The Big E

Overview

The Big E, also known as The Eastern States Exposition, is the largest agricultural event on the Eastern seaboard. Among the most popular attractions at “New England’s Great State Fair” are the state exhibitions. Within the Connecticut Building — which showcases items produced, grown, crafted or manufactured in Connecticut — local businesses and nonprofit organizations are invited to exhibit to help promote:  

  • the state’s agriculture and natural resources;
  • Connecticut-based industries;
  • tourism and cultural attractions;
  • the talent, skill and innovation of Connecticut residents, organizations and businesses.   

Mark your calendar for the 2019 Big E — Friday, September 13 – Sunday, September 29, 2019! 


Exhibition Opportunities

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) offers Connecticut businesses and nonprofit organizations the opportunity to exhibit at the Connecticut Building. There are three types of exhibition opportunities: 

  • Full-Time Exhibitor (17 days)
  • Part-Time Exhibitor (2 or more consecutive days) 
  • Connecticut Showcase Exhibitor (1-2 days only) 

Cost

Exhibition space is available at a rate of $25 per square feet. The cost includes admission tickets, parking, electricity and water (if applicable).

Space Days  Cost 
10' x 20' 17 $5,000
10' x 10' 17
$2,500
 3' x 8' 17  $600 

The cost for exhibition space for part-time exhibitors (2 or more consecutive days) is calculated by taking the full-time rate divided by the number of days the space will be occupied. Example: If a party is interested in a 10'x10' space for seven (7) days, the cost would be $1,029. $2,500/17 days = $147 per day x 7 days = $1,029.

Selection of Exhibitors

Only goods and services produced, grown, crafted, manufactured or significantly altered in Connecticut may be sold in the Connecticut Building. Exhibitors are selected through a competitive process, as outlined below.

  • Potential exhibitors must submit an application, along with 1) a schematic drawing; 2) color photograph(s) of their exhibit space/displays; and 3) at least one letter of recommendation.
  • The selection committee will review and evaluate each year's applications based on:
    -  the quality of the application;
    -  the pertinent experience of the applicant;
    -  alignment with the goals of the Connecticut Building;
    -  professionalism of exhibition space and display(s).  
  • The selection committee may interview applications who have not exhibited previously prior to final selection.

Note: DECD strives to avoid competition amongst exhibitors, but there is no assurance of exclusivity for any exhibitor as to product and/or service offerings. Also, no past exhibitor is guaranteed selection or exclusivity of product/services each year.

Application Forms

For more information on Health Department requirements click here.

All applications and payments should be submitted to Rosemary Bove. Note: do not submit the application or send payment to the Town of West Springfield. 

Rosemary Bove
rosemary.bove@ct.gov 
Department of Economic & Community Development
Connecticut Office of Tourism
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 5
Hartford, CT 06103

Key Dates

Application deadline: on or before Friday, March 8, 2019

Notification to applicants: on or before Friday, March 29, 2019

Return of signed contract: no later than Friday, April 19, 2019

Payment due in full: no later than Friday, July 5, 2019 (but not before July 1). If payment is not paid in full by the above stated date, the booth space will not be held. 

Food permit deadline: on or before Friday, July 5, 2019
Download health permit application.

Staffing Your Exhibit

  • The Connecticut Building is open to the fair-going public from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.
  • Closing an exhibit early will result in the forfeit of the exhibition space, without refund, and the exhibitor will be ineligible to apply again.
  • Exhibition space must be staffed by at least one person at all times. An exhibitor who fails to properly staff their booth will be asked to leave, without refund, and will be ineligible to apply again.
  • Of extreme importance are the people working in the booth for they are viewed as representatives of Connecticut. Exhibitors, including their staff, must have uniform attire representative of the company/products/organization during all shifts throughout the fair (e.g., t-shirt/ business shirt/polo/hat with logo).

Optimizing Your Display

All exhibition space must be professional and encouraging to visitors to stop by, learn, interact and purchase, where applicable.

Exhibitors are required to enhance the assigned space to reflect their business/organization in the most positive and engaging manner.

Selected exhibitors are required to pay for signage that conforms to the template designed by DECD (approximate cost: $150). This cost is not built into the rental fee. Vendors will be billed separately.

All signs/banners produced by an exhibitor must be pre-approved by the building management.  

Contact

For additional information or questions, contact Rosemary Bove at (860) 500-2355 or rosemary.bove@ct.gov and/or Rhonda Olisky at (860) 500-2452 rhonda.olisky@ct.gov.