Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Craft Show Newbie 101 : Table Set Up & Display

How to prepare for your first craft show: Table Set Up & Display
Preparing for your very first craft show can be very exciting! It can also be very stressful and nerve racking. I have decided to put together a series that will consist of 5 parts discussing the main ingredients of a fun and successful craft show. We will be discussing my experiences as I prepared for my first craft show. 

As some of you may already know, my area of expertise is selling my handmade candles and soaps. My pictures and examples will reflect this, but the lessons may be adapted to whatever your own craft is. Let's get started!
Welcome to Part 3 of a 5 Part Series!
1. Choose a covering for your table. You should completely cover the table and choose a covering that is long enough to hang over the front of the table so you can stash your inventory and supplies out of sight. Choose colors or patterns that go well with your goods. For the Christmas Bazaar Craft Show I attended, Christmas was my main theme. I used a green bed sheet that was big enough to cover the table and hang over the front. I then topped that with a red & green table cloth. I also used a few Christmas decorations to place on my table.
2. Add dimension. You do not want to just set everything on your table flat. Setting a few items on the table towards the front is fine. But you will want to set other items towards the back of the table higher up so they can easily be seen. This will also make your table much more interesting to look at and organized. Like I said above, I use a bed sheet to place on the table. I then place boxes or other items on top of the sheet to add height. On top of the boxes I place the decorative table cloth making sure the boxes are completely covered.
3. Display your items attractively. Be sure to place plenty of items on your table. You do not want your table looking empty as this will serve as a turn off for prospective customers. On the other hand, you don't want your table looking too crowded either. So your table should be full, but not cluttered looking. Strategically place your items so your table is neat, organized, and inviting. Practice your display at home well in advance before the show. This will take some time and practice. Try a few different display placements and take pictures of each. You can then refer back to the pictures and decide which display you like the best!
4. Your business name. You may choose to order a sign or banner where someone else makes it for you. These are very professional looking. You may also choose to create a sign or banner yourself. Either way, you certainly need to make your business name visible. String your banner up above your table or drape it over the front of your table. Another option is to print your business information from your computer and place it in a clear standing photo frame to set on your table. This actually works very well.
5. Extras. A bowl of candy is a nice touch. You may choose to have a newsletter sign up list. You could display a special item along with a sign that you are holding a raffle. This is also a great way to collect email addresses.
Summary: Bed sheets work well for covering tables and are inexpensive. You may decide to add a little extra, such as decorations or a pretty table cloth over the sheet. Take your time when creating your display. This is a skill you will get better at each time. It will get easier with each show. Make sure your items are not lying flat on the table. Add dimension and height. Customers like items to be eye level. For my candles, I set jars on the table stacked and smaller candles I place in bowls and other containers. The front and center of your table is a good place to have samples if you're offering. I like to set unwrapped candles, such as tea lights up front. I have found that customers prefer to be able to pick up several small candles at a time to smell the different scents rather than have to take the lids off the jar candles. If they smell a fragrance they like in the small candles, often they will ask if I have that scent available in a bigger candle!
Stay tuned for lesson 4: Supplies
Previous Lessons

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