Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Street stalls

 

Top tips for running a Viva! stall

If you’ve decided to get active for the animals and hold a Viva! stall—thank you! You are helping to spread the word that eating animals is cruel and unnecessary and that veggie living is the only way to go!

So let’s get down to specifics: what type of stall would you like to run—a street stall or perhaps a stall at a public event such as a Christmas fayre, summer fete or green festival? Although many of the principles of holding a successful stall apply to both, as you will see below, there are some differences which should be borne in mind.

Street Stalls

Although permission and a permit is required from your local council to hold a street collection, this shouldn’t be necessary for a street stall, where you will not actively be collecting money but obtaining petition signatures, giving out information and accepting any donations offered to you. If you have any doubts or concerns about possible regulations or restrictions, however, contact your local council and they will advise you  accordingly. Usually it’s fine to hold one in a public place (that’s not privately owned) so long as you are not causing an obstruction. If you are considering holding a stall within a shopping centre, you will need to get in touch with the manager.

Once the venue and date has been agreed, you can now start planning—it’s all systems go!! To guarantee the effectiveness of your stall, we suggest you follow our tips for success:

Preparation

What you will need:

  • a pasting or fold-away table like the one shown right - if you don’t have one, these can be bought quite cheaply from DIY stores
     

  • a tablecloth—this makes the stall look more professional and also hides from view any bags or boxes that may be stored under the table
     
  • clipboards and pens for petitions
     
  • if you have permission to collect, use a bucket for donations (cover it with brightly coloured paper and the Viva! logo and the words ‘SAVING ANIMALS’) —this has been found to be really effective (we can alternatively provide a collecting tin). Otherwise, take a container with you to keep any donations made on the day.
  • elastic bands—to go round leaflets to stop them blowing away!

What Viva! will provide:

  • blank petition forms—a notice stating ‘Please sign our petition to….’ will help draw people in to the stall
     
  • leaflets—have a good read through these before the stall takes place so that you can inform people confidently about Viva!’s campaigns (there’s also information about all our campaigns here on the website).
     
  • campaign update request forms for people to complete
     
  • posters—if you do stalls regularly consider getting posters laminated so that you can re-use over and over again. Or, think about preparing an eye-catching display board

Setting up

Before setting up, think about the best place to hold your stall. If possible, choose a pitch where your table will be sheltered from the elements (the sun as well as the more likely wind and rain!). Also make sure you are not obstructing shop fire exits or pedestrian walkways.

Consider how leaflets and petitions are displayed—petitions should be at the front of the stall, within easy reach, and affixed to clipboards. Consider how your stall looks to people approaching it —is it eye-catching and attractive?

The stall—up and running!

A helping hand

Ideally you will have someone to give you a hand with the stall, and help deal with the potentially steady stream of people coming up to ask questions and find out more. Two or three people should be sufficient to man a street stall—any more and you may find that passers-by will find the ‘welcoming committee’ offputting!

Attracting attention

If you’re feeling confident, call out to passers-by and ask them to sign your petitions—once at the stall you can talk to them in more detail about the issues.

Awkward questions

Most conversations you have with people will usually be quite general but it’s just possible that you will get 1 or 2 sticky questions that prove harder to answer. (There’s always one isn’t there?!) To help you with these, we have prepared the ‘20 most commonly asked questions about veganism/vegetarianism’ which you can print out if you wish. If you still get stuck—don’t worry, you can’t know the answer to everything! — just take down the person’s details and question and we will get back to them, or they might like to contact us directly.

Be pro-active

Although holding a street stall in itself is a worthwhile exercise, bringing Viva!’s work to a wider audience, with a little extra effort it can be even more productive. How? By asking people to sign up to receive campaign updates and providing all visitors to the stall with a Viva! joining leaflet. It’s simple, but effective!

After the stall

Please remember to post off to Viva! any completed petitions, forms requesting further details, queries and of course donations! Now congratulate yourself on a job well done!

Stalls at Public Events

Now, the possibilities of these can be endless!! There are so many options to have a stall at a public event and they can provide a great opportunity to not only promote Viva!’s work and the benefits (to animals, people and the planet) of a veggie diet, but also sell a selection of Viva! merchandise—and, if you’re game, a choice of yummy vegan cakes! (Check out ‘Books For Life’ for a wide selection of recipe books—Viva! recommends ‘The Cake Scoffer’ for starters, available at just £1.25.)

Preparation

What you will need:

  • a table—these are often provided for events but if not can be purchased quite cheaply from DIY stores —pasting tables are practical and fold away for easy 
    storage and transportation
  • a tablecloth—this makes the stall look more professional and also hides from view any bags or boxes that may be stored under the table
  • price stickers for merchandise—these can be made out of card and affixed to items with blu-tac—alternatively just display the price list provided by Viva! in a prominent position
  • a small float (there’s always someone who buys a 40p badge with a £5 note!)
  • calculator—unless you’re better with figures than we are!
  • carrier bags—these may not be necessary if only smaller items are sold but are 
    usually appreciated—clean, reused ones from supermarkets etc are fine
  • clipboards and pens for petitions (space permitting) and catalogue request forms
  • a bucket for donations (covered with brightly coloured paper and the Viva! logo and the words ‘SAVING ANIMALS’) —or a collecting tin if limited space

What Viva! will provide:

  • a selection of affordable merchandise (Viva! guides, badges, pens, window stickers) — subject to agreement, you can purchase a limited number of items from Viva! at a reduced price for you to sell on your stall(s). Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to offer merchandise on a sale or return basis.
  • leaflets—it’s a good idea to have a read through these before the stall takes place so that you can inform people confidently about Viva!’s campaigns
  • gift/book catalogues and catalogue request forms for people to complete to 
    request new ones and special offers
  • blank petition forms
  • posters—if you do stalls regularly you might consider getting posters laminated so that you can re-use over and over again. Or, why not think about preparing an eye-catching display board?

Setting up

Carefully consider how merchandise and information (and cakes!) can be displayed attractively. Posters displayed at the front of the stall may become obscured by visitors to the stall so consider possibilities for a backdrop (easy if you’ve got a wall behind you!).

Ensure that prices can be clearly viewed (so that people don’t need to ask—some won’t bother!) and that petitions and catalogue request forms are easily accessible

The stall—all systems go!

Attracting attention

Depending where your ‘pitch’ is you may have a steady stream of passers-by and so not need to actively attract people to the stall—or it may be in a quiet corner where you will need to work harder and encourage passers-by to stop. You might call on them to sign petitions or take away free literature—or draw their attention to the delicious vegan cakes on sale!

Be pro-active

Although holding a stall in itself can be a worthwhile exercise, bringing Viva!’s work to a wider audience, with a little extra effort it can be even more productive. How? By asking as many people as possible to sign up to receive free copies of our gift/book catalogues and providing all visitors to the stall with a Viva! joining leaflet and copies of our ‘Gifts For Life’ and ‘Books For Life’ catalogues.

After the stall

Don’t forget to send Viva! any completed petitions, catalogue requests and of course donations collected from the event. And that’s it—a job well done—until the next time!

We hope you’ll find holding a stall as enjoyable and rewarding as we do. It’s a fantastic way to reach new people and really raise the profile of vegetarianism and veggie issues. If you’d like any additional advice, email us or give us a call on 0117 944 1000.