Creative & Engaging Tabling Ideas

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Description

This training provides a quick refresher for key considerations for tabling and then moves on to a deeper discussion in creative ways that CCL groups throughout the country engage community members in their tabling efforts. 

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TOC and Guide Section
 
Background
CCL volunteers use five levers of political will to move Congress forward on climate change. One of those five levers is grassroots outreach—educating and connecting with the community about the challenge of climate change and solutions like Carbon Fee and Dividend. This outreach often happens in the form of tabling at festivals, farmers markets, movie screenings, and other community events. Creative approaches and  artful tools can help you draw the public in and then keep the interested parties at the table long enough to explain Carbon Fee and Dividend and persuade them to write a letter to Congress right in front of your very eyes.

Before moving on to such advanced techniques, of course, review the basic tabling resources on CCL Community. What follows below are ideas that supplement those fundamental good practices.

Drawing them in

The number one rule of tabling is to be friendly and look friendly, and that means among other things, you should not sit behind the table and read your cell phone until someone approaches. You should engage the public and not challenge them. Ask them a positive question like, “Can I tell you about the good news about climate change?”

If you get the attention of the children walking by, then their parents are sure to follow. Here you will most likely need some props: for example, a large-size Jenga game is a good choice, perhaps with CCL slogans written on the blocks. The CCL Atlanta chapter created a version of the game with colored blocks, and this helpful graphic sits on the table to explain how burning fossil fuels destabilizes our climate, just as removing blocks destabilizes the Jenga tower. Some parents and other visitors will want to play also, and it’s a great way to engage people in conversation about climate change and our solution.

Materials, props, and games at the ready

The games for kids lead to consideration of materials and props of general use at the table. Offering a homemade cookie after the visitor writes a letter to Congress seems to be almost sure-fire—in one Texas event, it brought in 700 letters!

A scientific experiment can draw the public in and keep them there. Here's one simple write-up science experiment demonstration from CCL TX Houston of the greenhouse effect using two clear glass containers, two thermometers, and a lightbulb to stand in for the sun (for this display, of course, you will need an electric source). One container has carbonated water and the other tap water, and the one with carbonated water will heat up more rapidly.

“Capes for kids” to dress as “climate heroes” and be photographed by their parents/guardians at your table can get attention. Consider trying elements of the Kids Climate Carnival developed by Bob and Suzannah Ciernia from CCL MN Northfield. You can put a stack of books about climate change on the table for the public to look through and take pictures of table visitors for use later on the web (with their permission).

Art projects offer many possibilities, from “hockey stick” banners to climate-related coloring books to handmade postcards with a climate change message printed on them. The CCL WV Charleston chapter created a powerful climate art banner you might also try to mimic or share about nonpartisanship with a “Mascot Mashup” activity, in which various parts of elephants and donkeys can be mixed to produce funny creatures indeed.

While the kids are engaged in an art project, parents and other visitors can write a letter to Congress or learn more about CCL. Here's some creative and humorous postcards for tabling that Leila Hadj-Chikh made including a Game of Thrones theme. During the conversation, you might consider using CCL’s Carbon Dividend Calculator, which is an engaging, web-based tool that shows how the Energy Innovation Act would affect someone’s household budget.

Advanced table operations

Some tablers have an assembly-line operation, with greeters out front who pass the interested parties on to people at the table who can engage them more closely and at greater length in conversation.  Strategic locations for your table can help—for example, next to lines of customers waiting to get their nachos at an outdoor festival. You can even “table” without a table by taking clipboards to conventions, marches, or film festivals. 

Finally, it is vital for making your operations more advanced to debrief as a group afterward and share experiences of what worked. You should be sure to have photographs to extend the life of your event online and on social media. For the people who stopped by your table, you should follow up within 24 hours with thanks and a link to CCL’s introductory call.

Length
Press play to start the video (36m 18s)
https://vimeo.com/album/5515874
Video Outline

To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro and Agenda
(from beginning)

Quick Review
(3:48)

Drawing Them In
(6:39)

Materials
(14:50)

Advanced Formations
(14:39)

Final Thoughts
(30:48)

Instructor(s)
Brett Cease
Downloads

Download PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.

Download the video.
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (36m 18s)
Audio embed code

Audio Outline

To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro and Agenda
(from beginning)

Quick Review
(3:48)

Drawing Them In
(6:39)

Materials
(14:50)

Advanced Formations
(14:39)

Final Thoughts
(30:48)

Instructor(s)
Brett Cease
Go Deeper
Check out the Community Outreach Training Topic for more specific outreach ideas to certain communities.
Discussion Topic
To Print
Instructions for printing this page on Community.
Category
Training
Topics
Grassroots Outreach
Format
Audio / Video, Presentation
File Type
Google Slides, PowerPoint (.pptx)
Training Resources
See all resources associated with Grassroots Outreach.