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May 10, 2014

How To Set Up a Table at a Craft Show

The first craft show I ever participated in with my business partner Ted, was a huge learning experience for us. As we began setting up and nonchalantly scoping out the other tables, we realized we looked like quite the amateurs. Our tablecloth was wrinkly, we didn’t have any signage and we certainly didn’t have any eye-catching displays. Luckily we had some cute products to attract some customers but our table display vastly improved with each sale we did. Here are some tips for jazzing up your table at a craft show to draw the crowds.

SETTING THE TABLE

Start at the bottom, what are you going to use for a tablecloth? If you’re bringing your own table to the event, you may have a nice surface to begin with but usually tables that are provided aren’t the ideal backdrops for your beautiful wares. Choose something that will compliment your products, fit with your brand and won’t be too much of a distraction. And don’t forget to think outside of the box!

  • bright colors and patterns for whimsical feel
  • floral prints and lace for a vintage look
  • plaid or gingham for a folksy display
  • burlap to go with natural or earthy products
  • plain white for a simplistic vibe
  • brown or white craft paper could be used as a table cover that you could write prices on, next to your products

BUILDING UP

Most craft sales and markets have strict guidelines about the space you’re allowed and don’t want you to build out from it. So think of different ways you can build your display vertically, without out blocking your view from behind the table.

  • boxes or crates can be turned upside down to create different levels
  • cake stands or different types of serve ware could work well for displaying a variety of items aside from food
  • shoe racks, risers or smaller shelves
  • a vase with branches to hang earrings and necklaces at eye level

CREATIVE PROPS

Another place where you can think outside of the box and create a display that’s really eye catching. Some of my favorite craft sale displays I’ve seen over the years involve using unexpected pieces. The best place to look is thrift shops. Browse the housewares section and see if anything sparks an idea for showcasing your goods.

  • Dresser drawers for items you can line up like stuffed animals, pictures, cards, clothing, etc
  • Dishes for smaller items like accessories
  • Vintage suitcases always look cool
  • Frames can be spray painted and have screening attached to the back so you can hang earrings off of them
  • Mason jars or vases for tall skinny items
  • Baskets or crates are simple but can look beautiful

Whatever you decide to use, make sure it’s still shop-able for your customers. You don’t want them to avoid picking something up because they’re worried about ruining your display.

TRANSPORTING

Before you get too crazy with your table’s display, consider how you’re going to get everything to and from the sale and how easy it’s going to be for you to set it up. If a display item can do double duty and be used to transport your products in (like a suitcase, crate or basket), all the better. A car can fill up pretty quickly once you start packing in all your products and tools for the day.

You also want to think about how quickly you’ll be able to set up and tear down your table. You don’t want to be fiddling around with a display and run out of time to before customers start streaming in. And at the end of a busy day, you want to be able to easily pack up and head home for some R&R.

SIGNAGE

You may want a sign to hang on the front of your table letting people know who you are. Although your business name may be on each item, it never hurts to get your name out there so shoppers can easily identify you, even if they don’t stop at your table.

Price signs can also be helpful to shoppers so that they don’t have to ask you “how much?” or search for a price tag. If you have groupings of products that are all the same price you can save some time and just use one sign to let customers know how much they are.

A few ideas for signage:
  • picture frames
  • mini chalk boards
  • clipboards

Don’t forget to snap a picture of your table display once you have it up. You can share it with your fans on your blog or social media and use it as a reference for future craft shows…..or in my case, to see how far you’ve come from your first craft show display 😉

 

Image courtesy of Cloud + Lolly. Visit her Storefront here: http://cheryl_c.madeurban.com

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