Booth Preparation

April 21, 2014 | Posted in: Blog

I have been doing art fairs and craft shows for over 6 years now, and I am never ready for a show.  I am always stressed, and always tagging things until midnight the night before, guaranteed.  Another problem I have is my booth design.  It is mediocre at best.  Every show is different, and at every show I have a little different set up.  I keep changing my mind!

Booth photo(so sad)

My first show, all I had was  tent and 3 tables.  I went to Menards and bought 3 big drop cloths, threw them over the tables and threw everything I had on top.  Pretty boring I know, but it was what I had.  Looking around some of the other booths, I was pretty impressed with myself though.  Some people only had ONE table.

Booth shotCraftstravaganza 2012

Now days though, I can’t believe the thought that goes into some of these displays.  People practically build small houses when they set up.  I am impressed.  Beautiful shelves with awesome signage and creative atmospheres.  I, on the other hand, still have my sad setup.  I spend so much time making extra little things to sell, I never put much effort to how people see them.  I put some effort a few years ago and sewed myself up a banner, and made some cute table covers, but it was still just a bunch of stuff on some tables (above).

booth 1Craftstravaganza 2013

There was a little more progress last year at an indoor show.  I built some folding shelves with plywood shelves so my customers could actually see things.  Worked out pretty well, BUT, it was just a bunch of stuff on shelves instead of tables.  Since I make a wide variety of things, and am a very random person, I don’t organize very well.  Shocker, I know!  So I like to put the toys mixed in with the kitchen stuff, mixed in with the wine accessories, etc..  Made sense in my mind, not when you are trying to sell things.  I have never worked at a retail store, so I have never grasped the idea of marketing and product placement.

My goal for this year is to categorize things better and label my “sections”.  Plus, I am not going to bring EVERYTHING.  I have been googling “art fair display ideas” a lot and hope to build a few more shelves.  Check out this link if you are looking for some fun inspirational ideas: Renegade Craft Fair.  But of course, it is 3 weeks before my first show of the season, and I have still haven’t made much progress.  Hopefully I won’t get an ulcer.  Wish me luck!


1 Comment

  • Cheri Sams says:

    Hello Kate,
    I was born and raised in MN, now living in East Tennessee. After reading your page about craft shows, I was wondering if we are related? LOL. (just wondering because I still am having the very same problems.)


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