Pop-up displays for recruitment

woman dancing on publicity banner

u3as have been sharing ideas with each other and coming up with resources to help the movement retain and recruit members during this time and beyond. This series hosts the new resources (toolkit) for u3a members to use when needed. 

How to guide: Pop-up displays for recruitment


This guide describes how you set up a small portable (pop-up) display at a venue for recruiting members. This guide is for use once social distancing is over!

Your experiences of using this guide are of vital importance. Please send your suggestions for improvement to

When would you use a pop-up display?

  • After a Committee-led period of assessment of readiness for recruitment;
  • After a reconnaissance visit to the venue for risk assessment and liaison with the organisers or managers of the event/venue.
  • After a poster advertising when you will be there has been up for at least a week;
  • After a post advertising the event has been shared on local community social media;
  • And at a time which maximises the benefit gained for the time invested.

How to create your pop up display

  • Buy branded merchandise from National u3a Office, e.g. a cover for a display table with a u3a logo, pull up lightweight banners and/or feather banners, giveaway items like pens, bookmarks, leaflets etc, and create posters to pre-advertise your presence. Consider investing in branded clothing/sashes.
  • Obtain a suitable collapsible table and possibly a display board.
  • Include old copies of Third Age Matters, note pads, membership forms, contact details of membership secretary and u3a website.


  • Set up in high-footfall areas appropriate to the u3a age group, such as supermarkets, clinics, retirement events, libraries etc.
  • Display the pop-up at the monthly speaker meeting for members to see so that they become aware of recruitment, and may offer suggestions and help – e.g. enlist crafters to embellish the pop up to increase its vibrancy.
  • Have a social gathering for those who will staff the pop up display, so they know each other and can plan how to transport things, erect the pop-up and (very important) interact with the public
  • Appoint a coordinator who stores the pop up, keeps the schedule of events and dates/times, and sets up and issues a rota for the event of member volunteers
  • Have at least one experienced, well-informed & sociable committee member at each pop-up event.
  • Develop a crib sheet for reference, with a list of interest groups, contact details, venues, dates of monthly meetings with speakers, coffee mornings and all things relevant for a new member.
  • Notify the members when and where the pop-ups will be, encourage them to come along to support, and encourage them to advertise it.
  •  After each event have a thank you, reward meeting with complimentary coffee and cake or glass of something to assess its success and make adjustments for the next event, if necessary.
  • Keep holding these pop-up events, make them fun and enlist as much help as possible.

A downloadable version of this resource is available on our website.

See the Recruitment category for more of the series.