Auto Expos are great opportunities for our Scouts to be of service to their communities
Our Scouts plan, organize, lead, and evaluate the event
Our Scouts develop special projects for their communities in order to be of service to the greater community and meet more people. One of those projects is an Expo. An Expo is a gathering of people who have an interest in a particular topic for the purpose of learning more about it. One choice is the auto expo.
Scouts use their knowledge of Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Evaluating (P.O.L.E.) the activities they choose.
Scouts are responsible for choosing the topic of the Expo, organizing the exhibitors, the guests, the location, and every detail of the Expo. They lead the entire event from start to finish, and afterward evaluate their efforts.
Expos serve the purpose of educating the public about a particular topic of interest. Generally, exhibiters do not sell items at our Expos, but rather provide information about a topic relevant to the Expo. An example of acceptable materials to hand out would be a pamphlet on the advantages of cleaner drinking water. We want our Scouts to interact with companies and organizations which can improve the lives of others attending their Expo.
Who is Invited
Expos are held for the public and Scouts will advertise to the community. Inviting youth is particularly important, however, we want families to be able to participate together and there should be something which appeals to every age group.
Just like the Activity Buffet, activities should be interactive when possible. There should be special exhibits for youth to take part in. Our Scouts need to make it clear to those with an exhibit that learning-by-doing exhibits are the expectation. For example, at an Auto Expo, exhibitors could demonstrate new safety equipment for autos.
Ideally the Expo should be free for the public.
For exhibitors, we prefer they can set up their booths for free, but if they are charged, nonprofits are never charged unless absolutely necessary.
One way for Scouts to off-set the cost of the Expo is by selling food. There are two different ways the Scouts could go about it. First, various booths can be set up by exhibitors, such as a cotton candy machine. Our Scouts sell food tickets to the public, which the public turn into the food booths in exchange for food. The exhibitors with the food booths count up their tickets at the end of the day and the Scouts give them the appropriate amount of money. This enables the Scouts to ensure they are receiving the appropriate amount of the food sales.
Another choice would be for Scouts to prepare and sell food themselves. Most Expos have simple food the Scouts could prepare like grilling hotdogs and having sweets on hand. For either of these choices, Scouts will need to investigate the matter first. There may be tax ramifications for selling food in a particular area, and a license to sell food may be necessary. All of this needs to be looked into by the Scouts well before the Expo.
Where to Hold an Expo
Scouts plan the entire event, including finding a location. Scouts take into account the season and weather; for instance, they would choose an indoor venue such a convention center or school in the winter. In the summer, they can choose an outdoor venue and take responsibility for supplying tarps or canopies to shield the sun and to provide water to the guests. It is preferable to hold the Expo at the same time and place year after year so the public begins to count on it and look forward to it.
The Scouts invite the exhibiters. They will brainstorm on who to invite based on the topic of the Expo. Local merchants, government agencies, fire and police personnel, community and religious organizations make consistently good choices.
An auto expo is sure to be of interest to our Scouts and their parents. Our Scouts can invite auto manufacturers, auto dealers, insurance salespersons, and more.
Auto manufacturers can explain safety innovations and provide information about up and coming inventions. Those who manufacture electric cars and hybrids can have information about their positive affect on the environment.
They could have an interactive exhibit that shows how an engine works and how to do basic car maintenance.
Auto dealers can describe how to go about purchasing a car and what to look out for. They can have hands-on examples of what cars should cost and what can rise the price.
Insurance salespersons can show how much coverage a person should have and why. An interactive demonstration for our North Star Scouts would be appropriate since they are reaching the age to begin thinking about driving.