Tabling Tips from a Recruitment Pro (and Video!)

by Vince Fabra

[Be sure to check out the videos linked at the bottom of this blog]

phiredup_tabling_rpssignEvery fraternity/sorority tabling effort (tables on the campus quad, in the student union, or at an activties fair) has used the same impassionate, uncreative and borderline creepy method dating back to when our founders put on their Fall Rush bowler hats and manned a mahogany drop leaf table. We gather together every piece of Greek memorabilia and put it on display as best we can. Our members man the table, wearing their favorite rush shirt or letter shirt, and the topics of conversation range from our awesome fraternity to our awesome fraternity.  I have coined a phrase for this method – FRATuration (saturated with fraternity).

There is a new method that I have had plenty success using. Not only has it been proven effective on expansions, but my recruitment partners and I had a blast meeting people, making friends, and getting names and numbers at an impressive rate.

1 Table.
1 Sign that reads – Rock, Paper, Scissors Challenge.

Let people know what happens when they choose to accept the challenge by writing on the sign…

YOU WIN: High 5 + Candy
YOU LOSE: Hear Our Pitch (30 secs)

With this sign on a blank table, people are going to ask to themselves or ask you, “What is this for?” (How many people were asking that question with FRATuration? It was pretty obvious why you were tabling).

Getting people to your table will not be difficult because who doesn’t enjoy a quick game of RPS? However, they aren’t going to just give you their information. These are five tips to get names and numbers after your rock beats their scissors.

  1. Give them a High Five and candy just for playing. Whatever your reward is for winning, it becomes your reward for participating. This gesture is a “thank you” for playing, and will further drop a guard.
  2. Honor their time. If your sign says 30 seconds, then get your pitch down to 30 seconds.
  3. Give them a takeaway. This should be a professional and informative handout. I recommend something that is 1/3 of a page.
  4. Include your information on the takeaway. THIS IS KEY. If point out that you have given them your information then they will be much more likely to give you their info in return.
  5. Challenge anyone and everyone. Greek, Non Greek, Male, Female, Student, Professor. A tour rolling through the center of campus (Make a tournament). This is a great way to create a buzz on campus. Approach every RPS matchup as a potential new friend and not a potential new member, and people will sense your authenticity and be willing to help.

I am not saying that playing RPS will be the key to your recruitment success. However, this method of tabling is much more effective than a using a display that looks like your organization threw up on a table.

After you RPS, feel free to try some other suggestions.

  • Putt Putt Challenge (Go get a $12 putting green at Wal-Mart)
  • Lawn Dart Challenge (Set – $15)
  • B-Ball Challenge (Kiddie Goal – $20)
  • World Cup Challenge (Soccer Goal – $25)
  • Trivia Challenge (Question – Free)

Here are some links to VIDEO of some of the creative methods in action (from my days at Pi Kappa Phi last year):