Thursday, 29 August 2013

16 Tips that helped my booth look great

I am back, and unpacked from my craft show/pioneer festival last weekend.  I thought I would share with you my tips for what worked best, and also so I can look back on this next year to refresh my memory.

Let me start off by saying that one of the rules for this show was that all tents, tablecloths, chairs etc had to be neutral and of the period (no plastic, no bright colours).
Tip # 1:  Read the rules, and follow them.  It goes a long way to establishing good will between the organizers and the vendors.
Tip #2:  add some bunting, flags, something to the outside of the tent that will move in the breeze and catch the eye of passers-by with the motion.
 Tip #3:  Bring flowers or a plant.  This actually drew a lot of people directly to my tent - only 3 vendors had them, that I saw.  Also, weather permitting, set up a piece of your display outside the tent...also attracts attention.
 Tip #4: Set up at least part of the display the way it would be used.  It takes a bit more space, but if you have it, use it!
 Tip #5:  Take a bit of time to prepare some options for your items.  I wrapped a few packages to diplay gift tags, and I also had a handful hanging from evergreen branches in a vase (to suggest a Christmas tree).  This is the first time I displayed them like this, and it definitely helped sell them.
 Tip # 6:  Show more than one way to use an item, if possible...
 ...and if you can't show it, explain it.  I had this one displayed as a sewing notions bowl, but explained that it could also be used for olives with toothpicks (for instance - thanks A).
 Tip # 7:  Group like items and levels, levels, levels.  People will browse much longer if there eye keeps moving.  Items laid out flat on a table can be glanced at too quickly.
 Tip # 8:  Group like colours or styles together.  I noticed people gravitated automatically to the colour that caught their interest.  It makes more impact than having them all mixed in together.
Tip # 9:  Keep your pieces in mind when working on your backgrounds.  I tried to keep browns behind light pieces, and whites behind dark pieces.  It makes them pop.
 Tip # 10: Use props that are appropriate to the show.  Think outside the box.  I had plenty of people stop to chat about the antiques I was using as props.  Even if they don't buy anything, it keeps people in your booth longer and draws more people to see "what's so interesting over there".
 Tip # 11: Consider having a "Special Feature" that is just for that one show.  I featured mugs for this show, as they were serving tea across from me.  My next show is at a school, so I will feature something more geared to children.
 Tip # 12:  Have a place for people to rest, if the show requires much walking.  Elderly people appreciate this, and it allows their companions to browse while they rest.  Also, the fans!  It was HOT!  It was sunny.  I had fans available for people to take with them to enjoy the show, and then return them on their way out (I was by the entrance/exit).  They appreciated the fan, and it brought them back to my booth a second time.

Lucky # 13: (that was my booth) - Have one or two items displayed in a gift box.  I sold every item that had a turn in "the box".  Coincidence?  Not's the first time I tried it.  I will do it again.
 Tip # 14:  Find some way to divide your booth from the next.  My tent happens to have zippered screens that I can shut all the way, but from inside my tent you could see the back of the display pieces in the next booth (where they were hiding their Tim's cups and other garbage).  I put up several garlands and it kind of fooled your eye into stopping at the wall.
Tip # 15:  Participate fully!  If costumes are part of the show, wear a costume.  Support and visit other vendors.  Purchase your snack from a vendor on site instead of having someone bring you one from Timmy's.  It's all part of being a participating member of the show.
Tip # 16:  If at all possible, demonstrate your craft in the down times.  Obviously this won't work for everyone, but if you knit, embroider, crochet, sew, sculpt you can find a way to do it.  We had a canoe builder demonstrating his skills, as well as a blacksmith working on his forge, a weaver, a's all part of the "show".

I had a lot of positive feedback from my booth, as did the show organizer.  The extra effort pays off both in sales and for future shows (next year, I get to pick my spot as my booth was highly talked about - how's that for making you feel the effort was worth it).   Good luck to you all with your next show.


  1. Great tips!

    I'm glad it was a great show. :-)

  2. You booth looked amazing! Congratulations! Just popped over from Natural Suburbia. :-) Off to explore you blog a bit more now!

  3. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!