As we discussed in our previous article, relating your craft show booth to a store window is a good way to look at your space from a different perspective and ensure you have some elements that are going to catch the eye. You only have a few seconds to grab shopper’s attention as they walk by and encourage them to come take a closer look. Of course your amazing products will help do that but below are 10 other tactics you can use to enhance your booth and make sure you’re noticed from across the room.
You can add one or more of the elements below to your booth but be sure you don’t overdo it. The eye needs a change of pace so your display doesn’t start to blend together or become overwhelming. You don’t want your display to take away from your products; you want it to compliment what you’re selling and subtly (or not so subtly) tell the shopper: “Pssst! Look over here.”
We found some great examples of the elements below from VM (hmvm.co.uk) The blog is full of pictures of inspirational windows taken around London and we would encourage you to head over and browse around. You can also follow them on Twitter: @hm_vm.
We wanted to show you examples from windows, as opposed to craft show booths, to get you thinking outside the box. You may not be able to apply these exact ideas to your booth, due to space constraints, but it gives you an idea on how to add excitement.
HOW TO PUT THIS INFORMATION TO USE
You know when you’re walking through a craft show and you come across a booth you just HAVE to check out? They’ve got it goin’ on and everything from their products to their props makes you think: “This is freakin’ awesome. I want one.” That’s not by chance. They didn’t luck out and come up with the perfect product idea or get the best spot in the venue.
They strategically thought about the product they would bring to the event and showcase (it’s not everything they’re ABLE to make), the style and finish of everything in their space (not just their products) as well as the picture they would paint and the feelings they would evoke to get shoppers to imagine themselves using their products. They know it’s not what you sell; it’s how you sell it.
That’s what my 5-day challenge will walk you through. It’s not about sharing ideas you can mimic or giving you a list of props you can use and how to use them. It’s about finding what’s right for your products, customers and brand. It will explain how to apply the same techniques mentioned in this article (the same ones multi-million dollar retailers use), to your craft show booth; no matter how big or small your space is.
It’s also about the psychological aspect of your display. How you catch your ideal customer’s eye as soon as they walk in the venue and how you persuade them to buy. I’ll explain exactly what I mean and how you can put each technique to use to build YOUR perfect craft show display.
The challenge includes ideas and examples on how to apply these visual merchandising techniques to your craft show display.
Wanna join the challenge? Sign up below!
And the 5 day challenge is an intro to my ebook MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS. The full ebook covers these topics and more, getting into the finer, and often forgotten, details that turn more shoppers into customers. Check out all the topics covered on this page. You can also download the free chapter here.
Now let’s get started on the techniques major retailers use to draw you into their store when you’re walking through a busy mall.
Colors are a great way to evoke emotion and make a statement. The absence of color is another way to stand out, letting your products do the talking. White walls, floor, table cloth, props and your uniform for the day is bound to make shoppers stop and take notice.
The right colors will communicate a message (think light blue for calming spa-like atmosphere or yellow for fun, cheerful products) and attract your ideal customer. You can’t know and appeal to everyone’s taste but is the person you’re trying to attract, attracted to soft pastels, bright neons or rich hues?
An eye-catching hot pink color is pulled from the product label and used in some over sized tassels that mimic the tassels on the bottle in a Jo Malone window. This window also uses REPETITION with the same product being displayed 3 times. (Image Source: VM)
An all white window with bright lighting at JOSEPH really catches the eye (Image Source: VM)
A spotlight on a display or product immediately catches the eye and draws it to your product. Mood lighting can be effective too but you don’t want your space to feel drab. Shoppers need to be able to see what they’re buying so be sure you’re not impeding sales in an attempt to create dramatic lighting. You can get creative and not only use lighting to highlight your displays but make lighting part of the display.
The light fixtures and light draw attention to each individual shoe at Charlotte Olympia. (Image Source: VM)
Gucci directs spotlights on each mannequin to make their bold colors stand out even more (Image source: VM)
Macy’s uses light bulbs and their cords to create a tree design and add extra lighting to the window. (Image source: VM)
Line & Composition
Create compositions that lead the eye around your booth or table. This is done by deciding which element is going to grab the shopper’s attention first (usually the bigger, brighter display at eye level or above), then creating a trail for the shopper’s eye to follow, from one display to the next.
