The Anatomy of an Art Booth
Attending art shows, craft fairs, farmers markets, and other festivals and celebrations to sell your art can be a fun and profitable experience. There is nothing like directly selling to customers. They are excited to meet you, and you should be excited to meet them because they are not only the ones that bring in the money to pay the bills, but they are also those people who can become loyal fans who seek out your arts or crafts.
As important as greeting customers is at events, the way you have set up your booth is just as important. After all, if your booth isn’t attractive, people are going to keep walking by and you won’t have any customers to meet, let alone get money from. Your booth says a lot about you and gives potential customers a reason to give you a chance.
The following are some tips to ensure that you are getting the most out of your booth.
- If the event is outside, invest in a tent. Having a tent allows customers to either get out of the rain or the hot sun (depending on the weather) and they will be grateful for it. If the event is inside, you obviously won’t need a tent, but it might be a good idea to hang something on either side of your booth to differentiate you from the other vendors around you, especially if the event is popular and booths are packed tightly together.
- Whether you are inside or outside, your best work should be displayed prominently at your booth. Let customers see the amazing art or crafts you have and they will want to enter your area to meet you and purchase your products.
- Make sure everything in your booth is secure. The second worst thing that can happen at an event is to have your one-of-a-kind art damaged or a craft you worked so hard on ruined because it wasn’t stored securely. The absolute worst thing that can happen is to have your product fall and injure a potential customer, or to have your booth collapse and damage the merchandise (or people) in the booth next to you. In this instance, you are probably responsible for the damages, which not only means you likely won’t be making money at the event, but you might even have to dip into your personal funds. It might be a good idea to purchase insurance for the event, just in case.
- Include a sign. A sign is important because it lets people know who you are and allows customers who might even be far away to notice you and want to check out your area. It also shows that you take the event seriously and want people to know who you are.
- Give something to customers. Giving something to customers, even if it is just a business card, helps them remember you even after the encounter. Even if they didn’t purchase anything at the event, the next time they need a product you make, they will think of you.
- Have a sign-up sheet for people to put their names and email address. This gives you the opportunity to send them newsletters, advance notice on products you are selling, and occasional emails that help them keep you in mind. The key is not to send them so much stuff that they get sick of you, but that they simply remember who you are.
- Be courteous to everyone. Whether you are interacting with customers, event directors, or the artists and crafters with booths next to you, treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. After all, even your competitors might be interested in your work, but if you are rude, if you treat them as competitors, or if you act like they are beneath you, not only will they respond to you in the same way, but you might have lost business or referrals.
Do you have other tips to make attending festivals a great experience? Want to share some tips you use to make the most of your booth at events? Please comment below.