Craft exhibitions, trade shows, arts and crafts festival and conventions are all fantastic places to meet your online clientele face to face. They give you the opportunity to grow your real-world retail presence while learning first-hand what your customer base wants and expects from your business.
The booth or tent you set up at any and all of these events is your venue to present your business to all these potential and returning customers. Setting up your booth can be complicated or easy, depending on the amount of time and planning you put into getting your presentation details right.
Know Your Space
You’ll have a better idea how much merchandise to bring if you know your booth’s position on the display floor. For example, if your on the corner of an aisle you should plan to bring enough merchandise to “front” both the aisle and cross-aisle. If you’re in the middle of an aisle, you’ll want to bring only those items you can comfortably and attractively display along the booth’s front end.
The event’s organizers should be able to provide you with a map of the display space floor at least a day in advance. Contact them the week before the event to request your location, or failing that where your booth is assigned. Make sure there’s enough room to set up your popup canopy or tent.
Keep Your Displays Simple and Tasteful
You’ve probably seen displays that seem to shove everything out in front, as if trying to draw customers through sheer force of numbers or gaudy display. This actually just drives customers away – if you were shopping in the real world, would you rather shop at a hip boutique or at a rummage sale?
Avoid the rummage sale appearance by using display stands, cases and tools that accent and complement your products. Your potential customers will likely see your displays first and then “hone in” on the products, so you need to make a good first impression. Craft show experts recommend making your displays different heights and shapes, to give your booth’s interior dimension and character. Don’t hesitate to add color and texture to the displays, too. The right amount of design elements make your booth feel less perfunctory and more like an actual store.
Keep Your Logo Prominent
Keeping your business’ name in full sight – even if it’s just your name – distinguishes you as an artisan and merchant who values professionalism; even the most die-hard libertine will appreciate that you’re putting a trustworthy foot forward.
A great way to advertise your business on the exhibition floor is to have your name or logo emblazoned on the top and eaves of your canopy or display tent. Customers will know where to find you, and you’ll stand out from similar portable shelters.
Make Your Display Space Inviting
The traditional booth setup – a table out front, you behind it and ready to answer questions – doesn’t always serve your products’ needs. Organizing your booth so that people can come inside and browse creates a semi-private, more personal atmosphere in which your customers and your products can interact. You’ll also be able to more freely move around between customers, answering their questions and serving as “host or hostess” of your products’ exhibition.