Craft fairs have become a popular way for artists and small business owners to sell their products. For a reasonable booth fee, they can display items for sale, gaining brand exposure in the process. And if you’ve ever rented a booth at a popular event, you know that competition can be fierce. It can be challenging to draw attendees to your booth when you’re just one in a row of many.
One of the best ways to stand out at a craft show is to create a display that naturally draws attention to you. It should catch the eye with bold colors and design while also quickly alerting passersby to the type of product you’re selling.
Here are a few print materials you can use to make your next craft fair appearance a big success.
Pull-up banners are popular with businesses that need to be able to set up in a variety of spaces. But although their portability makes them popular with independent tradespeople, they can also serve as a great supplement to businesses that have other signage on their booths. Some exhibitors place pull-up banners in front of their booths to capture the attention of attendees as they enter their row. This type of signage can also be handy for filling in empty spaces in a booth. Since these signs roll up and are easily transportable, presenters can also take them to their breakout sessions to use as a backdrop.
The right banners can make all of the difference in a craft show booth. Craftspeople can hire a designer to incorporate the same design into different sizes to create a cohesive look. When combined with tablecloths and product displays, even one or two pieces of signage can be all it takes to emulate the professional look of a storefront.
Some exhibitors limit themselves to tables and signage, but a pop-up counter can add a level of professionalism. Sales professionals often use these portable counters for gathering information from attendees, but a craft retailer will most likely see it as the perfect place for a point-of-sale system. A simple banner placed at the front of the counter can make a great first impression on fair attendees.
Tablecloths and table banners
Many craft fairs provide at least one table for free, but exhibitors are expected to bring their own tablecloths. For a minimal fee, you can have your logo printed on a tablecloth that lends a professional look to your tables. You can also choose to have a banner printed the size of the standard craft fair table length (six-foot folding table) and attach it to a solid-color tablecloth.
A craft show exhibit is only the beginning. While selling products on site is great, the goal should be to build brand awareness and gather customers for the days, weeks, and months after the event ends. Takeaways like brochures, flyers and high-quality business cards can be an effective way to help customers remember who are you are and to direct them to your website. Consider including a coupon code good on a first-time order. This can also be useful to give to customers who want an item from your website that you don’t currently have on display.
It’s important to understand that your craft show exhibit represents your brand, often serving as the first and only impression a potential customer will create of your business. An amateurish display is worse than no display at all.
Here are a few key points to keep in mind as you conceptualize your booth:
- Draw customers in: Even the best design can go bad if customers can’t see your items. Create a space that will draw customers in, rather than having them gather at the front of the booth, blocking entrance to additional passersby.
- Come prepared: Although it may take time for you to build a full-scale display, don’t show up without at least the minimum of a banner and some tablecloths. Bare folding tables and walls will fail to establish the trust you need to develop in people considering buying from you.
- Stick to a theme: As you wander the aisles of craft fairs, pay attention to the booths that stand out. One overall theme should come from each booth, and that theme should match the products being sold.
- Use color (the right colors): Colors can make a booth stand out, especially when used tastefully. Try to avoid neutral earthy tones unless they aligned with your brand identity. Bright colors or bold contrasts like black and white will help to draw people to your booth.
- Keep it organized: You may be armed with the right branding, but if your displays appear disorganized and messy, you will lose potential customers. Be aware that items placed toward the back of tables can be difficult to reach and use shelving and display stands to break up the monotony.
- Be upfront about pricing: When customers are shopping, they want to know prices. Clearly label each item and if you’re offering a sale, make it easy for customers to understand whether the discount has already been applied or is in addition to the listed price.
Don’t feel pressured to have a full-scale display for your first few shows, though. You’ll likely get some great ideas from other exhibitors and will be inspired to do more at at future shows.
If you’re ready to take your booth to another level, launch a signage or other design contest today!
Stephanie Faris is a freelance writer and novelist. Her children’s books include 30 Days of No Gossip, 25 Roses and the Piper Morgan series, all published by Simon & Schuster. Her freelance work has appeared on Creative Live, NYPost.com, Mental Floss and in Writer’s Digest.