Exhibitor FAQs


Registration Process


Day-of Logistics



Registration Process

How do I register as an exhibitor for the Career Exploration Fair?

We’re so glad you’ve decided to participate in this impactful event! We have tried to make the registration process as easy as possible for you. There are just three, distinct steps (i.e. you do not have to do all three at one time) -

  1. First, complete our online registration form so we can capture all the information we need to coordinate your exhibitor booth.

  2. Second, pay the exhibitor fee that covers the cost of equipment and other materials for your booth and meals for those individuals who will be manning the booth. This fee is $200 for for-profit companies and $100 for non-profit companies, and can be paid via PayPal or check. The Alignment Jackson team will send you an invoice so you can have it on hand if needed for accounting purposes. If this cost is a barrier to your participation, please reach out to Robbye Good, Deputy Director of Alignment Jackson at robbye@alignmentjackson.org or 601-559-8301.

  3. Third, submit the Equipment Request Form to Convention Display Services so they can have what you need on-site at the event.

All three items need to be completed by October 31, 2016 to confirm your registration. Beyond these steps, we recommend you attend at least one of our Exhibitor Info Sessions to learn more about this event and to collaborate with your fellow exhibitors. The remaining sessions are scheduled for Thursday, September 22 and Thursday, October 13, both from 8:30-10am at the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership (201 S. President Street).

What is a Career Cluster?

A career cluster is a group of jobs and industries that are related by skills or products. Within each cluster, there are “pathways” that correspond to specific professions in that area.

The 16 clusters were established at the national level by the States' Career Clusters Initiative and are recognizable across the United States in middle schools, high schools, community and technical colleges, and the workforce.

These clusters are:

  1. Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  2. Architecture and Construction
  3. Arts, A/V Technology and Communications
  4. Business Management and Administration
  5. Education and Training
  6. Finance
  7. Government and Public Administration
  8. Health Science
  9. Hospitality and Tourism
  10. Human Services
  11. Information Technology
  12. Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security
  13. Manufacturing
  14. Marketing, Sales and Service
  15. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  16. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

What if my company doesn’t fit into one the 16 Career Clusters?

We know you belong! It’s just a matter of where. If you are having trouble selecting a Career Cluster for your booth (or booths), please contact the Alignment Jackson team for help. Robbye Good, our Deputy Director, would be more than happy to help! Her phone number is 601-559-8301 and her email is robbye@alignmentjackson.org.

How can I find out what other organizations will be in my career cluster?

The best way to identify and network with the other organizations participating in your career cluster is to attend the Exhibitor Info Sessions. The remaining sessions are scheduled for Thursday, September 22 and October 13, both from 8:30-10am at the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership located at 201 S. President Street. You are also always welcome to email the Alignment Jackson team for an up-to-date list of exhibitors as they are confirmed.  

Why should I attend the Exhibitor Info Sessions?

Our Exhibitor Info Sessions are fantastic opportunities to learn more about the Career Exploration Fair, to meet the event’s Planning Team, ask any questions you have, and to network and collaborate with other Jackson Metro Area companies, non-profit organizations and state agencies. We also leverage this convenings to solicit your feedback on how we can improve this annual event and the overall process of participating in it. We are dedicated to ensuring these meetings are a valuable use of your time and provide light refreshments as a show of our appreciation.

Do different departments of the same organization have to pay separate exhibitor fees?

The exhibitor fee is a per booth cost, so if your organization’s departments plan to each have their own booth, they will each need to pay the exhibitor booth fee. This being said, our top priority is the impact of this event on the scholars who will be attending it and consequently, we are more than happy to have conversation with those for whom this cost could be a barrier to participation. Please contact Robbye Good, Deputy Director of Alignment Jackson, at 601-559-8301 or robbye@alignmentjackson.org to learn more.

My company is an event sponsor. How many booths can we have?

First and foremost, THANK YOU for investing in the Career Exploration Fair. Without your support, this event would not be possible. We are grateful for your help empowering our city’s youth to become the citizens and professionals we all need to have a vital and prosperous future. To respond to your question, all sponsors at the giving levels identified here are provided up to five (5) complimentary booths. If you are interested in more than five booths, please contact Robbye Good, Deputy Director of Alignment Jackson at 601-559-8301 or robbye@alignmentjackson.org.  

How can I pay the exhibitor fee?

You can pay the exhibitor fee via check or the PayPal button on our 2016 Career Fair webpage by October 31, 2016. The Alignment Jackson team will send you an invoice by email and if you pay through PayPal, you will receive an automatic e-receipt following a successful transaction.

What if my company cannot pay the exhibitor fee?

Our top priority is the impact of this event on the scholars who will be attending it and consequently, we are more than happy to have conversation about cost with those for whom the exhibitor fee could be a barrier to participation. Please contact Robbye Good, Deputy Director of Alignment Jackson, at 601-559-8301 or robbye@alignmentjackson.org to learn more.

Why do I have to complete an Equipment Request Form?