Line & composition can be a difficult element to master but is also an incredibly important one. Once you understand it, you’ll notice it being used by multi-million & billion dollar brands in their store windows, in-store merchandising, photos, advertisements, etc. It’s an art and it works.
It’s important to use line & composition throughout your entire booth. When you stand back and look at your space, your signage, props, displays, etc. should all work together and create a flow.
Within each element (i.e. a product grouping, a sign, etc.), you should also be using line and composition. For example, in a sign, use different font sizes and styles so the shopper notices one line of text first and then drawn to less important messages in smaller text. When it comes to your product groupings, use different levels, shapes and angles to show off each piece, in order of importance (you want your expensive pieces to catch the eye first and lead to the less expensive add-on pieces).
Here’s a graphic from the ebook to help explain how you can create lines within a composition. Each product can be placed in a way that creates connection to another product and draws the eye there.
Height and size can be used to draw the eye to a particular product first while compositions create lines and lead the eye from one product to the next.
I also share how to use line & composition in my free 5 day challenge.
Your eye is drawn to the brightly lit group of 3 mannequins in this Harvey Nichols window and then follows the angled line and writing to the 2nd group of mannequins. (Image source: VM photo credit Melvyn Vincent)
You could literally draw a continuous line from one display element to the next. The overlapping of products, props and mannequins, the way the mannequins are angled (even the line of the leg on the mannequin in the tan coat directs your eye to the next element) and the use of light and dark (notice how they’ve used different color mannequins in the second grouping. A white mannequin makes the black dress stand out and a black mannequin makes the light sweatshirt stand out. The sleeve of the light sweatshirt also pops out when place in front of the black dress).
The beautiful piece of floral art grabs your eye at LK Bennett as the over sized paint tube & brush lead your eyes down to the product (colorful shoes). On the other side, if your eyes are down as you walk by, the flower paint spilled on the sidewalk will lead your eye into the window in the reverse direction. (Image source: VM)
Adding in larger than life elements can immediately grab a shopper’s attention. As they walk around the venue seeing everything in proportion, an over sized picture or prop will make them stop and take notice. You don’t need to spend a lot of money either…you’re crafty! Cardboard, foam, paper mache, etc. can all be used to create lightweight, larger than life objects that can easily be hung above your space using some fishing wire. It will catch the eye of shoppers as soon as they walk in the venue.
How fun is this over sized pop can mimicking the print on the mannequins dress in a Moschino window? (Image source: VM)
Larger than life beauty tools draw attention to the makeup Kate Spade is selling inside. (Image source: VM)
Big props create color and interest through needles knitting a pattern at H&M and promote the knits they have in-store. (Image source: VM).
These hairpins in a Hermes window go with the hair accessories they’re selling. (Image source: VM)
What objects, shapes, colors or textures will make a shopper stop and take note of how polar opposite they are to your products? Dark can contrast light products, rough can contrast smooth finishes and a simple background can contrast a complex design.
You can also create a contrast to the surroundings. If the event is busy, bright and loud, your quiet, serene setting will be quite the contrast to the rest of the atmosphere. If the weather is cold and snowy, a warm beach theme will also stand out in contrast.
The crisp, clean Alexander McQueen dress stands out in contrast to the dark background. (Image source: VM)
Repeat your displays, colors, shapes or products to get a message across and create an impact. Odd numbers tend to be more pleasing so if you’re going to repeat an element, repeating it 3, 5 or 7 times is the way to go.
This is an easy technique to implement and should be used in most craft show displays.
The same product is repeated 3 times to highlight these accessories at Tods. (Image source: VM)
Color, pattern, lines and products are all repeated throughout this Louis Vuitton window. (Image source: VM)
Again, a clutch is repeated 3 times in a window at Anya Hindmarch showing off the product and varying color options.(Image source: VM)
Who doesn’t love to laugh? Humor immediately helps us let our guards down and feel more comfortable…and a comfortable shopper is more likely to stick around and buy. Don’t try too hard; you don’t need each passerby to keel over in laughter; a simple smile or chuckle will immediately make them relax. Be sure your humor isn’t offensive or need
explaining…keep it simple!
