As discussed in my 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 shoppers’ 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.
Before you start scrolling, see a bunch a pictures of store windows and think this doesn’t apply to craft shows…see ya! put your creative, think-outside-the-box cap on.
These techniques DO apply to any type of display, big or small, selling any type of product, from jewelry to art.
I know you’re a creative person and if you take the time to read through this article you’re going to be way ahead of most craft show vendors.
But if you’d like more guidance to apply the big ideas shared in this article, to a small craft show space, download MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS – CREATING A POWERFUL DISPLAY
MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS is my most popular ebook, downloaded by thousands of craft show vendors, many of whom have emailed me to tell me what a game changer it’s been for their business.
You can check out more details and just a few of the comments I’ve received about it here.
OR sign up for the FREE 5 day challenge below, which also shares examples of how to apply each technique.
On day 3 of the free challenge, I share exactly how to use each element from this article at a craft show.
These are techniques major retailers put to use because they translate into dollars. Although the photos are of shop windows, the techniques can be applied to a craft fair table, no matter how small the space.
There are examples throughout on how each element can be applied to a craft show display and as mentioned, the free challenge has even more (and more specific) examples.
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 so you can learn how to put them to use and make more money at your next craft show!
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)
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 to 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 photo or a sign), 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 is 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).
Line and composition is explained in detail with more examples in my e-book MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS – CREATING A POWERFUL DISPLAY
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.
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)
Consider the flow of your craft show table too. You want shoppers to be drawn in at the front of your space to look at a showstopper, be led to the middle of your table where they can browse and try items on, pick them up, etc. and end at the “cash desk” where they can pay and be out of the way of other shoppers and browse smaller “add-on” items (think of the checkout line at the grocery store; why not, I’ll grab a pack of gum, it’s only a couple bucks, it’s right here and it’s simple to add to my cart.)
The end of your table should act like a website pop up. “But wait! Before you go…” If they haven’t purchased, you want to make one last attempt to grab their attention in hopes of a future sale.
You may place business cards, postcards or lookbooks at the edge of your table. Or maybe even a small sample of your products if you offer something like soap (nothing that would deter them from buying though; you don’t want shoppers to grab a sample instead of buying). Or keep a small bowl stocked with wrapped candies.
Make sure they’re leaving your space with a good feeling and a way to remember you.
This article has a few tips to increase your chances of being remembered after a show. And consider using this trick to ensure your business info is kept safe and your business cards aren’t tossed in the trash (80% of them are).
Adding in larger than life elements can immediately grab a shopper’s attention. As they walk around the venue seeing everything in proportion, an oversized 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!
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)
Reference: Visual Merchandising & Display (4th Edition) Martin M. Pegler
I know what you’re thinking; Well this is all fine and dandy but how do I apply it to my display?
I’ve taken some of the frequently asked questions from the comments of this article and in emails and put together a FREE step-by-step guide to plan a display for your first craft show, make a small change to an existing display or completely overhaul it.
The elements described in this article are to get the shopper to notice you as soon as they walk in the venue and be drawn to your space.
But that’s just one part of a successful display.
If you catch their attention from across the room but they get close and other elements of your display are off, you’ll have a hard time making that sale.
You want your display to get better as shoppers get closer and for them to fall more in love with your products and business as they learn more.
I’ll teach you how to wow shoppers from the second they see your space to the moment you hand them their purchase. Grab the FREE worksheets and 5 step guide..
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