Convention Display Services is responsible for the set-up of the exhibitor hall for the 2016 Career Exploration Fair. In order for them to know and supply what you need in your booth, you must submit the Equipment Request Form (available for download here) to Brooke Fuller at Convention Display Services by October 31. If you need equipment beyond what is listed as available on this form or have questions about the form itself, please contact Brooke at 601-948-4228 or brookef@cds1958.com.

I know another organization who would like to participate in the Career Exploration Fair. Where should I direct them?

Thank you for helping us spread the word about the 2016 Career Exploration Fair! We appreciate your support ensuring this event showcases the wide variety of professional opportunities available in Mississippi to Jackson’s scholars. You can direct these prospective exhibitors to the Career Fair webpage at: www.alignmentjackson.org/2016careerfair and instruct them to submit the online registration form here. After receiving their interest, the Alignment Jackson team will be in touch with them with more details.



What should I have in my booth? What should I not have in my booth?

We encourage you to activate your booth in the most engaging way possible. The Career Exploration Fair is meant to provide hands-on, experiential learning that empowers Jackson Public School freshmen to better understand what it means to work in various professions and to discover their own career interests. If you’re a dentist, bring model teeth and a set of tools and show our scholars how you use them. If you’re a computer programmer, bring a drone with a computer on which you can program it. As for what not to bring, we ask that you review the Jackson Convention Complex’s exhibitor guidelines here and if you have any questions, reach out to a member of the Alignment Jackson team.

How big is my booth?

The average booth is sized 10’ x 10’. If you would like more space than this, please contact Robbye Good, Deputy Director of Alignment Jackson, at 601-559-8301 or robbye@alignmentjackson.org

When can I set-up my booth?

You will have access to the exhibitor hall of the Jackson Convention Complex to set-up your booth on Tuesday, November 15 from 8am-5pm and again beginning 7am on Wednesday, November 16 – the day of the Career Exploration Fair. Please note that students will begin arriving at 8am on November 16 for the Career Exploration Fair, so we strongly encourage all exhibitors to set-up their booth on Tuesday. There will be overnight security to protect your belongings.

Will my materials be safe in the event space overnight?

Yes. The Jackson Convention Complex will ensure our space and everything in it is secure overnight from 5pm Tuesday, November 15 to 7am Wednesday, November 16.

Where will I know where to go when I arrive?

The Alignment Jackson team will be in touch will all exhibitors the week before the event to confirm all final logistics. On November 15 (for set-up) and November 16 (for the event itself), there will be volunteers and directional signage to help you navigate the space.

Where can I park to upload the materials and other supplies for my booth?

The main parking lots are located across the street and directly behind the facility. They can be accessed from the following streets: Pascagoula Street, Farish Street, Pearl Street, Roach Street and Court Street. There are also several loading docks that can be used only for deliveries and loading/unloading (i.e. parking in the loading docks is prohibited). The Main loading docks are accessible by utilizing the Court Street entrance. The loading dock entrance is located to the rear of the Facility’s parking facility between Roach Street and Lamar Street. The Farish loading docks are accessible from the entrance located in the parking lot at the corner of Court Street and Roach Street. To access the loading dock, turn into the parking lot entrance and proceed towards the building. The entrance is just to the left of the breezeway.


Day-of Logistics

What is the schedule for the day?

We ask that all exhibitors arrive at the Jackson Convention Complex (JCC) at 7am on Wednesday, November 16 to run through final logistics. Breakfast will be available from 7-8am. At approximately 8am, students will begin arriving at the JCC. Freshmen from each high school will arrive at 30 or 60 minute intervals for the rest of the day, each staying in the exhibitor hall for 90 minutes. The final group of students will leave the JCC at approximately 1:30pm. Snacks and drinks will be available to exhibitors throughout the day and a warm buffet lunch will be served at 1:30pm. After the last school leaves, volunteers will help exhibitors tear down booths and load up vehicles. All supplies must be out of the JCC by 5pm.

Who will be attending the Career Exploration Fair?

The annual Career Exploration Fair is designed for the approximately 2,000 Freshmen beginning their experience in the Academies of Jackson. This high school model leverages national research on how small learning communities focused on college and career readiness can yield remarkable growth in student engagement and achievement. Academy students are encouraged to explore different career paths and connect their education to their professional aspirations. The Career Exploration Fair is the seminal event of their 9th grade year, preceded by individual career assessments and followed in subsequent years, by place-based experiences such as job shadowing and internships.

What will the students expect from our booth?

This is not your average fair! It is meant to be as interactive as possible. We hope you will use your booth to bring to life your profession and employer as best you can. We would love to see students engaging with the equipment or technology you use on a regular basis, role-playing situations you encounter daily, and more. You can get an idea of what this looks like from our video of last year’s event here (or the extended version here). We also hope that you will collaborate with the other exhibitors in your career cluster to showcase the variety of opportunity in your field. Join us for one of the remaining Exhibitor Info Sessions where we provided time dedicated to this kind of collaboration.

