Designing A Booth

My canopy for doing art and craft fairs will arrive this week! It was supposed to arrive yesterday, but during it’s long journey from Tennessee, it encountered two storms over the past week, which delayed the delivery.

Now I really need to get serious about designing my booth and figuring out layout, displays, color schemes, product placement….there’s so much to do!

Here is my super quick design so far:

Here’s what I definitely need:

– Tables

In my research, someone recommended these from Target. I was thinking about two of them for now, one for the newsletter sign up, business cards, giveaway, and portfolio to sit on underneath the framed art, and the other one to go towards the back of the tent for the prints, note cards, and check out. I’ll also need table space for when the Boathouse Mouse books are available (YAY!), so the tables need to be big enough for flexibility with my products.

I’d also like a smaller one to go under the jewelry display. I haven’t decided if all of the jewelry will hang, if the mirror will hang, or if anything will be on display racks on the table. I’ve seen collapsible bookcases, so maybe one of those with a tablecloth on it would work for this. I also have a white table about the size I’m looking for that our piano keyboard sits on…it’d need some repainting, but it would work great for this!

– Tablecloths

I definitely want a nice gray color; nothing too dark like charcoal, but a nice medium color, maybe like graphite. I found a tutorial making them out of bedsheets, and even found sheets at Wal-Mart that would work, but I’m afraid they’d still look like bedsheets once I sew them up. I don’t want to buy them pre-made as they’re so expensive, and sewing them really doesn’t take a lot of time or effort.

I’m planning on getting more fabric that matches the runner I used for the show I did in December (you can see a little bit of it below in the jewelry display section). It’s a great mixture of purple, blue and gray, all colors I use for my business. I hope I can still find it!

– A sign with the business name on it

Goodness, there are so many opinions on this one: do you just put one outside the tent along the top? Just inside on the back wall? Both places?

I definitely need at least one sign. Banners are expensive, so I’m thinking about making my own. I definitely want one on the inside, and was thinking about having it be on white or light gray fabric or board in a black frame with blue fabric draped behind it similar to this:

For outside the booth, I’m not sure exactly what I’m thinking, other than it would have to be long and narrow. I think I might have one professionally made so it will stand up to wind and rain as needed.

– Jewelry displays

For the show in December, I used fabric covered cork board in a frame with straight pins to hang the earring papers on, and also had other earrings in a bin:

I didn’t really care for the display, but it was quick and easy to do at the last minute. I really like the idea of having frames echo along each wall as I’m an artist, so doing a couple big frames with ribbon like this might be nice:

Or I could do smaller ones on the table and have a framed mirror hanging above them. I should definitely get a mirror though; either a framed one for hanging on the wall or a tabletop one. Thoughts?

– Displays for my framed originals

I really really liked these:

They’re priced great, looked sturdy, and if necessary I could attach them to posts or the top of my tent for extra stability. However, the shipping is ridiculously expensive and more than doubled the cost of them.

Then I found a tutorial for making something similar. I’m not sure about the fabric covering them; I’d spray paint the metal wire white, but am afraid it would look cheap. Jury’s still out on what exactly I’ll do for display racks, but I definitely want them on the wall instead of table top.

Things that would be fun but not necessary:

– A tall camping chair or collapsible stool

Everything has to fit in the back of my fan, so portability is a must. Some of these fairs are all day events, so I’m going to want to sit at times. I do have a tall stool with a back that I could bring, but it is bulky. I have camping chairs that I can borrow, but they’re so low. I want to be able to see customers and look approachable, so hiding behind a table isn’t always the best option.

– An indoor/outdoor rug

Apparently it’s been found that if you have a rug in your booth, it’s more homey and people tend to spend more time in your booth, causing sales to go up. Who woulda thunk it?

I’m totally in love with this one, but the price is waaaay out of my budget:

I’ve found cheaper ones (for less than $20!) in a dark gray, and I could always paint a design on them similar to the one above. That would also be a nice option because if it gets ruined on a really muddy day, I won’t mind quite as much if it doesn’t get clean and I have to replace it. However, this isn’t a necessity, just something else that makes the booth feel pretty.

– A hand truck or dolly

This may have to go to the need list. If I have to park far away from where my tent is, there is no way I’m going to want to have to carry everything, especially with my bad back and in the summer heat.

Am I missing anything? Any suggestions for improvements to the booth?

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One thought on “Designing A Booth

  1. Pingback: It’s Crunch Time! | Back to the Drawing Board

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