NPN School Fair 101 - Get Ready for Oct 15th!

Written by: Leslye Whittman

School Fair season has arrived! Since the Oct. 15 School Fair is such an important event, we know there are many questions and anxieties.  We are here to help you get ready! 

The fair is set up in an expo with 120+ exhibitors.  Attendees can walk around and talk with representatives from public and private preschool and elementary schools, non-profits, and businesses with activities and services that cater to little ones. The exhibitor list is still growing so check back for updates!

This Q&A will help you understand how the fair works and how to register to attend. Read our tips on prepping for the fair and learn what questions to have prepared for schools on your radar.

Q: How long can you stay at the Fair?

A. NPN parents register for a time slot (e.g., 10am-11am). To help us manage the large number of attendees, it is very important that you arrive during your RSVP time slot. We cannot accommodate those who arrive at a time slot for which they did not register. We understand that it might take you longer than one hour to make the rounds. 

Q. How many people are allowed in each time slot?

A. There is a max of 300 RSVP’s for each of the 4 time slots. If you are uncertain about what time you are able to attend or your preferred time slot is already full, check out VIP access to the fair

Q. How do NPN Members register for the Oct. 15th event?

A. Log into NPN and visit the Oct. 15th School Fair page.  Scroll down to view the exhibitor list and RSVP for your preferred time slot.  The available time slots will be show in a drop down. You may register for up to 2 adults that are part of the same family.  If you have successfully RSVP’ed, you will receive an eTicket.  If you do not receive an eTicket, please contact

Q.  How are exhibitors organized at the fair?

A. Exhibitors will be grouped into three main sections: 1) public schools, 2) private preschool-only options, and 3) private preschool and elementary school options.


Q. How should parents prepare beforehand to make the most of their time at the event?

A. Spend some time preparing - create a “short” list of your top school options: 

  • Determine the factors that are most important to your family’s school search process (e.g., starting age, location, total costs, school hours/schedule, before/after school activities/options, etc.)
  • Visit the NPN online School Directory and use the search to create a list of schools you don't want to miss at the fair.  Check the exhibitor list to see who will be there!
  • Download the eDirectory to get to know the schools you are considering.
  • Use your NPN School Fair Program book to keep track of your conversations, contacts, and progress. 

Q. What should I ask a school when visiting their exhibitor table?

A. Here are a few ideas beyond getting to know the basics about a school:

  • Confirm admissions deadlines, process details, and open house date(s)
  • Where appropriate, ask about twin and sibling policies
  • Ask about what a classroom looks like and what a typical day includes
  • Ask about options for financial aid
  • Get to know more about their teachers – teacher-student ratios and their hiring requirements
  • Get to know their before/after school activities and options
  • What are their special classes/programs?  What makes them different from other schools?

Please click here to register for the 2011 NPN Preschool & Elementary School Fair. Register early to reserve your spot.  

On the day of the event, please leave your children at home, wear comfortable shoes, allow extra time for parking (or take public transportation), arrive at your designated time slot, and most importantly, talk to as many representatives and other parents as you can. You never know what new options you might discover through unexpected connections. We look forward to seeing you on October 15th!


Posted on September 07, 2011 at 10:05 PM