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People visit craft shows because they value the skill and creativity required by hand made crafts... But people BUY at craft shows because of their sudden and intense love of your creations.
This guide outlines the 5 elements of successful booth displays that will help visitors fall madly and impulsively in love with your work.
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The 5 Elements of Seductive Booth Display
The basic elements as they will be discussed in this article include:
1. 5 Materials Ideas to Consider for Building Your Booth
2. 4 Theme and Color Elements to Enliven Your Booth
3. 11 Ideas to Create a Fantastic Atmosphere and Environment
4. 3 Important Signage Considerations
5. 4 Reasons to Create Abundance versus Clutter
6. More Resources + Inspiring Booth Photo Albums
Each element is a building block, creates a much admired sought after and most of all seductive craft show booth.
If you're planning on attending a craft show as an exhibitor, make sure you understand the nature of the show and the feel of the show as demonstrated by the tone the exhibitors create. In other words, if it is a high-end craft show you should not bring items made from inexpensive materials for a school craft show.
It helps to regularly visit other craft show booths to get creative new ideas that can further enhance your display.
1) 5 Materials Ideas to Consider for Building Your Booth
You have registered for show, a show that compliments your craft products-- now you have to create the booth. There are basic questions about the space and the structure that you need to design.
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Do you want your booth to have walls? Do those walls need to be fabric, wood, or chicken wire? What are you going to do with the walls, the ceiling, and the floor? Can your crafts be hung; do they require sturdy shelving etc?
Before you begin this process you should remember that transporting, setting up and breaking down your booth can present problems and must be figured into the equation.
1. Are the materials to be used cumbersome? If so, does that mean you require the help of a crew and hours upon hours to set up and break down?
2. Do you require multiple cars or trucks to transport the display and the products? You most likely will want to avoid a design that requires a crew and multiple vehicles unless money is of no object to you.
3. You want to be able to use as much of the building materials as part of the display -- in other words for multiple purposes. If you use window shutters for walls, can items be hung from those shutters? Such building materials do not have to cost a great deal of money but when they are put together, they must create a cohesive, visually interesting and tastefully designed booth.
4. You will need tape, wire, scissors, spray paint, scrap wood, pliers, perhaps recycled materials, paper, tables, table skirts, shelving, boxes, hat boxes, wooden shutters, stands, books, foam core, wooden planks, painted cardboard and heavy canvas. Items that can double as storage during transit and as display cases include things such as cassette cases, photo albums, and stackable containers, to name only a few.
5. You can go to an office supply store or a thrift shop to get the basic building materials. Thrift shops also provide you with the opportunity to find interesting objects that can be used to show off your crafts. Look at objects in the everyday world that can serve other functions as craft displays such as tea cups, hangers, coral, baskets, sponges, egg crates etc.
For example, silver trays and baggage tags can hold earrings. Antiques teacups can catch the eye of passersby while you hang artifacts from the cup. All materials can serve a purpose and can be reusable. Though you want to use sturdy materials as often as possible.
After you have determined what you need to build your craft show booth, you will need to develop the context through which you will display your crafts.
2) 4 Theme and Color Elements to Enliven Your Booth
The presentation of your crafts as well as the overall display booth should be coordinated so that it flows nicely in feel and impression. Consistency in theme and color is necessary if you want a positive emotional response from customers as well as the ability to make yourself easily remembered and recognized.
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1. Within this context, you should always consider your website, your business cards, your logo and other aspects of your business that can brand your product. Theme and color should be coordinated in these elements as well.
2. You want customers to say, “I remember your logo…” “I love the color scheme and presentation” etc. You want customers to look for your booth with anticipation and excitement. You want to provide new customers with sensations that will make you and your product memorable and draw them into the booth.
3. Soft solid colors can provide a strong foundation upon which prints and patterns can be seen. If you are sharing a booth with another, make an attempt to coordinate the colors in some of the decorations so that the entire booth has a cohesive feel.
4. Boxes used as display stands should be covered as well tables. The fabrics should be integral with the theme and color but should not compete with your crafts. Themes and colors should enhance the presentation, not fight against the crafts for attention.
Today, more than ever, branding is important, as competition is intense. Well thought out craft show booth display themes can give you an edge on your competition. You always want the affect of the presentation to further your goal—selling your product and establishing a following.
11 Ideas to Create a Fantastic Atmosphere and Environment
The ambiance you create within your booth will bring people in or intimidate them. This concept is critical, as you don’t want the booth set up to be intimidating, discouraging, alienating, or depressing.
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1. A booth that is dark and cave like with everything toward the back will not get the same response as a booth that has vivid colors, interesting patterns, and display cases that utilize the entire space. A warm, bright, airy feeling is always better than a cave like environment.
2. The more creative your use of space, the better your chances of engaging customers. Creativity should not be confused with complexity. In the world of craft shows, complexity can also be intimidating to the customer and overshadow the crafts you wish to sell.
3. Creating the environment includes the floor and the ceiling as they are considered part of the display booth and should be utilized. Think of ways to include the floor and ceiling with visual touches. Perhaps adding a complimentary design on the floor or color scheme in the ceiling can tie the space together.
4. The more multidimensional the display, the better you expand the physical space to display your product while creating visual interest. Utilizing the entire space requires thinking about traffic flow especially if you have a larger booth.
5. The use of open bookcases provides an interesting dynamic to displaying your goods and moving traffic through the booth. Open bookcases allow access to products from both sides and creating two different traffic flow patterns. Open bookcases can create a sense of friendliness and accessibility in your booth.
6. Always try a booth setup that makes traffic flow easy and comfortable. Is there a beginning to the display or an end place? Do you have a place that feels comfortable for the customer to stop and purchase an item?