Examples of how to use this technique (and all the others) at a craft show are in the free challenge. Sign up here.
French Connection uses their FCUK campaign to have some fun with phrases that will make you chuckle and maybe even shock you at first glance. (Image source: VM)
A giant whoopee cushion uses humor, scale and nostalgia to make you take notice of Fred Perry’s back to school children’s clothes. (Image source: VM)
Don’t you love seeing something that reminds you of your childhood? They evoke a feeling which is incredibly important when it comes to selling. Items from our past or “before and afters” reminding us how far we’ve come will encourage people to stop and have a closer look.
This Moschino window brings us right back to playing dress up with our Barbies. The over sized toy packaging grabs your attention and makes you envision how the bright and fun outfit will look on the mannequins…or you! (Image source: VM)
Theo Fennel’s window immediately reminds you of the sound and feel of spinning the tin top that’s used as a prop, along with wooden blocks (spelling out Theo), to display beautiful jewelry. (Image source: VM)
Something moving among your static products (aside from other people) can catch a shopper’s eye. You don’t want it to become a hazard or annoying (strobe lights are not the way to go) but something that makes people want to stop and watch a prop go through the whole motion can work to your advantage. The more complex the movement is, the further out of reach it should be (up high or behind your table).
You don’t want moving objects to be in the way of products shoppers are trying to browse, or worse yet, become a hazard. Movement can also be implied through displays to show off components of your products or to create a feeling. Pulling the end of a scarf up using fishing wire can imply the movement of wind and make the shopper think of chilly days.
This Anthropology window is so serene. Fans gently blow scarves to show how delicate they are while sunlight highlights the beautiful colors. (Image source: VM)
Movement is implied in this windy Hackett window, creating an interesting scene to stop and look at. (Image source: VM)
An element of surprise is involved in many of the ideas above but you can make an even bigger impact by creating a moment in your booth shoppers won’t be expecting to see at a craft show. It should leave them amused and excited to tell others about it.
You can also add intrigue. Make shoppers do a double take and hang around a little longer to check something out or figure out a puzzle. For example, encouraging shoppers to come closer to peer into a shadow box or behind curtains to see what they’re missing out on. Having something out of place or missing intrigues the mind and forces it to figure out what’s missing, which gets them to hang around a bit longer. Perhaps long enough for you to make a sale?
You may be surprised to see an island backdrop set up in the middle of the city for you to have your own photoshoot with. And if you’re not quite camera ready, it’s a great opportunity to head in and try some of Liz Earle’s beauty products. (Image source: VM)
A broken chair may make you take a second look as you walk past The Conran Shop, which is pointing out that their furniture is well constructed and will last a lifetime. (Image source: VM)
I know what you’re thinking; Well this is all fine and dandy but how do I apply it to my display? I’d love to share exactly how these ideas can be used for even the smallest spaces at a craft show and the actionable steps I took to really step up my craft show display.
Join my FREE 5 day challenge and I’ll walk to you through the exact steps to take to come up with your funnest, your coolest, your most eye-catching display ever and kill it at your next event 🙂
Sign up below!
Once you attract a shopper to your space, you want to turn that shopper into a customer…..otherwise, what’s the point right?
Ensure you’re displaying the proper products; ones your ideal customer is most interested in and ones that make you the most profit (I’ll walk you through the painless process in this free download). Trying to show the shopper too many options will leave both them and you overwhelmed. You’ll wear yourself out trying to build enough stock in each product, guessing which will be the most popular this time, and waste too much time pitching each product and its features. If you’re introducing a new product, have a read over this article: how to know if your product will sell.
You also want to ensure you have a way to get in contact after the event. Don’t assume handing out your business card is good enough. Over 80% of people throw business cards they’ve been given in the trash. You can use this trick to ensure your business info doesn’t end up in the garbage, but even then, you’re leaving a second contact up to them. Try this technique also to increase your chances of a sale after the event.
There are lots of articles you can read on our blog if you’re looking for more info on craft fairs. Here are a few fan favorites:
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Questions? Comments? Ideas? Please leave a comment below 🙂
Reference: Visual Merchandising & Display (4th Edition) Martin M. Pegler
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