Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Display Thoughts - Making a Plan

First and foremost, what is the most important point in developing your display?  Why, sales of course!  So the focus on your display should put the focus on your display.  What do you need to do to draw favorable attention?  What will catch the customer’s eye and cause them to stop at your booth?  You used imagination to create your product ... now use some imagination to create your displays!   And remember that this is a shopping “experience” – how can you make the experience pleasant?

Your display should show off your product to it’s best advantage.  Does your product fit a certain “style” – is it Victorian or cottage or modern?  Make sure that the displays you use are in keeping with your style.  How would these items be displayed in a brick & mortar store ... can you get any ideas from visiting one?  Product should be clearly visible and easy for the customer to pick up.

Use multiple layers/levels.  I’ve seen shows where vendors just laid everything out flat on a table ... BO-RING!  Use stacked crates or something to give your display a stairstep feel.  Hang items from a pole.   If you are using busts to display jewelry, use some taller and some shorter busts or if using all the same sized one, figure out a way to elevate some of them   A length of dimensional lumber (like a 2x4 or 4x4), covered with a piece of cloth, could be an excellent way of adding height to busts or your small craft objects. 

Group similar items together.  If you make gourmet jams and salsas, keep the jams together and the salsas together.  This may seem self-explanatory, but I’ve seen displays where it wasn’t done – it was hard to find what I was looking for and the whole thing seemed disorganized and cluttered.

Keep it clean.  Table cloths and skirts are going to get dirty, especially if you’re doing outdoor shows.  Make sure your product is clean.  Make sure your business cards have no bent corners.  Everything should be crisp and sharp.  Because I make custom items during the show, I also want my work area to be neat and clean.  Organized is good – it makes things easier for you and your look more professional to your customers.

If using a table, use well fitting table cloths and table skirts.  Too big looks droopy and dumpy .. too small looks like you were too cheap to buy enough to do the job.  If you are just starting out, and you’re doing a couple small local shows, you probably don’t need table skirts for your first couple events – but don’t wait too long either – they really do add a professional look to your display.  Oh, and one last thought about tables – I use 3 tables that are 2'x4'.  Booth spaces vary and I can adjust my configuration to accommodate different size booths.  They are also easy to transport and easy to store and most vendors won’t need more than 2 feet of table depth – if it’s deeper, it’s also more awkward for customers to reach near the back of the table.

When planning your space, be sure to have a comfortable traffic flow.  You may need to experiment with the space ahead of time at home – set it up and walk through it as a potential customer.  Is there a natural flow?  Is payment made at the end of the shopping experience?   When I can, I try to set up so that customers can watch me work on my custom orders – it seems to draw a lot of interest and some customers love to see it happen.  Some customers have their own ideas of what they’d like so it’s helpful for me to have some “design space” where the customer and I can create together.

Coming tomorrow -- Creating a theme.


fishprincessdesigns said...

I great idea for tables is to use bed risers to raise them up! You don't want to have your customers bending over to look at you items-and you can easily vary the heights of your tables.

sammysgrammy said...

So helpful. All of these "craft show" posts gathered together would make a great "how-to" manual for those just starting out.

Rita (sammysgrammy)

gentle adornments said...

I'm trying to get them all done this month -- so they're all in one place. Should make it easier to find in the future.

Carly said...

Such great ideas! I am going to read through these with my mom. Thanks for sharing!!