One final note - Students will be coming to your booth prepared to actively learn more. To support them in this, we have prompted them to ask interview questions of at least five exhibitors during their time at the Career Exploration Fair. You can learn more about these “interviews” in the next Q&A.

What kind of interview questions will the students be asking us?

We’re asking students to “interview” five exhibitors at the Career Exploration Fair, asking each three questions of the student’s choosing. We are encouraging students to come up with their own questions but have supplied them with the following suggestions:

  1. How would you describe a typical day or typical tasks in your job? What are some regular decisions you have to make at work?

  2. How would you describe your daily interactions with other people? Do you work in groups or on your own? If with others, what jobs do they have, and why are they important to your work?

  3. What skills and qualities (emotional, physical and mental) are required to do well and be happy in your job? What do I need to be good at?

  4. What sort of education or training beyond high school do I need to have for this job?

  5. How has your career changed in the past ten years? What will this career look like in ten years?

  6. What are the various jobs in this career? What is a typical path of career advancement?

  7. What are the rewards of working in this career? What are the challenges of working in this career?

  8. What is the salary range for this type of work? What other benefits (health insurance, flexible working schedule, etc.) come with this job?

  9. How does your job impact the rest of your life?

  10. What can I do now to help prepare me for this career? What classes should I take in high school to prepare for this job? What hobbies or activities outside of school have important lessons for this work?

  11. Do you offer internships or part-time jobs where I could learn more about this career? If so, how can I apply?

Please answer as honestly as you can so our students are able to develop authentic perceptions of your career and profession.

What should I wear to the Career Exploration Fair?

We recommend you wear whatever will be most conducive to your booth as you’ve designed it and to engaging with Jackson Public School freshmen from 8am until 1:30pm. We do suggest you wear comfortable shoes as the Jackson Convention Complex has concrete floors.

What refreshments will be provided?

Yes - we will provide breakfast at 7am, snacks and drinks throughout the day, and lunch from 1:30pm in a hospitality area exclusive to exhibitors.

When do I have to have everything out of my booth?

You will have from approximately 3-5pm on November 16 to tear down your booth and load up your vehicle. We will have volunteers on hand to help you with this.

I have some ideas on how to make the Career Exploration Fair even better. How can I share this feedback?

We love feedback! It guides our work to continuously improve. As such, we will formally solicit your feedback via an anonymous online survey emailed to all exhibitor contacts immediately following the Career Exploration Fair on November 16. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to informally reach out to anyone on the Alignment Jackson team with your comments and ideas. We look forward to hearing and activating your suggestions.



How can I learn more about sponsorship opportunities with the Career Exploration Fair?

We’re glad to hear you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities with the Career Exploration Fair! You can learn more by contacting Nikki K. McCelleis, Executive Director of Alignment Jackson, at 601-421-0587 or nikki@alignmentjackson.org, or Robbye Good, Deputy Director, at 601-559-8301 or robbye@alignmentjackson.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

How can I follow or tag the Career Exploration Fair on social media?

You can find Alignment Jackson on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AlignJackson/ and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/AlignJackson. Our hashtags for the Career Exploration Fair is #JPSCareerExpo and for our shared work to help JPS students be career-ready is #JPSReady. We would love your help to get both trending! If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Fleming, Communications Coordinator, at 601-955-4162 or jessica@alignmentjackson.org.

How will you measure the impact of the Career Exploration Fair on the students?

In the short term, we will ask all freshmen who attended the 2016 Career Exploration Fair to complete a survey immediately following their experience. Among other things, this survey will measure students' overall satisfaction with the event, their level of comfort initiating conversations with adults, their familiarity with careers available to them, their awareness of their own professional interests, their engagement in education as means to achieve their career goals, and their sense of agency in creating their own future. It will also ask students for their feedback on ways to improve the Career Fair for future classes. As for the long term impact of the Career Fair, we are working with Jackson Public Schools to measure its effect within the whole Academies of Jackson model.

How can I stay involved with Alignment Jackson?

We would love for you to stay involved with Alignment Jackson! In fact, one of our primary goals is to bring our community together to support our schools in a sustained way. To stay in touch, make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter (join here) and are connected to us on Facebook and Twitter. We will announce other opportunities to get involved in our work to help improve outcomes for Jackson's youth via these communication channels. In the meantime, if you have an idea for how you would like to help, please contact a member of the Alignment Jackson team.

How can I continue to support students in Jackson Public Schools?

There are many ways you can continue to support students in Jackson Public Schools (JPS). At the high school level, the Academies of Jackson are designed to provide each student with hands-on learning that develops skills needed to thrive in in the 21st Century workforce. But JPS can only do this with the support of the community! Local businesses can partner with JPS to facilitate educational experiences with their employees and/or at their place of work. For example, you could host a field trip for a class studying a topic related to your product or service, a job shadow for several students eager to learn more about your industry, or an internship opportunity for a student preparing to enter your profession. Across all grade levels, there is always a need for more volunteers in classrooms and afterschool programs and additional material resources. If you would like to explore these opportunities for yourself or your organization, please contact a member of the Alignment Jackson team.