Keys to a Good Promotional Table
Keys to a Great Promo Table
As you seek to develop a Gospel presence on your campus, one of the most common forms of outreach in campus ministry is promotional tabling events. Most universities give opportunities for registered student organizations to host a table in prominent places on campus. Sometimes this is for specific events, like a Fall or Spring promotional expo. At other times, you might choose to host a promo table weekly.
When you’re at promotional events with literally hundreds of other promotional tables, how can yours stand out? What do you need to do to have a successful table? Here are some things you should consider. You don’t need to do all of these, but many of them are helpful!
A Sharp Tablecloth: If you can afford it, get a tablecloth with your logo on it! If not, at least have a dark cloth that your other materials will stand out on. A plastic tablecloth from the dollar tree and a cardboard presentation board will not help you stand out at major promotional events.
Printed Materials: There are a few pieces of printed materials that are important to have. Here are some examples:
Invitation Card: This 4x6 card with the name of your student organization, a sharp picture of your group, and your meeting rooms and times is really helpful for students to take with them.
Church Information Card: Many students will ask you about your church. It’s wise to have information about your church location, service times, young adults group, etc. available to anyone who stops by your table.
Gospel Tracts: This might be your only chance to share the Gospel with someone who comes by your table. Some will ask what your Bible study believes. If you have a sharp-looking tract at your table, it might be your most strategic way to give someone the Gospel message in 30 seconds.
Bible Study Promotion: Whether it’s a poster or a copy of your Bible study itself, if you’re starting the year with a strong Bible study, highlight it! There will be students who are interested in your topic.
Business Card: If they would like to follow up with you more personally, it’s nice to give them a business card with your email or phone number.
Competition: Competition always brings excitement. When students start having fun at your table, other students start coming around. Whether you bring a cornhole board, a small table competition, or a spin-the-wheel for college dormitory materials (toilet paper, air fresheners, detergent, etc.), whatever competition you can get going, it will attract students.
Signup Opportunity: Whether it’s an online form on your tablet, a visitor card, or a simple signup form with name, email, phone number, and gender, you want some way to “set the hook” with the people you meet. Getting their contact information gives you a way to catch up with the contacts you meet.
Giveaways & Gimmicks: A solid giveaway can help garner interest and give you a chance to promote long after the table. As students carry around your memorabilia, they are promoting your student org wherever they go. Here are a few ideas, using 4imprint.com as an example of a place you can order them.
Stickers: These are super popular right now. Students put these on the back of their laptops (https://www.4imprint.com/product/3835-3-FC/Full-Color-Sticker-Circle-3).
Keychains: Students hang these on their backpacks (https://www.4imprint.com/product/151113/Belvedere-Keychain)
Pens: There are tons and tons of pen options available, but even a simple pen will get used often (https://www.4imprint.com/product/154307/Daley-Pen).
Bags: When students get a ton of giveaways at events, they struggle to carry them all around. Bags like this are super helpful to them, and it’s an excellent way to promote your group all around campus! (https://www.4imprint.com/product/146625-1512/Recyclable-Reinforced-Handle-Plastic-Bag-15-x-12)
Wristbands: This might be something your committed members will enjoy most. Wearing it gives them a chance to tell others about their Bible Study group! (https://www.4imprint.com/product/7919/Custom-Silicone-Bracelet-Low-Qty)
Notebook: Something simple like this is a fun gimmick as well. (https://www.4imprint.com/product/160268/TaskRight-Sticky-Memo-Set)
Flash Drive: This is a more expensive option, so you could have just a few and use them as a big give-away. As an example, you could say “If you sign up on our contact sheet, you’ll be entered to win one of these…” (https://www.4imprint.com/product/112703-B-2G/Swing-USB-Drive-Black-2GB-3-Day)
T-shirt: These are always great for a giveaway, but you’d probably want to do a selective give-away like the flash drive idea listed above (https://www.4imprint.com/product/105233-M-FC-C/Gildan-53-oz-Cotton-T-Shirt-Mens-Full-Color-Colors; https://www.4imprint.com/product/105233-L-S-C/Gildan-53-oz-Cotton-T-Shirt-Ladies-Screen-Colors).
Banner: If you’re able to get a nicely made banner that either sits on your table or stands behind you, it attracts a lot of eyeballs. As students stare at your banner, they often find their feet moving closer and closer to your table.
International Flair: If you research your campus and you know what larger international demographics are there, you can have some things at your table prepared for these students. You could have some of your promotional materials or tracts available in their language. For a new student who landed in the U.S. mere weeks before they met you, to see something in their language on your table could be a huge encouragement and show them that you’re thinking about them!
A Way to Ask Questions: If you have a whiteboard, you can take polls or ask thought-provoking questions that begin good conversations with students. Just make sure that whoever is at the table is ready to answer those questions.
Your Best People: As much as all of these things can win people over, there’s nothing better than a personal connection. Whether you have outgoing students who are comfortable reaching out or students who you’re training to be better witnesses, it always works better to have students at the table. You as a pastor or campus leader might be able to speak more smoothly than a student, but students can connect with other students in ways that you never could.
This might seem overwhelming or expensive, but if you pick a few of these ideas and try them out, they can change a lot for you! Just imagine, as you put your best foot forward at a promo table, you might get to meet a student you’ll lead to the Lord, a future officer, or even a faithful member of your campus ministry and church. Promo tables are strategic and vitally important, so give it your best effort and pray that God brings the right students your way!