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.
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:
What you will need:
What Viva! will provide:
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.)
What you will need:
What Viva! will provide:
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!).
The stall—all systems go!
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!
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 also host our own events and so if you'd like to get more experience doing street activism before setting up your own stall please consider joining our Street Action Network.