Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Craft Show Booth Makeover

This weekend was the debut of my new and improved show display and, frankly, it was such a relief to stand behind a display table that I could take pride in.

I participated my first craft/art shows last holiday season, and quickly learned how important merchandising and booth displays are. I needed to seriously rethink my table, so I started by reading related articles and obsessively looking at other artists' booth display photos on Flickr. This gave some good general ideas, and a few examples of what not to do. Then I remembered a fellow artist had told me about Bruce Baker's CDs on booth design and sales techniques, so I ordered them up and heeded his insight.

When redesigning my display, I considered table height, varying levels, signage, colors, and overall impression. When at the show, I kept in mind the great advice he gave about selling, like standing as much as possible and never using the word "no."

I definitely saw a difference in how my jewelry was received by shoppers. Because I had made it easier for them to view my pieces, they stayed longer and tried more pieces on. And because I had a new view on how to interact with the customer, they asked more questions and stayed engaged in friendly conversation longer.

What a difference these changes have made. I hope to fill up my summertime schedule with more shows and events, and I plan on making retail selling a larger part of my business strategy.

If you are considering being involved in shows, or want to renovate your booth display, Craft show 101 is a great place to start. Good luck!