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panorama of the 2017 Tar Heel Tech FairThe second annual Tar Heel Tech Fair was a great success by any number of measurements — attendance, vendor and University department participation, the amount and selection of free food, swag and prizes, and the smiles on the faces of students.

Held on September 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., in The Pit, the Tar Heel Tech Fair attracted an estimated 500-700 attendees and hosted a dozen University departments and vendors, including Lenovo, Microsoft and Adobe. Lenovo provided a virtual reality system for people to try. BeAM and the University Libraries showed what you can create with a 3D printer. The Carolina CloudApps and the CarolinaGO teams, meanwhile, promoted their apps to attendees.

The purpose of the event is to inform students, faculty and staff about new technology services on campus and to increase their digital literacy. Donations to the event were provided by Lenovo, UNC Student Stores, Adobe, Linkedin, Shaka Shave Ice, Moe’s and Insomnia Cookies.

To entice attendees, Tech Fair organizers purchased 63 pizzas, 250 doughnuts, more than 250 servings of popcorn and about 70 pounds of candy. In addition, Insomnia Cookies donated 250 cookies.

ResNET team member cleans a phoneLed by Alison Campbell of ITS User Support & Engagement, fair organizers implemented a punch-card system, which was a big hit with participating groups and attendees. To enter to win one of four grand prizes, attendees needed to visit and get a punch at the tables to all 12 groups. Some 227 full punch cards were submitted.

“This year we wanted to make the event feel a little more like a fair, so we used a lot of color in the decorations and posters,” Campbell said. “We also played music and offered lots of free candy and freshly popped popcorn to encourage people to mingle and visit all the groups. About half of the groups attending had an interactive activity or contest, which helped engage with the UNC-Chapel Hill community and reinforce how fun technology can be.”

Thanks to Campbell and all the groups and volunteers who helped this event go so smoothly.

Check out more photos from the Tech Fair on Flickr.

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