Booth Design & Lighting – Part 1
by Stacy Simbrom
In this age of websites, blogs, social media and numerous other electronic vehicles to get messages to a larger public audience, you may be asking yourself if there is still a need for an old-fashioned, hand-delivered postcard. To this, I answer with a resounding YES!
Postcards can be used not only as pre-and post-show advertising, but also as business cards and all-purpose correspondence. A postcard that is well designed with clear information and a good photo representation of your studio’s work is a wonderful marketing tool for all artists.
1. Showcase Your Work Not Your Design Skills
- Your booth design succeeds if it’s your products passersby see first. Your booth should be noticeable, but, in a sense, invisible. You want the retailers to remember what you make and sell – not how much work or money you put into your display. Your signage and décor should complement, not compete with your products.
2. Plan Your Space, No Matter How Large or Small
- Some exhibitors like having an island in the middle so the buyers can walk around it; others like a totally open space with product hugging the perimeter, to invite buyers in. The point is to let the retailers get close enough to touch your products. If they will reach for it, they want to consider or buy it.
- Provide a countertop or tall cafe table, where orders can be written comfortably and forms can be filled out. (Remember: This is not cash and carry; wholesale is all about writing orders). If you’re short on space, provide clipboards as an alternative.
Below are some examples of recurring webinars offered to exhibitors participating in the Buyers Market of American Craft. Artists new to wholesaling or exhibiting professionally should register for our regularly scheduled FREE webinar, “Entering the Wholesale Marketplace,” which is announced on the Buyers Market Facebook page.
New Exhibitor Training: Booth Display & Lighting
We’re sure you have hundreds of questions about preparing for the show: How does a wholesale display differ from a retail booth? Is it better to ship or bring your materials? Do you DIY your display or rent it? What kind of lighting is best for your work? What is drayage?
Panelists Bruce Baker (retailer, author and consultant) and Stacy Simbrom (artist mentor) will share essential tips on creating an effective display that complements your work and helps it sell. Show Director Rebecca Mercado will also walk you through the exhibitor kit and important rules with booth set-up.
New Exhibitor Training: Pre-Show Promotion
Think if you build it, they will come? Think again! Don’t make the critical mistake of assuming that new exhibitors should wait to be discovered by buyers. Megan Auman, of Designing an MBA, will share ways to build a mailing list and effectively market your work to potential buyers before your trade show debut. Join us for this important pre-show training session specially developed for new exhibitors to Buyers Market.
Megan Auman is a designer, maker, educator, and entrepreneur who has built a multi-faceted business around her passion for great design and sustainable business. Her eponymous jewelry line is sold in stores across the US and online. In 2009, Megan founded Crafting an MBA to help designers and makers develop their business skills. In 2011, the site name was changed to Designing an MBA.