will see all speakers.

No; although some may be the same, some of our returning activity creators will be changing things up. We also will have new activity creators with new experiences to share. Additionally, we encourage 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 minds-on, hands-on activities; and to share their own ideas with other participants. 

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 @IdeaFestivalBGInstagram at @ideafestivalbg, and Facebook at IdeaFestival Bowling Green. For all posts, use the hashtag #IFBG23.

Parking information will be sent out and also posted here in late January/early February.

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.

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 or if you have other accessibility/accommodations questions or concerns. You can also contact us via email or phone a thomas.clark@wku.edu or (270) 745-3101.         

After you register, we will send a packet with ways to engage your students before and after the festival.

In the case of bad weather, we will notify registered individuals and school groups as soon as possible of any delays or cancellations. We will make every effort to hold the festival because rescheduling will not be feasible. If WKU is not closed on February 16, we will hold the festival, even if some school districts have closed due to weather. Refunds will only be given if WKU is closed or if your school district closes.

If in-person school events are not allowed in February 2024, we will not hold the festival and full refunds will be issued. If in-person school events are allowed, we will follow the most rigorous precautions available/allowed to us. As of August 11, 2022, masks are not required to be worn on campus.

No, there will be no virtual option this year.


Updated September 25, 2023.



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 Last Modified 10/26/23