Last year, 14,000 students flocked to the Main Quad to bag freebies, learn about the Union and meet clubs and societies. It's always one of the highlights of the year, let alone the week! But with over 200 stalls to visit, it's a pretty major affair. Here are our tips for getting the most out of it...
It all starts on Gordon Street
You'd be forgiven for thinking you enter via the Quad through the main gates. But no. Head to Gordon Street. You'll see the entry point next to the Student Centre.
The clubs and societies are in alphabetical order
If you have an idea of who you want to talk to, you'll know roughly whereabouts they'll be and if you've already gone past them. American Football is going to be near the start and Yoga at the end. But make sure you make it to the quad. That's where all the commercial stalls are going to be so you can bag yourself some freebies. It's also where societies will be performing so you can catch a glimpse of what you could be doing if you join a particular society.
Check out last year's Welcome Fair highlights...
You're not actually joining any groups today
Memberships aren't actually bought at the fair. Browse, chat to committees etc. but do your joining online.
And that's a good thing
Because you don't want to join anything before you know your timetable. What if you join two societies who have their meetings at the same time? What if you join Aikido but then realise you'd have preferred Karate? What if you go to a Mountaineering taster session and discover you're afraid of heights? Use the fair to size up your options and then join later.
Once you've been through that majority of the stalls, you'll come out into the Main Quad. It'll be full of fun activities, stalls and performances, so spend some time enjoying the atmosphere before you move on. We've had free food, energy drinks, tote bags and more in the past, so prepare to come back armed with goodies.
Don't miss the commercial marquee
In the quad there will be a big marquee which is freebie heaven. Inside will be all of the companies that want to give you free stuff in exchange for telling you about what they do.
Leave enough time
Because of the volume of people and the limited space, it does take quite a while to get around the fair. Because of the shape of the buildings, it's a big one-way system, meaning it's not possible to just pop into one stall. So we'd say leave a couple of hours to see everything.
You don't have to go
We think it's a great day, but if you can't make it, it's not the end of the world. We'll have an online version of the Welcome Fair and you'll still be able to join clubs and societies and you can find out about them and their welcome events on our What's On calendar or their directory page. Most Clubs and Societies run Give it a Go sessions, so don't stress.
The Welcome Fair takes place on campus, around the Wilkins Building and main quad. All of these spaces are wheelchair accessible. If you have access needs, either come to the front of the queue (by the Refectory) where a member of event staff will be able to support you let us know in advance by following the links when booking your ticket.
We have student volunteers on the day, able to assist students with hearing disabilities - please message us if you have hearing difficulties. Look out for them at the start of the fair.