You’ll see a much bigger return on investment from craft shows if you’re able to generate sales after an event.
But if shoppers don’t remember your business a day or two after seeing your booth at a craft show, they’re not going to buy.
Handing out business cards isn’t enough to stay top of mind (besides, the majority of people toss business cards. Here’s a trick you can use to get craft show shoppers to hang onto your information).
This article shares one important key to keep in mind and 3 tips to build a more memorable craft show display.
Example of a candle display at a craft show
Imagine seeing two candle vendors at a craft show:
Candle Vendor #1
The vendor sells soy candles in mason jars and offers them in a wide variety of scents. Their tablecloth is a neutral color that doesn’t detract from the candles, but also doesn’t help highlight them either.
The candles are lined up on the table and signage is handwritten sharing the price.
The vendor sits behind the table, gives you a smile, and lets you shop.
Candle Vendor #2
This vendor also sells soy candles in mason jars but their business targets a shopper who doesn’t just want a candle to make a room smell nice, they also want it to add to their decor.
The candle jars are decorative and the wax is tinted to match the latest home decor paint trends.
There is cohesion among elements of their display and the vendor uses props to help shoppers imagine where a candle might be displayed in their home and the items it might be displayed with.
The vendor loves interior design and shares tips with shoppers on how to create a vignette with a candle on a fireplace mantle, bookshelf, or counter.
If you simply want a candle, you may head to Candle Vendor #1. But chances are there won’t be brand loyalty after your purchase because you can buy a candle anywhere and will likely go for what’s most convenient in the future. There also isn’t anything very memorable about vendor #1’s craft show display to ensure you’ll remember their name, brand, or products.
If you have an interest in interior design, you’ll immediately be attracted to Candle Vendor #2 and head over. The knowledge the vendor shares, the connection you made, and their candles named after rooms in the home, all help you remember their brand. They’re who you’ll contact when you need a housewarming gift or a new candle for your home.
You can see how just a few tweaks and little details can change your perception of a business and your likelihood of remembering them.
#1 Key to a memorable business
“The more we engage with information, the longer it’s recalled.” Katy Milkman: How to Change
The key to getting shoppers to remember your business is to get them to engage with you, your display, and your products.
Keep shoppers at your table longer, get their minds working while they’re in your space, encourage them to interact with your products, have conversations, etc.
Katy Milkman’s point about engaging with information is based on Hermann Ebbinghaus’s studies on why we forget things. The points shared below keep some of his findings and teachings in mind. You can read more about his studies here.
3 Ways to make your craft show display more memorable
1 – Add more meaning
If you want consumers to remember your products/business days after an encounter, your products must hold more meaning than simply being “nice”. Almost every vendor at a craft show is selling nice things.
To start, you must first know who your customers are.
Are they mothers? Fashionistas? Health nuts? Environmentalists? Foodies?
What’s most important to them?
For example, if I’m targeting fashionistas, the latest fashion trends will be most important to my typical customer. Displaying trending products, incorporating trending colors into display elements, and using trending keywords in signage and sales pitches will create a more memorable experience for my target market.
On the other hand, if I’m targeting environmentalists, products and display elements using recycled, compostable, or environmentally-friendly materials and earth-tone colors will create a display that holds more meaning to my ideal customer.
Consistency will also be key.
A meaningful “environmentally friendly” message will be lost if there’s only one environmentally friendly element among 20 non-environmentally friendly elements.
Get to know your customers so you know what holds more meaning to them.
Then build products, choose craft show props, drafts sales pitches, etc. that align with that meaning.
2 – Indulge more senses
When you engage multiple senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell), it not only makes your craft show booth more interesting, which keeps shoppers at your table longer, but it also makes your craft show booth more memorable.
A craft show display should always be visually stimulating. But you can also use scents, textures, sounds, and even tastes to create a memorable experience.
Consider the story you want to tell or the feeling you want to evoke.
Then list the sights, smells, tastes, sounds, and textures that align with that story or feeling.
For example, a vendor selling winter accessories may want to tell a story of warm winter memories.
Hot chocolate or hot apple cider are often tied to winter memories.
That vendor might incorporate:
- The subtle scent of hot chocolate
- A bowl of Hershey’s kisses
- Rich browns and clean white colors
- Soft fluffy textures
A craft show booth selling bath and body products may be featuring a lemon-scented line for summer.
Lemon is a cheerful and energizing scent, so they may incorporate:
- Lemon scents through product samples shoppers can smell
- A bowl of lemon-flavored wrapped candies shoppers can help themselves to so they taste lemon as they shop the line.
- Bold yellows incorporated into props, fixtures, and the vendor’s outfit. Perhaps even creating a display that mimics a lemonade stand but is selling lemon-scented bath and body products instead.
- A small speaker may softly play the cheerful sounds of birds chirping, which may remind shoppers of summer.
The more senses you indulge the better. But it’s important you do so in a way that makes sense to your overall story, theme, feeling, brand, etc.
3 – Present clearly
Many craft show booths have too much going on.
>> Too many types of products
>> Too many colors and patterns
>> Too many types of props
>> Too much information to take in
When there’s too much information, it’s hard to present it in a way that’s easy for shoppers to understand and remember.
The information we take in can be more memorable when it’s presented clearly.
There are many keys to creating a display that shares a clear message.
A simple way to ensure your products, brand, and message are presented clearly is to focus on a theme.
Choose a theme that will resonate with your target market and be sure to keep it simple.
A theme might be based on:
- a time (e.g. summer)
- an occasion (e.g. Mother’s Day)
- a style (e.g. feminine)
- an object (e.g. flowers)
- a color
Try and apply your chosen theme to as many elements of your display as possible.
For example, a “feminine floral theme” might be presented through:
- Products that use a floral pattern/print
- Soft feminine colors used for the tablecloth, props, and signage
- Feminine script fonts used for signage
- Bouquets of flowers used on the table
- A subtle floral scent in the space
You can imagine how this display would be more memorable than a table that has a mix of colors and prints and different styles of props, fixtures, and products.
>> For more details on creating an impactful display, join the free email challenge: 5 days to a standout craft show display.
It’s also important to clearly communicate information through signage and sales pitches.
Focus on one key point.
Don’t try to fit every perk and feature of your products/business into a sales pitch.
Think about one key benefit shoppers will care most about and lead with that.
Signage should also be simple and consistent.
I hope these three tips help you improve your craft show display and bring in more sales after each event!
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!