Sunday, April 22, 2012

Setting up a Booth at a Fair

WOW!… That’s the sort of reaction most of us would like to hear as someone spots our stall. If you have spent time and effort collecting items for sale, allow enough time to plan your display and do justice to your hard work. A display should compliment and highlight each item.

There’s no big secret here – it’s all about the display, and how that display creates an experience that makes people want to buy. With a proper display, and a little effort, your shop can be the most popular stall in the market.

There are two things to know when it comes to setting up your display: First, you need some props, and second, you must give yourself enough time to set it all up.

When you first get started you will have to purchase the right equipment and this can be a bit of an investment, but if you think you will continue doing shows then you'll need the following:
o Canopy or tent - The proper canopy or tent will protect your items, your customers, and you from rain and sun.
o Tables - Buy the lightest, easiest thing to carry around. You can find many aluminum models that fold up easily and can be tucked away in almost any vehicle. Don't forget a small chair for yourself (when there is nobody in the stall).
o Weights - Make sure you carry weights, large water bottles that can be filled, or small sand bags. You will need to tether these to your tables or tent with bungee cords in case of a windy day.
Attention Grabber
This is the area where a potential customer enters your booth and needs to slow down and examine your jewelry. Since booth space is limited, the attention grabber needs to work immediately. Something dramatic has to make browsers, rubber-neckers and the "gotta-see-the-whole-show-right-now" folks STOP RIGHT HERE.

Booth Layout
Most booths are designed in a large inverted "U" shape: one table on each side and a table against the back wall. Therefore, after a while, all booths start to look the same. Draw attention with a different layout. You can maximize customer's sight lines by placing tables at an angle instead of the traditional up-against-the-wall layout. This means that more of each table's contents is exposed to the passersby. This is ideal for larger spaces, as customers have more room to maneuver around the displays.

One of the downsides of this layout is that you can lose about 20% of your stock space. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you will sell more by displaying less?

Back Wall
The back wall should be the magnet that pulls someone into your booth. It should be the brightest and most dramatic area. This is where your business name should be, at the highest point you can see from outside your booth. If you have an outdoor space, and it has a roof, make sure the edges of the roof do not block your name from the outside.

Overall Look
Cover your tables in bright fabric. Take your time to come up with a great color scheme. Work your tent color, table covers, and products into a harmonious display. Neutral colors, both light and dark, provide the best backdrops for jewelry pieces. Avoid textured materials on table covers. Bright primary colors (such as traffic light red, yellow and green) should be used to accent the space, as large swaths of them can overwhelm both the space and the customer.

You want people to remember your stall, but also your company name. It’s important to display a banner or sign on your display. 

Think about eye levels. You want people’s eyes to roam all around the space you have, so don’t lay your items flat. Use furniture, props, boxes and shelving to create height.

Whether you’re selling necklaces, bracelets, earrings, or rings, careful use of props can present them in such a way that will remove indecisiveness from your buyers. Remember to make it easy for your customers to try on each item. But, also keep in mind that very large, cluttered displays are almost as bad as no display at all.

Necklaces should be displayed on proper necklace stands that allow people to picture them around their own necks.

Bracelet displays should show each piece from many different angles, giving buyers the opportunity to see how they hang from a wrist, as well as how they compare to other styles.

Price Labels
For some people, it is intimidating to ask the cost, and most will simply look and leave. If you do not give your customers price starting points, you are missing a valuable signage technique.

The price tags need to be in scale with the work and not distract from the object. Your jewelry should be priced with small tags. There are many different types and sizes of tags available at any office supply, including a bunch that will work with most types of jewelry.

Beautiful labels will add to your overall presentation; shabby labels will detract from it. The most important factor is legibility. If you have terrible hand writing, print out you labels. Ensure your spelling and grammar is correct!

You Are Part of the Booth
You are part of the booth – a very important part! You should not be sitting in a chair looking bored while customers are in the booth; instead, you should be friendly and engage them in conversation. Compliment the jewelry they are wearing if you like it, or find other ways to make them feel comfortable. Remember to “decorate” yourself so you fit in with your booth, too.

Be sure to smile and do your best to make eye contact with everyone who enters your booth. Let them see how happy you are to see them. A friendly salesperson who loves the product and is excited by the customer sells more than one who is not. Be your own best asset.

Packaging Up the Sale
Careful use of props and elegant displays can have a major impact on sales, but it doesn’t stop there. Once the sale is made, you have a final opportunity to impress your customer and make them want to come back for more. This opportunity lies in how you pack your goods.

Do you normally drop those aurora borealis earrings into a paper bag and move on to the next customer? Why not box the beauties instead? There is a whole range of packaging options available to you, with different boxes and bags designed specifically for rings, necklaces, and bracelets, in many different styles and colors. Check some Etsy shops for packing supplies.

The question you should ask yourself, is how do you want your customers to look at you and your business? Do you want them to see you as a box store – cheap, drab, and crowded – somewhere they really don’t want to go? Or do you want them to picture you as a Boutique – elegant, tasteful, and a pleasure to visit?

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