Tabling for Mercy For Animals at the Renegade Craft Fair

This past Saturday 9/4/2012, I volunteered as part of my internship to work the table (hence the word tabling) for Mercy For Animals at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago.

Like a huge nerd, I got up there way too early because I didn’t want to deal with Chicago traffic. I was also worried about being able to find food so I went to my favorite food place, Whole Foods, and got two Upton’s eggplant foccia sandwiches and 1 seitan bbq slaw sandwich plus one cup of coffee. Armed with my products I drove to the Renegade Craft Fair and proceeded to have a fantastic day! I ate two of the eggplant sandwiches and gave the seitan one to Mikael my supervisor. We aren’t supposed to tell Pete about this because Pete loves seitan. But I broke down and told Pete anwyways.

There are a lot of positions to fill when tabling for Mercy For Animals.

1. Holding the sign that says “We will pay you $1.00 to watch a 4 minute video.” Several people asked me if this was a gimmick or if I was serious. Who wouldn’t do anything for a dollar? It’s only four minutes. And it’s great spending money and can buy beer. When I was holding the sign these were the angles I used to try and attract people to our tent to get them to watch the video. This is called a paid-per-view event. We pay you to watch a movie.

Here are pictures of me holding the sign and talking to people to get them to watch the vidoe. I had quite a few takers!

This is me talking to the guy from Zip Car which was the tent next to ours. I got him to watch the video!

Me holding the sign trying to lure people in. I worked and rocked that sign! For a person that was voted quietst in my class, I’m kind of a loud-mouth now!

Something else that has to be done when tabling is actually working the table. This means getting people set up to watch the Farms to Fridge video. It also means passing out literature, getting email sign-ups for the e-mail list, selling t-shirts, giving out bumper stickers and also letting people know what Mercy For Animals is and what we stand for.

Here’s a picture of me behind the table:

This is me giving a high-five to someone that was already a vegetarian. I gave her some recipes from our ChooseVeg magazine to take home with her.

The last thing we did is leaflet. I don’t have a picture of me doing that. Leafleting means passing out brochures to people as they pass by. Some people don’t have a clue what you’re giving them, some people take it and give it back and some people thank you for the information. I gave out a lot of brochures. What I found is asking, “Would you like some information on vegetarianism?” is an easy way to pass out a brochure versus saying, “Help stop factory farming.” or “Help stop animal cruelty.” While these are all causes we support sometimes a softer apporach works well with people to get them interested in what message you are delivering.

Here’s the last picture of me and my fellow interns manning the table at the beginning of the day. What you won’t see is my spectacular sunburn I had by the end of the day!

Pauline, Olivia and myself manning the table before the day started.

Overall it was a really successful day. I enjoyed the experience and learned a lot!

Sara Sawochka