About the BIG Fair at SFU

What is the BIG Fair?

SFU Career Services and Volunteer Services and International Services for Students have combined their career, grad, volunteer and study abroad fairs into one massive BIG Fair (formally known as Fairs Week). This is to help SFU students and alumni explore the vast array of choices and opportunities available...all in one place, over the span of one week! This event provides its participants the chance to engage, network and gain information.

The SFU BIG Fair features exhibitors consisting of employers, graduate schools/professional programs, non-profits, community-based organizations and SFU internal exchange/study abroad initiatives. For four days, we all work together to help students and alumni widen their horizons beyond the classroom, to build towards a successful future.

What is the Objective/Focus?

For the Fairs run by SFU Career Services and Volunteer Services, we have deliberately chosen to create one large fair that is a combination of all opportunities, whether for paid employment, grad schools/educational opportunities, or volunteer work.

Over the years, our fair has changed focus from simply being a hiring fair to a recruitment event to finally becoming an opportunity for students that is more all-encompassing of the various possibilities available to them.

This supports our main philosophy and goal– to engage students and recent graduates in their career development so that they explore their options and create possibilities.  If you would like to learn more, please see Career Services or Volunteer Services.

Besides the BIG Fair, how else can I engage SFU students?

We offer a comprehensive list of on-campus recruitment (OCR) services including info sessions and info tables. Please visit our Hire SFU website for complete details on our services.

About the Venue

What is the Venue like?

Our BIG Fair venues (Burnaby AQ and Surrey Mezzanine) are open spaces with many points of entry. For an event of this size, an open venue is our only option on our campuses. Unfortunately, we do not have any suitable "closed space" venues, as exhibitors often request. We actually do feel that the open venue serves us better than a closed venue would, due to the nature of our campuses and how SFU students interact here.

In Surrey, the fair in held at the Mezzanine, an open atrium in the lobby of SFU Surrey. Click here to see a map of SFU Surrey.

For Burnaby, the fair takes place in three connecting corridors of our main campus building called the Academic Quadrangle (AQ).  These hallways attract the largest amount of foot traffic. Click here to see a map of SFU Burnaby.

Burnaby Campus Venue Location

Academic Quadrangle (AQ) is the hub of Burnaby Campus. Most students pass through AQ throughout the day either to go to class, use the study areas, or to connect to many departments and faculties. Some of the facilities in this building are the Art Gallery, Mackenzie Cafe, Renaissance Coffee, Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Saywell Hall connected to AQ. 

This multipurpose academic building is located slightly to the east side of the campus. The main level of the AQ, the 3000 level, which is known as the Concourse level, consists of four main corridors and contains the major lecture halls. Smaller classrooms and offices are located on other levels of the AQ. One of SFU's most famous features is the AQ Gardens, which is a large outdoor area in the 4000 level of the AQ.

Departments using AQ: Aboriginal Peoples office, APSA, Art Gallery, Arts & Social Sciences, CUPE, Canadian Studies, Chinese Studies, Food Services, English, Education, Faculty Association, FASS, Geography, Hellenic Studies, History, Human Rights Office, Humanities, Interfaith Centre, Indigenous Student Centre, International Studies, IT Services, Labour Studies, Latin American Studies, Psychology, Political Sciences, Sociology & Anthropology,Student Services, TSSU, West CoastLine, and Women's Studies.


8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia
V5A 1S6

Contact numbers

General Office
Switchboard: 778.782.3111
Career & Volunteer Services: 778.782.3106
Security: 778.782.3100

For other contact information visit Burnaby Contacts page.

Surrey Campus Venue Location

The award winning architecture of the SFU Surrey campus, designed by Bing Thom, gives the space an open, vibrant and modern look which seems to complement the creativity and innovation our students bring to the classroom. The roof, made of wood from stripped veneer is structurally stronger than steel. The Mezzanine area of the SFU Surrey campus is the first point of contact for anyone visiting the campus, which makes it a great place to hold events. This area contains the Student Services desk, the Advising Center, a print shop, our largest lecture theatre, Security, a computer lab, Blenz and the bookstore. 


250 - 13450 – 102 Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia
V3T 0A3


General Office
TEL: 778.782.7400
FAX: 778.782.7403

For other contact information visit Surrey Contacts page.


What is the difference between the Burnaby Campus and the Surrey Campus?

The Burnaby Campus is the original campus that houses more than three dozen academic buildings and it is also the largest location out of all three campuses. It has over 20,000 students and thus a high amount of foot traffic. Over 145 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs within all eight faculties have classes on this campus. Therefore, if you are trying to reach the greatest number of students from a variety of faculties, this would be an ideal campus to target. But also if you are targeting a specific faculty, it is likely to be housed at this campus. See the list: programs offered at the Burnaby Campus. Thus, it would meet most organizations' recruitment needs. The Burnaby Fair hosts approximately 90 exhibitor tables per day.

The Surrey Campus in comparison to Burnaby offers 24 academic programs and has approximatelym 7500 students. The Surrey Fair hosts about 26 exhibitor tables per day. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in all eight faculties however it is more targeted towards students from Mechatronic systems engineering, Interactive Arts and Technology, Business and Software Systems. In particular, grad schools and professional programs should verify if our Surrey campus is suitable for your recruitment needs. See the programs offered at the Surrey Campus.

