How to Table for Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders, our inspiration, is running for President! Our Revolution created this tabling guide to help groups and activists spread the word. The most important thing you can do is to volunteer with his campaign, but until the campaign starts in your community, tabling is a tried-and-true method for reaching voters, recruiting volunteers, and building the political revolution.

What is Tabling?

Tabling is when you set up a table with campaign or organizational literature, giveaway items, and signs to spread a message. Tabling is a great tool to use in any activist campaign, especially an electoral one.

Why Table?

Tabling is a great way to increase visibility, support, and awareness of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and the issues he supports. It’s also a great opportunity to recruit volunteers! Lots of people support a candidate and announce it on social media. While this is a great way to reach people you already know, tabling allows you to connect with people you may not know. We recommend promoting both Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution, the organization founded to continue his legacy.

Where to Table?

Table where people go! We want to table in well-trafficked and highly populated areas, but also where people will stop to chat. Tabling in front of a bus or train station might seem like a good idea, but most passengers won’t give you the time of day (you should flyer instead). Look for public events like farmers markets, fairs, progressive gatherings, or candidate events. Always ask for permission to table before doing so.

Who Should Table?

Tabling is great opportunity for everyone to talk about what we believe and why we want people to join our activities. It is great to have people team up in pairs (three is great too) including someone who is more knowledgeable and someone who is newer. It is a good idea to try to have some diversity in your team whether in age, gender, race, etc. Showing that Our Revolution and Bernie Sanders supporters come from all walks of life will help us win.

What Should You Ask?

Not only are you telling people about what you like about Bernie, Our Revolution, and progressive values, but you should also be ready to make an “ask.” An “ask” is an organizing request designed to move a campaign forward.

Be prepared to ask people:

  • Will you support Bernie Sanders?
  • Will you volunteer with us? (Ideally, have another event to encourage them to attend)
  • Will you make a donation to Our Revolution?

What Should You Bring?

First, you want to bring a good attitude. Be positive even when people are being negative. That will help you and the cause get through potential impasses and recruit activists. Folks are turned off by negativity, even if it is correct. And don’t forget to Listen.

Second, you’ll want to bring the following items to help you get and keep attention:

  • Signs: Bring or make pro-Bernie and Our Revolution branded signs to show people what you are talking about.
  • Sign-in sheet: Print out a sign-in sheet for people to give you their contact information (email, phone, address, etc), and if they’re interested in volunteering for Bernie with you. Also a digital sign in form can be a good way to have people input data directly without any handwriting issues. Make sure you have enough battery life or access to an outlet.
  • Literature: Provide literature - you can print information from the campaign website or Our Revolution’s website to show people where Bernie stands on the issues.
  • Swag: Bring buttons, t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. to give away or (ideally) take donations.
  • Clipboards, pens, and paperweights: Clipboards and pens are important for volunteer signup sheets. Paperweights will prevent your campaign literature from blowing away on a breezy day!
  • Water, snacks, etc: You will need water and/or snacks on hand if you plan to table for more than an hour or two.

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