Over the last several years, the popularity of Etsy has helped to make craft fairs the place to shop for unique goods. Unlike Etsy, though, which allows merchants to sell from the comfort of their home or studio, these fairs mean vendors need to create a mobile operation, and that’s harder than it sounds. Vendors must pack up their wares, create a display, and attract buyers to their booth. At the end of the day, it’s all about branding the creative experience.
If you’re new to the craft show circuit, these three strategies can make your booth the most popular one on the lot. You’ll still need excellent salesmanship, but a great stand can offer a serious marketplace advantage.
Start With Aesthetics
The first step to creating an appealing craft stand is to develop an overall aesthetic theme, including colors, textures, and mood, so take the time to think about how you want your brand to “feel” to shoppers. One way to do this is by creating a mood board with inspirational images, color swatches, and display ideas. These images and colors should complement your existing logo and support the types of products you sell.
In addition to providing aesthetic direction for your booth, your vision board can serve as inspiration as you seek out decorative items to populate your display. This might include tablecloths and hangings, mannequins, vases, and display stands – anything that can be used to make your booth more appealing and to display items in creative ways.
Invest In Key Items
If you’re going to be attending a large number of craft fairs, you’ll need more than just your wares and a few tablecloths; you’ll need to invest in a few key pieces of equipment, including tables and a quality tent. Too often, vendors show up at fairs with low-quality tents that fall over with the first gust of wind and that are indistinguishable from all the other vendors’ tents.
Stand out in the crowd by investing in a sturdy, branded canopy tent and banners. With your unique logo on the tent, you’ll also look more polished and professional and help build brand recognition with shoppers. A covered display will also keep your goods – and you – protected from the elements and welcome shoppers out from the sun on hot days.
Master Visual Merchandising
Even if you have great items and you’ve done your homework to ensure you have items for sale that appeal to your audience, and you’ve brought a variety of interesting items to decorate your tent, you still need to give those items a boost. That means mastering the art of visual merchandising – in other words, you need to come up with solutions that make your items look their best, whether that means investing in custom display solutions or carefully testing available options like mannequins and shelves.
So what makes a great display? Think about what you see in various stores; if you sell clothes, for example, they’ll always look better on a mannequin than falling off of hangers. Jewelry, on the other hand, should be displayed so that it moves naturally like it would if someone was wearing it. Finally, your display solution should minimize clutter and visual confusion so that shoppers aren’t distracted or overwhelmed.
You’ll be spending a lot of time on your feet, welcoming customers into your tent, so make it a place that will facilitate that process. This booth is your new weekend home and your place of business; customize it to that end and it will yield rich rewards.