Why does SFU hold its Fairs in an open venue as opposed to a closed venue?

SFU does not have a large enough closed venue in which to support the size of the event and we do not see this changing in the foreseeable future. We feel fortunate that our event is held in an open space where our exhibitors benefit from a high amount of general foot traffic. It helps create awareness of the event with students who do not necessarily know about it. You will have a few students approaching you who were not previously aware of the event. This is the nature of the SFU campuses and a result of the challenges we face marketing to our students who are inundated with information from many sources. If we were able to find a closed venue to accommodate this event, we don't think we'd see as many students attending the Fair in general.

Can I ship material for the Fair to the campus? and how?

Yes you can. To ensure that your materials are ready for you on the day you arrive, please aim to have your materials shipped to us at least one week prior to the fairs. Label each package with your organization’s name as it appears on your Fair Registration Form. You can use the mailing labels we created for your convenience. You must email cvsocr@sfu.ca to ensure that all packages are successfully received. All shipped materials will be delivered directly to your assigned booth by 9:00am on your exhibition day.

Is food provided?

Two complimentary meal packages (including morning refreshment and lunch service) are included in all Career Fair and Graduate School Fair packages (excluding Volunteer Fair). Additional meal packages can be purchased in advance when you are completing the exhibitor registration form or by emailing cvsocr@sfu.ca.  For those who prefer to purchase their own lunch, there are the food vendors on campus close to the venue.

Could you give us more information about the booth?

Booths are different, depends on the Campus and the zone. IMPORTANT: If you are bringing an oversize display (wider than 8’), please indicate that on your registration form and we will try our best to accommodate. 

Burnaby Booths: 

  • 8’ x 6’ exhibitor trade show space
  • 6’ table + 2 chairs
  • 8’ high draped back wall + 3’ high draped side wall
  • Plastic table cloth + fabric skirting
  • Electrical power
  • WIFI provided

Surrey Booths:

  • 6’ table + 2 chairs
  • Table cloth
  • Electrical power
  • WIFI provided

What to Expect

How many students do you expect to attend BIG Fair?

It is hard to give a specific figure as we host the BIG Fair in an open venue, meaning there is not just one entry point into the event. Therefore, we cannot track the number of actual student attendees. We would estimate that hundreds of students per hour come through the venue, potentially up to a few thousand over the 3 day period of the event. Most exhibitors on average, depending on what type of organization they are, report interacting with anywhere from 50-250 students per day.

How many exhibitors will be there? 

Overall we expect approximately 140 exhibitors in total. At the Burnaby campus, there will be approximately 90 exhibitors per day, including private organizations, government, non-profit/community-based organizations and grad schools and institutions. At the Surrey Campus, there will be approximately 26 exhibitors per day. Most organizations would benefit from attending Fairs Week. Please note that the Surrey Fair is not as good a fit for grad schools and professional programs and thus we only offer a limited number of spots for them.

What types of organizations are normally at the BIG Fair? 

Our fairs are meant to be suitable for any types of organization. It attracts a diversity of exhibitors:

  • Employers/recruiters who are hiring 
  • Professional Associations who are creating industry or brand awareness
  • Graduate program recruiters
  • Professional school recruiters
  • Community engagement and non-profit organization recruiters/volunteers
Due to our limited space, we do restrict registration to only those organizations who are recruiting for specific jobs (paid and volunteer), programs or schools. We are not able to offer booths to organizations promoting services, external events or products to students. We encourage those organizations to utilize our Posting/Promotions service.

If you are targeting mainly Business students, you can connect with the SFU Beedie Business Career Management Centre


What type of students will attend the Fair?

The fair is located in an open space so there will be students from all faculties and programs. If you want to look at SFU programs, you can see them at the link below:


Enhance Your Exposure

How do you encourage students’ participation in your Fair?

Our strategy to increase student participation varies year by year.

Here are some past and present methods:  

  • A countdown to the fair where we give students helpful tips daily
  • Fair passports that students stamp and enter into a prize draw 
  • Social media campaign using Twitter (and #hashtags), Facebook, etc. 
  • Various contests through different platforms 
  • Marketing and promotion through blog posts, and e-blasts  
  • Posters, print materials
  • Performance installations/YouTube videos

* Please note that each year we try to use less printed materials as it is no longer effective in comparison with online and social media methods and also in order to be an increasingly eco-friendly event.  

We need to keep in mind that students are inundated with a large volume of information and emails about events and activities on campus whether social or academic. Although we promote our Fairs to the best of our ability and as much as our resources allow, it is still possible that students may not have gotten the message and are thus unaware of the event until they come across it in our corridors in September. Along with our Student Ambassadors, we invite you to treat this as an opportunity to inform and educate SFU students about the event for now and for the following years. So if you do have a student come to your booth and inquire about the event and your organization, feel free to tell them what you can and then refer them to our table or a Student Ambassador for more information.

Be a Fair Sponsor

To better enhance your exposure on campus through our marketing of the event, we encourage you to choose one of our Fair Sponsorship Packages. We have different sponsorship levels to meet various needs and budgets.