Yarra Libraries ran a great pop-up event where they headed out of the familiar walls of the library and took their digital event out into the community. Their 'Digital Boot Camp' booth gave people the chance to learn about technology and also discover resources available through the library.
Here are some tips from Yarra Libraries for running your own pop-up booth in a community space or event:
Tip 1: Go to where the people are
Let's face it, life can get busy and trying to get people to your library, community centre or event can be challenging – especially on the weekends! Rather than waiting for people to come to your event, try going to where they'll be. A place like the Richmond Citizens Park was perfect for this pop-up because of the guaranteed crowd of all ages with other activities happening in the area.
Tip 2: Step out and meet people
The great thing about mobile technology is that it's mobile! This means you can step away from your pop-up area and talk to the people around you. Yarra Libraries had 1-2 staff members at the stand while the rest of the rest of the staff walked around the football field talking to parents, grandparents and kids. They also walked through the market that was happening, handing out brochures and totes and telling people about their booth.
Tip 3: Create an engaging space
Your pop-up space needs to be inviting and engaging if you want people to talk to you. Yarra Libraries used some great signage including pull-up banners (which can be used at other events) with the 'Discover Digitial' call-to-action on them to grab people's attention. 'Discover Digital' is their ongoing theme for promoting digital resources in the library to raise awareness of the wealth of digital resources available. They also had plenty to give away including Go Digi tote bags packed with information.
Also, make sure people can see the technology available for them and have it easy to access and use. It's a digital event after all, so give people a practical hands-on opportunity!
The Yarra Libraries team also recommend working with other events in the area. For example, the markets that were running had a free stall specifically for community groups to use.
Tip 4: Be flexible
'Digital' is a very broad subject and when you're out in the community, you'll need to be flexible with the questions that come up. For example, Daniel (one of the staff) spent the whole day helping people with their phones and teaching them about iPads.
Natasha met a gentleman from L.A. who was visiting his daughter and was simply interested in having a chat about how he loves reading digital books and accessing resources at home without having to go to the library.
Tip 5: Give yourself enough time to set up and pack down
Make sure you're all set for when the crowds arrive. This means getting to your venue early, making sure you have everything and even adding a bit of time just in case you've forgotten something. Also, don't forget to allow yourself time to pack down. This can be a good opportunity to chat to your team about how they felt the day went.
If you're thinking of running your own pop-up digital learning event, we'd love to hear about it. Make sure you register as a Network Partner and add your event to the map!