5 Things To Do Before Finalizing your Craft Show Display

It’s important to realize that a craft show display is never “done”. With each craft show, you’ll likely want to tweak something based on:

  • the type of craft show you’re attending
  • new products
  • changes to your brand
  • what your target market is looking for (e.g. back-to-school products in September vs. stocking stuffers in Nov/Dec)

But when you’re getting ready for your first craft show, or you’re making drastic changes to your setup, take these 5 steps to ensure the foundation of your display is set.


1 – Set up at home

Whether I’m creating a display for a retail store, rearranging my home decor, or setting up a craft fair table, I make dozens of little adjustments before I’m finally happy.

So an hour before the craft show doors open is not enough time (for me) to perfect my display. 

Not to mention, the pressure to get it right, right before shoppers start flowing in, plus the pre-market nerves I’m typically dealing with, don’t put me in the right headspace to be creative and problem-solve.

Setting up your display at home takes the pressure off and gives you time to play around with different configurations and groupings. 

Use your dining room table or kitchen counter to create a space that’s similar in size to your craft show table, and try different setups. If needed, you can use painter’s tape to mark a space on your floor to practice your display within.

If you’re able to, leave your display set up so you can walk away and come back with fresh eyes. You’ll notice different things when you approach your display from different angles, in different mindsets, in different lighting, etc. 

Glancing at your display set up on your dining room table when you’re grabbing a snack during a commercial break also puts you closer to the mindset of your shoppers.

They’re not obsessing over your display like you are. They’re glancing at it as they walk the aisles, distracted by their thoughts.

Will your display cut through the noise and grab attention?

Use your time at home, before a craft show, to play with different setups and tweak your display until you’re happy with it


2 – Take photos

Once you’ve perfected your craft show display at home, snap a few photos.

You’ll be able to set up quicker at the craft show when you have a photo to reference. 

It’s also another way to take a step back and get a fresh perspective. 

When you’re in a different mindset (e.g. watching TV or waiting in line) pull out your phone and have a quick look at the photo of your setup. 

What catches your eye first? Is it what you want to catch shoppers’ eyes first? What seems off to you (if anything)?

You’ll notice different aspects when you’re looking at a photo of your display.


3 – Stand WAAAY Back

Stand as far away from your display as you can. You want to get an idea of what shoppers see when they walk into the venue or are down the aisle from your table.

If you’re at home, this may be hard to replicate. 

One trick I use when merchandising is to squint to slightly blur my vision (I share more on that here: 5 Odd Display Tricks I Always Use).

Somehow, this trick makes it more “clear” which elements stand out in your display, and can also give you a vague idea of what stands out when shoppers are at a distance. 

Make sure your display is making a statement, and giving shoppers a general idea of what you sell, who it’s for, and why you sell it, in a matter of seconds.

For example, is it clear that you’re selling colourful jewelry? Or do you have so many types of products and product styles that shoppers will have a hard time defining what you sell?


4 – Shop your table

Your craft show display can’t just look good, it needs to be shoppable too. 

Items should be:

  • easy to see
  • easy to pick up and put back
  • easy to pair with other items
  • etc. 

Be the shopper at your table and be hands-on.

>> Are any fixtures wobbly? 

>> Do you have to move several items to get to one? 

>> Is there room to set items down while examining a product? Or is your table so crammed with products that there’s no negative space? (here’s why your display needs negative space).

>> Is it easy to find items that match/work together?

Also, keep the more “hands-off” shopper in mind and ensure you can browse items without having to pick them up. 

If your display is too full, it not only makes it harder for shoppers to view your items, it also lowers the perceived value of your products (here are some tips for ensuring your display isn’t too full and increasing the perceived value).

You may also want to create stations or zones so that more than one person can shop your products at a time (here’s how to create zones on your craft show table).

If you’re hoping to sell jewelry sets but your necklaces are on one side of the table and the matching earrings are on the other, people won’t be able to shop both items at the same time, and your units per transaction may be low (here’s how to increase units per transaction).


5 – Check for clear messaging

If you have a larger booth or it’s a busy event, you likely won’t be able to speak with every shopper who stops by. So consider the key information shoppers need to know to make a purchasing decision, and ensure that information will be communicated, without you having to speak. 

Whether you have many competitors at a craft show or not, consumers have unlimited choices when it comes to your product alone. 

You need to clearly communicate what makes your business, products, and brand better and/or different from others.

Use signage, product tags, photos, displays and props, to communicate key information.

For example:

  • Features – do your products have key features that make them more desirable or are the reason behind higher prices? Find a way to highlight those features or communicate them through product tags or signage.
  • Benefits – consumers must know how a product will benefit them if they’re going to buy. For example, “vinyl” isn’t a benefit, it’s a feature of the bags. Being waterproof, or vegan, or easy to clean are vinyl’s benefits to the customer. 
  • Prices – are your prices clearly marked or could items get put back in the wrong spot and cause price confusion?

Knowing who your target customer is will help you determine which information to highlight. 



As mentioned, you’ll likely always want to make small adjustments or refreshes to your display. Complete these 5 steps each time you make a change.

5 Things To Do Before Finalizing your Craft Show Display

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