Running recruitment stalls

2 August 2023

Stalls are a great way to meet potential members and members who want to be more involved, and so increase membership and, vitally, attract new activists. Stalls also raise our profile and show that we are an active union.

The best way to recruit a potential member is to talk about what UCU is doing about issues of interest to them. If they show an interest in joining, ask them if they want to get involved (explaining that they can do as much or as little as they want) and also leave them an application form for a colleague.

  • Set up a stall in a busy area, ie in an area where staff walk at lunchtime, outside a large department, in the foyer, on a well-used corridor or near a staff room or cafĂ©.
  • For a successful stall, plan in advance:
    • what is the aim of the stall? Choose location and materials Use large posters visible from a distance. Take Blu-tack, Sellotape and elastic bands to keep campaign material from blowing away
    • choose a location which maximises the stall's effectiveness by going to the staff that you want to influence (ie if you want to campaign on fixed-term contracts, a science area would be a good place to start).
  • Use the stall to distribute a local newsletter or publicise a meeting. Branches are often very busy in negotiations and dealing with members' problems and yet don't always get recognition for this as they don't regularly tell potential members about their successes. A simple A5 newsletter can be written in less than one hour and could include bullet points of issues being tackled with links to the local Ask your local committee to provide one or write one yourself and get it approved by the committee.
  • Publicise the stall in advance by email, leaflet and posters and just talking to colleagues and asking them to let others know.
  • Get other members involved. Fix up a rota and ask members to spend half an hour at the stall during the busiest times, ie between 12 and 2pm. Ringing your reps can get more response than just emails - even if someone spends just 15 or 20 minutes, it all helps.
  • Set up the stall earlier in the You can leave it unattended except for the busiest periods. This catches the attention of the maximum number of staff - if you set up when you get into work and clear it away just before leaving you can catch colleagues throughout the day.
  • Stalls can be set up to coincide with conferences, departmental and other staff meetings. Induction days for new staff are an ideal time to set up a stall and meet potential members. Ask members to be on the stall - choose those similar to the new starters as 'like recruits like'.
  • Hold stalls in areas where we have no departmental representatives and low membership and use it to identify a new representative.
  • Combine a stall with one-to-one recruiting by talking with colleagues in their
  • Report back to members about the progress you made at the stall to encourage others to attend - and remember to enjoy it!
Last updated: 2 August 2023