Montana State University
Montana State University > Catapalooza > Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Montana State University
P.O. Box 170545
Bozeman, MT 59717

Tel: (406) 994-2837
Location: SUB 280


Robin Mayer, Office of Activities and Engagement

Erin Macdonald Peck, Office of the Dean of Students


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Catapalooza

Whether you've been to Catapalooza previously or not, there are always many questions that surround an event of this magnitude. In this section we hope to address some of your questions up front. If you still have questions, please feel free to call 406-994-2826 or email

What is Catapalooza?

Catapalooza is a 2-day event held on Montana State University's Malone Centennial Mall. This event is coordinated through the Office of Activities and Engagement and the Dean of Students Office. The goal of the event is to make our new and returning students more aware of campus and community resources, clubs, and organizations. Faculty and staff are encouraged to view this event as an opportunity to get to know the student population out of the classroom. Since the event coincides with Move-In Day and the first day of the largest Orientation, we also have many families in attendance. It is an annual event which continues to grow throughout the years. Although an exact count is difficult to estimate, we have thousands of faculty, staff, students, and community members in attendance each year.

Who can register for Catapalooza?

We invite all community and campus organizations, businesses and student organizations to register for Catapalooza.  It is our expectation that organizations hosting booths will provide information on opportunities, goods, or services to all MSU students regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, disability status, or personal preferences.

When can I register?

You are allowed to register beginning in April up until the middle of August. Please note that the sooner a club or organization registers, the better we can accommodate a request. All organizations wishing to serve food must register more than a week in advance. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, August 6, 2014.

How do I register?

Online via the Catapalooza website. Registration opens at the beginning of April and will close on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Click HERE for the registration page.

How many people attend Catapalooza?

Approximately 4000 people attend Catapalooza. This number is comprised of parents, students, family members, faculty, staff, and community members. It is difficult to get an exact count because of the open-air atmosphere, but it's a large event! Catapalooza convenes on the first day of our largest orientation (generally between 800-1200 students and their family members) and Move-In Day. This is also a time when many students are returning to campus to get books, new Cat Cards and taking care of other business before school starts.

How large is my space for Catapalooza?

The standard space given to a registered club or organization measures approximately 10 feet in width. Unless you have made an expressed agreement with the Catapalooza coordinator, please plan on your space measuring 10 feet. Exhibitors are allowed to use a reasonable area behind them for other set up or temporary storage of personal items. Tables provided to MSU groups are 8 feet long. Please be respectful of other exhibitor's areas and use only your designated space. All large displays or vehicles must be approved through the Catapalooza coordinators by August 1, 2014. Please make sure to disclose your request to or give us a call at 406-994-2837.

Do I have to have someone at my table at all times?

Many students and family members have questions about all the new opportunities available at MSU. As a result, we find it best for our students and your booth if someone is present at all times. We strongly encourage that you find at least one person to staff the booth throughout the two-day event. If it is impossible to have someone at your booth at all times or for both days, we would request that you let the Catapalooza staff know so that you are not removed from your spot. Secondly, please do not leave flyers at your booth unattended. Not only does this tactic not get a very positive response but it also may litter the campus should we have breezy weather.

Can my display access power?

There is VERY limited access to power, and this will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.  For more information, email or call Robin Mayer at 994-2837.

Can I give away food?

Yes! We understand that food is very helpful in attracting students and their families! In the interest of public health and safety, we work very closely to monitor the distribution of food. The sanitarian requires that anyone who gives away food must fill out the appropriate paperwork. Food distribution even includes prepackaged goods such as candy, bottled water, canned soda, popsicles, etc. Again, food cannot be sold. If you are giving out food or beverages, please visit our vendor guildline page for more information and the appropriate application. You must let the Catapalooza staff aware of your intent to vendor food or drinks at the event in your application. Should you chance your plans to serve food (or to no longer serve food), please email the staff at REMINDER: Any beverage given away must be a Pepsi product as our MSU campus has an active, exclusive contract with the company. For a list of acceptable beverages, please click here.

Can I request a specific location for my booth?

As much as we would love to be able to accommodate all booth location requests, with over 300 booths each year, we are unable to accommodate the large number of special requests. That in mind, please refrain from making location requests. Our pool of exhibitors changes up to the last minute. As such, we do not create a map of the mall and individual placements until the night before Catapalooza. If you plan on brining an approved large display, our Catapalooza coordinators will work to give you an appropriate space that has been pre-approved by MSU Safety and Risk Management. The Catapalooza staff greatly appreciates your patience in this matter.
Remember, there are NO undesirable locations at Catapalooza!

Can I get more chairs or tables to be pre-set up for us?

Unfortunately, we have a limited amount of tables and chairs. As a result of space and limited resources, on campus groups will be provided with two chairs and one table. You are welcome to bring additional set up. Please keep in mind that nothing may be secured by staking it into the ground. Exhibitors may tie their displays and tents to heavy objects such as cinder blocks.

I'm bringing a tent. How can I secure it?

As mentioned above, we have wiring and a sprinkler system located in the ground. DO NOT stake anything into the ground! You are welcome to tie your tent or canopy to a heavy object such as cinder blocks, sand bags, or bricks. Individuals are in charge of bringing their own grounding materials.

What kind of music can I play at Catapalooza?

We love the atmosphere that music provides! This is why we have a few select sources for music and entertainment. Selected live acts will be featured on the stage by Montana Hall and a local radio station will be broadcasting from the event. We politely request that individuals not bring their own music to play aloud.

Can my band play at Catapalooza?

We welcome all acts interested in Catapalooza to contact our office by calling 406-994-2837 or dropping us an email at! Since Catapalooza is a family event that takes place amidst numerous professional offices, we ask that our performers not use profanity and play at a reasonable level. If your act is selected for a spot at Catapalooza, we will provide the sound equipment and stage.

Can we solicit donations at Catapalooza?

While a donation is not an exchange of goods or services, campus policies prevent us from allowing outside solicitations of money from students, parents, and other members of the MSU community. We apologize for this inconvenience. Please visit here for further information on this policy.

Can I sell items at Catapalooza?

We request and will enforce that vendors DO NOT sell goods or services (no exchange of money) at Catapalooza.  Instead, be prepared to distribute informational items, coupons, hand-outs, freebies, company contact information, etc. to promote your company or organization.  You may use this opportunity or refer students to a store, restaurant, or website.  We request that students and their families continue to feel safe to approach any booth without the anxiety of being obligated to purchasing an item. Catapalooza is a tremendous opportunity to market your business and invite the students, MSU employees and others in our community to patronize your organization.  This is not an invitation to sell your products on site.

If you collect contact information from potential customers interested in purchasing goods or services, you must contact the potential customer after Catapalooza re-confirming their interest before any transactions take place.  We ask that you DO NOT use any contact information you collect at Catapalooza for purposes other than to contact those individuals about this specific interaction or transaction, and please do not add a potential customer to any mailing lists without their specific consent.

Violation of any portion of this policy will jeopardize a company or community organization’s invitation to participate in future Catapalooza events.

What is the MSU Tobacco Use Policy?
The use of tobacco (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco and all other tobacco products) by students, faculty, staff, guests, visitors, and contractors is prohibited on all properties owned or leased by MSU. For more information on this policy, visit:

COMPLIANCE: All university employees, students, visitors, guests, and contractors are required to comply with this policy, which shall remain in effect at all times. Refusal to comply with this policy may be cause for disciplinary action in accordance with employee and student conduct policies. Refusal to comply with the policy by visitors, guests and contractors may be grounds for removal from campus.