How To Create A Display For Craft Shows
It's hard to believe we are almost done with the Craft Show Series. So far we have talked about finding and applying to craft shows, what to do if you are accepted or rejected from a craft show, how to create inventory and what the best sellers are for craft shows. Today we are going to discuss the fun topic of creating a craft show display and how to make sure it fits your brand!
Creating a display for your products can be so much fun, but also a bit stressful. You want your booth or table to reflect your brand and make your products stand out, but you also don't want to break the bank doing it. Today I will go over all the details of what goes into a display and how to make sure it fits within your budget. We will start with the large equipment like tents and work our way down to all the little details like tags and business cards. My hope is that by the end you have some ideas as to what you need in order to showcase your products in the best way possible.
1. Big Equipment
Let's talk about the big equipment you may need for a show. Before going out and investing in these items you need to ask yourself if it is worth it. Here are some easy ways to know if you need to get some larger equipment for your craft shows:
- The craft shows you want to attend require vendors to have tents & tables.
- You are doing at least 3 or more large events that require tents & tables in one season.
- You plan to do large events multiple times over the next few years.
If any of the above apply to you, then it is probably a good idea to buy your own 10'X10' tent and a few folding tables. Some larger events will have tents and tables for rent, but it can cost around $150 per event to rent so if you are doing more than one show that requires a tent you are better off purchasing your own equipment.
When I first started doing shows I was selling at my local farmer's market which was a weekly outdoor market. Vendor's were required to have a 10'X10' tent and their own tables. Since I did at least 20 shows each season it was totally worth it to buy my own equipment. I started off with a relatively inexpensive tent and as I went on and started making more money I invested in a nicer tent with zip up sides. I purchased three folding tables. Two 6' tables and one 4' table and I have been using these same tables for the past 6 years. I also had to have tent weights and table cloths. The big equipment can add up quick, but as long as you are doing multiple shows per year then I'm sure that it will be worth it.
Here are some of the larger equipment that I have:
If you are doing markets or craft shows that are only inside or don't require a tent then you definitely don't have to have one. If you are doing both indoor and outdoor shows, you can always ask if you can use your tent inside. I like to use my tent as part of my display so if I'm doing an indoor show and can set up my tent I do. I just take the cover off so it's just the metal frame. You can also ask if a table is included in the booth fee of a show. If it is then your larger equipment will be minimal. Always make sure that you read through the information about a show before signing up so you know if you need to invest in larger equipment.
2. Equipment For Showcasing Your Products
Now that we have covered which large equipment you will need, it's time to think about the equipment you will use to display your products. These are things like wooden crates, mannequin heads, pop up shelves, clothing racks, etc. Try to think outside the box for this one and get creative. There are a ton of ideas out there, you just have to know where to look.
Most craft show vendors use tables to display their products, which can be somewhat boring if all of your items are just laid out flat. Try to figure out a way to use vertical space. This will allow you to have more product displayed and give your booth a really unique look. Like I said above, I like to use my tent as part of my display when I can. Since I sell bags and purses I've always hung them from the metal bars of my tent along all sides. This year, with my husband's help we created hanging bars out of dowel rods and o-rings. These hung from the tent with s-hooks and allowed me to hang all of my bags and purses as well as my Emerson Scarves on hangers. They were easy to make and pretty inexpensive and gave my booth a more professional look.
This year I also added some amazing peg boards I found at IKEA. You can find these and more in my post about display ideas from IKEA. The pegboards created a ton of vertical display area and I used them to display my adult hats.
When it comes to designing your display keep in mind how the customer will interact with your product. If you are using bins or baskets, try turning them on their sides so items are easily accessible. You don't want your products hiding in a bin, you want them out on display so your customers can see them. For example I used two wooden crates, but turned them on their sides and stacked them for displaying my child and toddler hats.
Notice that I also have some hats displayed on mannequin heads. I made these mannequin heads a few years ago out of styrofoam balls, dowel rods and wooden plaques. Mannequins are a great idea because customers will want to see how an item is worn and it can help add some dimension to your display.
Another idea for displaying products is to make or buy table top shelves. My husband made me these three tiered shelves for displaying my pouches this year. We found some instructions on youTube, but you can also purchase pre-made ones on Etsy. These are great because they easily come apart and lay flat for transporting. The shelves also allowed me to display a lot more pouches than if I had just set them out on the table alone.
Keep in mind that what you use to display your items should help to showcase your products. Don't let the equipment or display take away from what you are actually selling. Also, try to keep it simple. It will make it easier for you to set up and will make it a pleasant environment for your customers to shop.
3. Price Tags & Signs
When people come into your booth they need to be able to easily find out how much an item costs. Some people are shy and timid and won't want to ask how much an item is. Or if they don't see a price they may assume it is too expensive for them to purchase. There a few ways you can display your prices.
1. One large board with all prices listed.
2. Small signs by groups of the same item.
3. Individual price tags attached to each item.
You can use one or a mixture of all three. I use small signs and individual price tags depending on what the item is. All of my hanging items like bags and scarves have individual tags. Smaller items such as hats and pouches have small table signs next to where they are displayed.
Above you can see that I have framed signs showing the price of my baby hats, hair bows and bibs. Then for my coaster sets the price tag is attached. Use whichever method you are most comfortable with. I do suggest that when you can print your signs and tags to give them a more professional look. I print all of mine at home onto card stock and then either frame them in a simple black dollar store frame or attach with a piece of twine.
If you make them yourself try to keep them simple. Stay on brand by using the same fonts as your logo. I use my logo font for the names of items and a simple font like Century Gothic for the actual prices. This makes it easier for people to read and they can easily see that it is my brand. You can also put your logo directly on your prices tags too. That way all of your information is right there on the tag in case they forget to grab one of your business cards.
4. Bags & Business Cards
It's a good idea to have bags available for customers to take their items home in. They don't have to be anything fancy. They can be paper or plastic. When I first started I use the cheap plastic "thank you" bags from Staples. Now that I live in California where plastic bags are not allowed I use kraft paper bags. I bought an inexpensive rubber stamp from rubberstamps.net and I just stamp my logo on each bag. You can get more specialized with custom printed bags or colorful ones. It's totally up to you how fancy you want to get with your packaging and bags, just remember that the cost of those things will need to be calculated into your pricing.
Another item you must always have is business cards. This is how people will be able to find you after a craft show. Make sure you put one in the bag after someone makes a purchase and have them out on display for people to pick up as they shop. If you can't afford to order a ton of business cards or you want to go green, consider printing one large business card and have it on display with a sign that people can take a picture with their phones so they have your information saved.
I like to have business cards and a small sign with all of my social media info available so people know right away that they can find me on multiple platforms online.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, craft shows are an investment. Especially when it comes to creating your display. When you are deciding how to showcase your products make sure you keep in mind how much you are spending. Remember that all the money you spend on displays takes away from any profit you might make. I'm not saying you can't go out and buy all the nice display equipment you want, but make sure that if you do you are signing up for multiple shows in order to get your money's worth.
I hope you found the information here helpful. If you have any questions or other tips on creating a display I'd love to hear them! Comment below or send me an e-mail.