by Lisa McGrimmon
Here are 6 tips to help you create craft show displays that really work and avoid common problems that can lead to an unhappy time at a show.
When your booth is sturdy, functional and reliable, you'll be able to focus on your customers and avoid common problems that occur as a result of poor design.
Nothing puts a damper on your day like discovering your display booth is not in compliance with craft show rules.
All shows have rules outlining what is allowed within your booth. Although there are some rules for art booth displays that are common among many craft shows, it is extremely important that you carefully check the rules for each show you attend well before the day of the show to ensure your craft display booth falls within the guidelines provided by the show organizers.
You will be allotted a specific time period for setting up your craft display. At most shows, you'll be provided with a reasonable amount of time to get set up, but the more efficient your setup is, the faster you can finish that job, take a moment to relax before customers come in, and focus on the day ahead.
If you already have a few butterflies in your stomach about making sales at a show, the last thing you want is to be stressed about a booth setup that is inefficient and time consuming.
Measure your vehicle before you create your craft displays. Ensure that larger items, such as tables and poles will fit is your vehicle along with everything else that you need to transport.
If you sell items that are easily shoplifted (i.e. small, easy to pick up and with a high perceived value), ensure you can see all areas of your booth to limit the possibility of shoplifting.
I never leave my money in my booth. I carry it in a discreet, comfortable pouch that I have with me at all times.
Some professional craft artists leave their items in their booth overnight. Even with the sidewalls of my tent closed, I'm not comfortable with this, so I designed displays that are extremely easy to set up and take down. That way, I can quickly and easily unload my booth at the end of each day and set it up again each morning, and I'm not tempted to leave hundreds of dollars of inventory sitting in my booth overnight
Mother Nature provides the biggest threat of problems at outdoor shows. Rain can ruin your products, and a good gust of wind can send your tent or your displays, if they're light weight, flying across the park.
A good quality craft canopy is your best defence against the elements. Purchase a craft canopy that comes with side walls that you can zip up to protect your items, yourself and your customers from rain and wind, and be sure to weigh down your canopy with some type of weights to ensure it does not blow away in a strong wind.
Ensure your craft show displays are simple and sturdy so customers who pickup fragile items to get a better look can easily replace them without mishaps. Also, place any fragile and valuable items out of the reach of children so you don't have to spend the day worrying about items getting broken by curious little hands.