Display Envy. You know it when you see it. You go to an art fair or festival and there are always a few displays that make you stop and say “Wow”. These artists always look busy, draw customers in with their inviting design, and you are left wondering how they created their stand-apart display.
While every company needs to express their unique personality at an event, there are lots of simple techniques that can be leveraged to make your event display the one that stands out in the crowd and makes others say “wow”. The key is to get creative and have a bit of fun.
I agree completely with Minna from Karuski points out that
Setting up a booth is like creating a mini store for your customers. You want to make their visit as pleasant as possible.
To begin, deciding the message you are looking for the display to convey is key. While all EcoEtsy team members are “green”, there are many style options for green companies. Are you contemporary or traditional, serious or fun, clean or complex? Come up with three words to use as inspiration for your space. Possibly find some photos from a magazine or online that capture your vision for the display.
After your words have been established and you have some inspirational photos, begin to think through all elements of the display – table coverings, signs, product displays, etc – that will make those words come to life. Using the colors of your logo in your display as well as the clothes you wear at the event is a key technique for reinforcing your brand message.
Erin from AntiquetoChic describes the overall design process perfectly stressing that
“You have to make sure you play with height, weight, & depth – kind of like decorating your house.”
Layout and Primary Elements
The first step in developing the detail of your display is to create a layout of your space. Depending on the event, you may have more or less flexibility in this area. Most outdoor fairs and festivals have a standard 10×10 space for a tent. Indoor events often provide a 6-8 foot table – sometimes partitioned from your neighbors with pipe and drape, other times with no partitions.
For the 10×10 space format, there are some great tips for maximizing the overall layout. Mary from HerbanLifestyle has discussed layout with many different vendors at events and has concluded that
“If you have the space, an L or U shaped setup is the most welcoming. The multiple tables provide more surface area for display than a single table.”
Experience has suggested to Heather from EarnestEfforts that the booth should be set up so that customers walk up to it rather than walking inside. She has observed that “many people are intimidated by walking into a booth and prefer to stand on the outside edge. This layout also creates a lot of space for display and a comfortable space for the artist.”
Once the horizontal table layout has been determined, it’s time to think vertical. Consider pieces that can be stacked on your table, hung from the tent walls, or stand on the ground to add height and dimension to the space. Karen from KarenMeyers reinforces the need for a focus on height describing that “most Art Festivals want their booths to resemble miniature art galleries, and not flea markets, so they prefer vertical display.”
Martina from NaturesArtMelbourne does a great job in incorporating vertical elements into her display. She uses the walls of the tent the way you would use walls in your home to add height and interst:
Signs and Table Coverings
After you have your overall layout set, considering signs and table coverings are a great next step. Here are a couple tips from Mary at HerbanLifestyle:
- “It’s helpful to have a banner with your company name and logo. I have one made out of cloth and another that I had printed professionally. It is made with biodegradable material, but looks like matte vinyl. I’ve used it many times over the past two years and it still looks great.”
- “My personal opinion is that, while patterned covers can look fun, for most products, having a solid color helps to make your products “pop” by not competing with them visually.”
Mary’s tips turn her display into a cohesive look that works well at an event indoors or out as you can see here:
Product fixtures will obviously be different based on the items you sell and need to fit the overall personality you have defined for your display. However, just like the overall space, you should try to display at various levels so that you continue to add texture and height. For ideas and inspiration, Mary at HerbanLifestyle suggests searching “craft show displays” on Flickr.
The EcoEtsy team has found many creative ideas for upcycling and reusing items for their displays. Here are just a few innovative ideas from the team:
Minna from Karuski uses picture frames and cake trays to display her jewelry:
The headline is to design the personality of your space and then get out there and have fun treasure hunting for natural, recycled, or upcycled opportunities to create an innovative display!
During the Fair – Stay Green!
Throughout the event, there will be lots of opportunities for you to be “less green” than you are everyday at home. Plan ahead to bring your own coffee mug and water bottle to avoid using disposable coffee cups, cans and bottles. Pack food that you can snack on all day – veggies, fruits, and nuts are great choices. The provide energy, don’t require heating or cooling, are easy to take a “bite” here and there without appearing like you are having a meal, and they have no packaging that produces waste.
You have a great display and plan for the event. Now, it’s time to sit back and enjoy – interact with customers, meet fellow vendors, learn, and think about what you could improve at your next event.
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