7. Your space and the flow of customers go beyond the boundaries of the table.
8. Stools and small cabinets provide additional levels to the display and can also help direct traffic through placement. Creating levels diversifies the visual presentation and increases the room in which to display items while reducing traffic jams around tables.
9. Hanging display trays and mobiles from the ceiling that show your crafts can catch the eye of the customer as the items twirl and sparkle.
10. Lighting always helps create an ambiance but not all craft shows supply electricity to the booths. If you are displaying high end products such as jewelry, you will need to address the issue of good bright lighting. Glass cases with built in lamps might be required. However, if you want to create a mood without using electricity, you can use flameless candles or self powered lighting products.
11. The environment will also be effected by what is readily accessible. Products that can withstand rough handling should be displayed differently than those items need more careful handling. If handling a craft is problematic, perhaps a glass case can be used or access to the piece limited by requiring your assistance. If you want some things to be touched and others not as much, you need to work that into the design of the booth and the flow of the traffic.
The ambiance of your booth must make sense with the feel of the show. In other words, if you are at a Christmas holiday show, do not set up a booth that has the feel of summer beach days. Glitzy, flashy fabrics are more suitable for the winter show than the summer show.
The environment must also compliment and enhance your crafts rather than compete with them. Competition between display design and the crafts you wish to sell will psychologically confuse the customer and discourage buying.
When craft shows are outside, as they often are, weather conditions must also be considered.
You will need to have devised some way to secure your display and your products should the wind start blowing or the rain begin to fall. While there is not a great deal to be done, you don’t want to be chasing down your crafts as they blow off the table or walls and roll away from your booth under foot of passersby.
You also may want to consider how you can create a space where the sides of the booth will not cut off the airflow. You want your customers to be comfortable as they move through your booth.
3 Important Signage Considerations
Everything in your booth should be tagged, labeled and identified for the customer. Information is important to help make the customer feel comfortable.
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1. Without the basic information about the product, the materials and the cost, the customer may walk away rather than ask for help.
2. Signage can help engage the customer in a dialogue that can connect you and ultimately make a sale. An interesting fact or ted-bit about the product can peek the customer’s curiosity.
3. Signage can also help you direct traffic flow if your have a large booth.
You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers. That also means that you should have your logo prominently displayed, have newsletters and business cards easily available for anyone who enters the booth.
4 Reasons to Create Abundance versus Clutter
The first rule that craft show exhibitors want to remember is that the eye likes to roam and take in the entire display. A person gets a feel for the booth and the crafts available through the presentation, and level of professionalism created by the display.
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1. There is a psychological benefit to having the sensation of abundance within the organization of your display. That does not mean clutter. Everything you have or have ever created cannot be on display at the same time. Abundance versus clutter provides the customer with a good feeling—the feeling that the exhibitor is a professional. Clutter does not develop a sense of quality or tastefulness.
2. Beyond the struggle between abundance and clutter, one finds the realm of emptiness. If there aren’t enough objects to attract the eye and give the sense of abundance, your customers will not want to stay in the booth either. You don’t want your booth to look confusing nor do you want it to look “picked clean.” You don’t want your potential customer wondering why you are at the show if you have nothing to display.
3. There are several ways to create the feeling of abundance without the clutter. First, try to group craft products--like with like items. For example, if you have hand made magnets you might want to consider placing them in a ceramic bowl. Once the magnets appear to be diminishing add more magnets. If you have been running low on your magnet supply, reduce the size of the ceramic bowl to maintain the sense of abundance.
4. Using shelving for larger items is great. The space between items can be used as a statement. Each item is important. You want to plan for a replacement should the larger items be sold. In other words, have a vase of flowers or a decorative object to fill in the space. Even flyers or a tray of business cards can help fill the void.
You may not know exactly how many products to bring, however, it is better to err on the side of too many rather than too little. Your goal is to entice new customers to buy and provide old customers a new reason to visit.
Making it all work
It is always important to take photos of your booth and practice putting it together and taking it apart. You do not want to leave the final outcome for the day of the crafts show. You want to understand what you need and how long it will take to pack your materials, transport the materials, set up and break down the booth. This translates into understanding if you need additional manpower and that includes managing the booth during the show.
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Finally the overall feel of your booth must represent who you are and what you do. You do not want your building materials thrown about; you do not want half eaten sandwiches messing up your display table. No garbage should be visual. Create a storage space out of customer sight for the placement of additional crafts and garbage. A clean professional look incorporates every aspect of your booth.
You are at the craft show because you have a product to sell. People are at these craft shows because they like hand made products. With a well thought out plan, your booth can provide everyone with the means to a mutually exciting and successful experience.
More Resources + Inspiring Booth Photo Albums
Wow! You made it to the end and you're still hungry for more! Fan-TASTIC. Here are resources that inspired us and that we hope will inspire you to create and market beauty.
>> 6 Booth Display Resources
Booth Layout at a Craft Show
10 Tips for a Craft Show Booth
Craft Show Booth Display Ideas
RCF Insider Tip ~ Awesome Booth Display Ideas
Craft Fair Display Ideas
SHOW ME YOUR BOOTHS (Flickr Set)
>> 8 Inspiring Craft Display Pinterest Boards
craft show and booth display ideas from Carol Boyd
Craft Show Display Ideas from lifeinthethrifty lane
Craft fair booth ideas from Nikki Reynolds
craft booth display ideas from Christina Carr
Ideas for craft fair booths. from Sarah James
Craft Show Display Ideas from Angie Kauffman
Displays for Craft shows from Robin Johnston
craft show display inspiration from Heidy Henke