WVU & WVU Extension
Day at the Legislature
Exhibiting at the Capitol
Exhibit space and tables in the Capitol are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The most popular exhibits are those that are interactive and engaging.
About the State Capitol
Our State Capitol is a breathtakingly beautiful, historic building and you will no doubt be wowed by its magnificence. However, like many historic buildings, it was not designed to accommodate visitors, exhibitors, and those who have physical challenges. Close-up parking is limited to nonexistent, elevators are slow and small, electrical outlets are few, and there is no public loading dock. Nonetheless, hundreds of groups and organizations find creative ways to showcase their work at the Capitol every legislative session, so we will make it work!
WVU Extension Service will provide special giveaways for the day. Exhibitors are also encouraged to bring giveaways, but please do not give away candy or balloons.
Popular items among visitors and Capitol staffers are trinkets, pens, magnets, pencils, calendars, stickers. You can easily give away 500 of any of these items. If you leave your items unattended, visitors will take handfuls. A wise exhibitor strategy is to hold the trinkets in your hand and hand one directly to each visitor.
Exhibit Setup and Removal Times
Displays must be setup by 9 a.m., and removed between 1- 3 p.m. Please plan to staff your exhibit the entire time it is on display.
What is Included in an Exhibit Space
Each exhibit space will include:
- one 6-foot table
- one blue table cloth
- two chairs
A sign on each table will denote each group’s exhibit space.
Electrical outlets are limited, so electricity cannot be guaranteed. Participants should bring at least one grounded, 25-foot-long heavy duty extension cord and a surge protector.
Wireless access is available in the rotunda areas, but please be aware the wireless service can be unpredictable. If your exhibit requires Internet access, please let us know so that your display can be placed in proximity to the best areas for wireless connectivity.
The Capitol lighting is beyond our control. If your exhibit has lights, please plan to bring an extension cord and use your own lighting.
There will be hundreds of young people and adults from across West Virginia flowing through the Capitol during our day there. Exhibits help to mark your spot and give a glimpse of the program you highlight. What really makes an exhibit memorable is the person staffing it.
Do you have giveaways? Try standing in front of your exhibit and handing giveaways to people so that you make eye contact and have some conversation with them.
Is a visitor standing back, looking at the exhibit? Ask them if they are interested in your program.
Many of the WVU Extension visitors will wear name tags that include their county name, so asking about their county is always a conversation starter. Remember, every conversation, smile, or eye contact has the potential to make a positive impression for WVU and for your program, so do your best to be “on” and engaged.
What to Wear
Wear comfortable shoes; the marble floors are lovely, but they’re hard on your feet. Since this is an educational day for our youth and volunteers, many will be wearing their Sunday best for calling on legislators. To others, we suggest wearing your “proudest” gold and blue.
Unloading and Setup Procedures
As previously stated, displays must be setup by 9 a.m. and taken down between 1 – 3 p.m. All displays must be removed by 3 p.m.
Exhibitors desiring to unload inside W.Va. State Capitol grounds must contact the Capitol Command Center (304-558-5715) prior to the event and provide the following information:
- Vehicle Make/Model
- Vehicle License Plate
- Vehicle Drivers’ Name
Once on site, to unload the day prior to the event:
- Enter at the Greenbrier Street Guardhouse (Greenbrier and Washington Streets).
- Inform the guard at the security stop that you are there with WVU to setup an exhibit.
- Follow security to the secured entrance for unloading.
- Vehicles must then be moved to the metered parking areas.
To make setup easy, it is strongly suggested that you arrive the afternoon before the event beginning at 4:30 p.m.
If you are unable to setup the day before the event, please plan to arrive at the Capitol by 8 a.m. on the day of the event to allow time for your exhibit to be set up by 9 a.m. Please allow adequate time to pass through security.
If you are fortunate to have two people traveling together, another unloading strategy is to pull up on the California Street side of the Capitol, put on your vehicle’s emergency flashers, and have one person unload the exhibit and take it into the Capitol while the driver searches for parking.
Visitors to the Capitol must enter through security checkpoints located at the West Wing and East Wing entrances. For more information, including a helpful map, please see the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s article on the enhanced security. Frequently asked questions about directed public access are also available from the W.Va. Capitol Police.
Exhibit Setup and Registration
After unloading and parking your vehicle, go to the Lower Rotunda and an Extension staff member will direct you to the information and registration table, as well as show you to your assigned display location.
The Capitol is a large building, so you are advised to have some sort of light weight folding cart to transport material to your designated area.
Please take advantage of the Capitol Cafeteria, or enjoy a bite at one of Charleston’s many restaurants before heading home.
- Disassemble your exhibit display. Remember to pack up any cords, surge protectors or other equipment that is yours.
- Pickup all trash from around your display area and place in, or near, the closest trash receptacle – this includes boxes you have emptied.
- Transport your exhibit to the handicap exit of the Lower Rotunda.
- Retrieve your vehicle from parking, proceed to the Greenbrier Street Guardhouse for your security escort for reloading.
Have a safe trip home!
If you have other requests or questions about exhibiting at the capitol, please contact Robin Anderson.