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Run a Street Stall

Stalls can be a great way to build your membership, advertise your events and raise your profile in the local community.

If you’ve never run a stall before, we can give you some tips.

Create an Eye-Catching Display

  • If your stall looks great, you may be able to get the local paper to come and take a photo and write a story on your campaign.
  • Do you have a banner or large sign that clearly states who you are and the issue you are promoting?  It may be worth holding a working bee to paint a generic banner that you can use on this and future stalls.  Flags, display boards and signs also look great.
  • Make sure you have lots or interesting materials on the topic.  For example, if your stall focuses on climate change, ask environment groups if they have any publications you could include on your stall.  Most will be happy to provide materials for free or just the cost of postage.
  • Stick to the topic.  If you are raising awareness on climate change, don’t fill up the table with information on land clearing or water issues.
  • Include things that people can do, like form letters or a petition they can sign.  Fun activities like free guessing competitions or raffles can also be great.
  • Have a contacts sheet for anyone who would like to join your group or volunteer on your campaign.
  • Keep your table looking neat and tidy.
  • Stickers or badges that you can give away for free or very cheaply can be a good attraction.  Again, environment groups may be able to assist by giving you some stickers or badges.
  • Have a tin for donations.
Choose a Good Location
  • A busy location is crucial to a good stall – you want the maximum people to see it for the minimum time spent on the stall.
  • Busy shopping centres at a peak time like Saturday mornings are usually best.  Other good locations can be at one off events like school fetes, agricultural shows, community fair days etc.
  • You may need permission to hold your stall if it is on council or privately owned land.  This is normally easy to obtain and free for non-profit community groups.  Be sure to arrange this in advance and carry a copy of the approval letter with you so a council ranger of shopping centre security guard doesn’t shut the stall down.
  • Choose a spot with plenty of room – don’t block thoroughfares or entrances to shops or you could pose a safety risk or be asked to move on by shop owners.
  • Choose a spot with easy access – can you park a car nearby to unload your table, chairs and boxes of materials.  If not, do you have enough people to help carry everything in and out?
  • Is there any shade or protection from the weather?  It can be very uncomfortable for people standing out in the hot sun for hours on end.
Choose Confident, Outgoing People to be on the Stall
  • Smile!  Be proactive and approachable.  Your manner is very important to attracting people to look at your stall.  Cheerful, confident and outgoing people make the best stall people.
  • If you have people that are willing, work the outfield.  Get a couple of your members to go out from the stall and talk to members of the public that are passing by – lots of people are too nervous to come to a stall even if they are interested or supportive. This does take confidence though, so isn’t suitable for everyone.
  • Give volunteers a one page information sheet on the key messages of your campaign so that new volunteers can feel as confident as people who have been in the group for a while.  You may like to include some frequently asked questions to help your volunteers.  Be sure to include contact numbers of anyone packing up or setting up the stall and/or people from the previous or next shift if you have rotating volunteers over the day.
  • If one person comes to look at your stall, others will follow.  If one person rejects you, it’s likely that anyone who saw them avoid you will do the same.  If a bunch of people avoid you, stop, go back to your table and start again in a few moments.
On the Day
  • If your group has matching t-shirts, make sure everyone on the stall wears them – you will look like a team and the message on the t-shirt will help explain what you are doing there.
  • Never do stalls alone – always make sure you have at least two people there at one time for safety and moral support.
  • If you don’t have anything as organised as a display rack, take some stones or paperweights to stop your materials blowing away.  Also, bring a box of items like pens, paper, string, sticky tape, blu tac and scissors to hang your signs/banners etc.
  • Take a card table for your materials as well as some fold up chairs, hats, sunscreen and water.
  • Take some photos so you can send them to the media, use them on a photoboard or put them in your next newsletter.
After the Day
  • Thank your volunteers and ask them how they felt about the stall.
  • If you are getting together as a group debrief about what people thought went well and any ideas of how your stall could be improved in the future.

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