Every booth at art and craft festivals has its own unique style and feel. Each well-planned tent is a one room store. Good booths are attractive and invite people in. When planning a booth display, it helps to visit fairs and make note of what seems to work and not work in people’s booths.
The various items offered for sale are limited only by human ingenuity. No matter how beautiful the item for sale, however, it must be displayed well in order to sell.
A good looking booth at a craft fair has a theme. Sometimes this is by accident, and sometimes it is planned. For example, a woodworker who makes rustic toys and other rustic items will have a rustic theme by default. Delicate lace doilies are not a good tabletop display choice for a hand carved rustic toy truck. The woodworker must make display choices that complement his wares.
Good choices for him include simple wooden shelves lining the back wall of his booth showing off smaller items. Larger items can be placed on tables along the side walls of the tent, and the largest items closest to the entry, on low palettes or the ground. To make things interesting, the woodworker can sit at the entrance to his booth, whittling or working on a project.
A children’s clothing designer who works with bright colors and prints will have a very different themed booth from the woodworker. Since the clothes for sale are small, the designer will have them hung high up in her booth so they can be seen. The designer will most likely have dark navy cloth hanging along the side walls of the tent, to contrast with and show off the bright colors of the clothing.
Regardless of what is for sale, each booth must have a consistent and appropriate theme.
Laying out items for sale on a table is boring to customers. Catch their eye from afar by displaying items from the ceiling to the floor. Some craft show professionals use simple shelves that they can put up and take down easily enough, others have simple scaffolding-like contraptions made from PVC pipe, others may use wire or hangers. It all depends upon the items for sale and the theme, but the space high up in the booth must be used to show off wares. Make sure the items can be easily removed for sale.
Floor to Ceiling
One complete and consistent theme from ceiling to floor is nicest to the eyes. Choose fabrics that look and feel appropriate to hang along the side walls of the booth. Use these same fabrics to drape over any tables in the booth. (Use the space under the table for hidden storage.)
Some professionals leave the white walls of the tent as is, and use light colored cloths on the tables. Regardless of the choices, they must be consistent and complement the items for sale.
Public Seat and Hidden Cash Box
Some show artists sit in the back of their booths, others sit toward the front and greet people when they come in. Each booth must have a dedicated spot for the salesperson to sit, and include a covered table under which the salesperson can store cash box, bags, and other wrapping supplies.
Vital to any vendor’s craft show survival, create a small personal space. Drape one more curtain kitty-corner in the back. This space should be just big enough to hold a chair and cooler with favorite snacks and drinks. The curtain makes this space private; it remains unseen by customers.