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Booth Inspiration: Part One

Blog

Booth Inspiration: Part One

Academy Of Handmade

This month many of you are gearing up for the holiday show season and so we thought we would provide you with some booth inspiration for those looking to jazz up their booths or take them to the next level. This is the first in a two-part series of posts... thanks to everyone who contributed their booth photo and info for this series!

Make sure you also check out Part 2 of this series.

Name: Erin Garcia
Business: Feed the Fish co
Website: feedthefishco.weebly.com

Markets you sell at: local school holiday boutiques, Vagabond (@ Urban Bazaar, San Francisco), Patchwork (Oakland), First Fridays in Oakland, Treasure Island Flea

What are the basics of how you constructed the booth and what materials did you use?
My first booth was literally in my front yard. I didn't want to spend a lot because I wasn't sure how people would respond to my products or if I'd enjoy selling my crafts. In preparing my first booth, I wanted to use items I already had like dishes and small baskets. For a table cloth I used a plain flat sheet, and for a table, my folding kitchen table. After my first "show," I was hooked and I decided to do some small local shows. I continued to use my bed sheet as a table cloth because it worked out so well. I purchased some new baskets and used the boxes that I stored my crafts in as lifts to create some height in my display. I also created some signs. Eventually, I added plantation shutters (for displaying cards), wine crates (easy to stack and change up your display with these!), and a spinning rack. Last holiday season I also made a Christmas tree display for my felt clips out of chicken wire and a lazy Susan. 

About how much did you spend?
Since 2011, I've spent close to $200 on booth display items (including my tables). The first time I went basket/container shopping, I spent around $40. I slowly added new items to my display, like my shutters (purchased from a reuse store for $20) and wine crates (from Craigslist at $5 a piece). I made my own business name signs with paper, foam board, ribbon, and paint ($12). There is no need to spend a fortune on your display. Definitely try Craigslist, yard sales, reuse shops, store closing sales, and even your own kitchen! 

Why has your booth worked so well for you?
My booth has worked well because it can adapt to different spaces and show atmospheres. If there are walls, I decorate them. If it's a smaller space, I build up with boxes. I like to keep my booth display items more neutral so that my wares will stand out more. Also, clearly labeling items with price tags up front makes it easy for customers (especially those shy ones that don't want to ask questions). And, of course, booths are great because you can interact with your customers in person. Offer suggestions of how they can use your product, invite them to sign up for your mailing list or follow you on your social media pages, and, if they are struggling between two products, offer them a discount if they purchase both. Definitely make your booth a reflection of your product and add some of YOU in your display; after all, you are the most important part of your booth! 

What is a typical customer reaction or what customer problem did it solve?
I often get commented on the cuteness of my booth and potential customers like to spend time browsing through all of my wares. People sometimes are drawn in because of my signs -- my business name seems to be a conversation starter. Keeping my kid-friendly products at kid eye-level also draws in potential fans. Other vendors are intrigued by my set-up, too. I've been told that my price tag signs are clear, my signs attract people, and the general vibe of my booth is welcoming. 


Name: Shana Mattheis
Business: Roots Revival Co.
Website: www.RootsRevivalCo.com

Markets you sell at: 
Right now: VillageFest in Palm Springs every Thursday during the winter season, Arts District Flea Market on most Sundays, among other pop-up and seasonal shows. 

What are the basics of how you constructed the booth and what materials did you use?
The goal with my booth is to be fluid and flexible so that I can easily set up a nice display regardless of the size, the space/tables provided or not, whether I am using my canopy or not, and so I can scale from a card table to a full 10x10 space and back. I also decide on my booth setup based on the dynamic and flow of the show, so sometimes I utilize the full 10x10 space as a walk-in booth and other shows I will set up faced out to optimize exposure at shows where a walk-in booth would be congested. With outdoor shows in California, it has also been a work in progress to create a booth that is more wind-proof, with displays that are sturdy and heavy enough to stand through little gusts of wind. (before I was ending up with everything lying flat on the table at windy shows, and nothing that could be seen by people passing by to catch their attention) I use a lot of wood and natural elements in my booth displays. Many of my displays I have built myself, such as my honeycomb beeswax lip balm display, keychain display and my hanging wood displays. I like to utilize antiques as well. My goal is to make my display very earthy, natural, and rustic. I like the idea of setting up my booth as a mini boutique, with that look and feel.

About how much did you spend? 
My booth has been a work in progress over the past couple of years, constantly evolving and changing, tweaking and adjusting. I am not sure I could give an exact amount, but it is probably at around $1000+ at this point including the canopy and tables. 

Why has your booth worked so well for you? 
As I make changes, and adjust and tweak, I have been receiving really great feedback from customers about my display. It has also created other show opportunities for me, as event organizers have approached me at shows because of how my products are displayed and merchandised. Ultimately, I think that my booth has worked well for me because it compliments my products. It creates an energy and vibe around my products, their implied value, and what those products will ultimately represent and mean to potential customers. 

What is a typical customer reaction or what customer problem did it solve?
I often hear from customers and show attendees that they like how I have everything displayed. They will tell me that my booth stands out because it is in contrast with the more stocked, bright, warehouse style booths. It seems counter-intuitive that a more monochromatic, more subtle booth would draw more attention, but I have had customers tell me at shows that my booth is soothing. I also hear often that my booth caught their eye and drew them in from across the street/aisle/way, and that is really great to hear when you are one booth of many at these shows.


Name: Pati Reis
Business: Old News Design
Website: www.oldnewsdesign.com

Markets you sell at:
Durham Art Walk, Big Crafty Asheville, Sparkon, and Makers Market at Cameron Village. All Located in North Carolina.

What are the basics of how you constructed the booth and what materials did you use?
I like the booth to feel like a homey environment. And I also like when my product pops more than anything else. So all my furniture is white (most of them I bought at Ikea) since my work is really colorful. I use a rug from Urban Outfitters to give a "I am inside" feeling. And finally, I use a lot of plants and flowers for some green and good energy.

About how much did you spend?
Around $250 in furniture and every show I spend around $20 in flowers and plants. Since I use the same furniture that I use daily in my studio, the cost paid off really quickly :) I also reuse the flowers in my studio.

Why has booth worked so well for you?
The arrangement of my booth brings people in, given me opportunity to talk about my process, normally that is how people get interested in my work. And once they are inside, they feel comfortable staying longer.

What is a typical customer reaction or what customer problem did it solve?
They normally say something nice about the booth saying that it is really cozy and inviting. Some people wants to know where I bought the furniture because they want the same set up in their house. And when I go crazy with flower arrangements, they always asked how I did it. Having more than the work to talk about, makes a stronger personal connection with the customer, making the probability of them buying the product higher.

AND, I always match my booth. I try to chose clothes that have the same color palette of my products and the feeling and energy that I am trying to convey thru my work. And I love when the customer notice that.
 

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