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With covid it's uncertain how/when/if shows will resume. Social distancing basically means that maybe one person besides the attendant can be in a 10ft x 10ft tent space. Indoor gathering restrictions mean even less foot traffic. Outdoor markets work great in nice weather but come winter time it's questionable.

A standard pop-up tent footprint is 10ft x 10ft and happens to be a common booth size. Consider the 8ft x 8ft arrangement or the 4/8 or 3/6 which is just enough room for the important items.

Maybe it's inside and no tents. Or outside under a roofed structure. Shit! How are those wall displays going to be supported without a tent?! An adaptable display will accommodate any size venue or style of set-up and address the -evers: whatever, whenever, however, wherever.

There's only so much real estate in a small space. It can be packed with stuff or properly balanced with dead space to keep claustrophobia at bay. Even ceiling (hanging) spots are game. Build it to withstand the perfunctory clumsy clod. Leave enough room for two people to pass - feeling stuck in a small area sucks. Inevitably there will be tables or display surfaces, whatever or however they are.

A well-tuned basic display is better than shoddy deco wannabe. Pixelated images are tacky, especially on banners. It's your branding, the critical first impression, and should continually evolve. The "big reveal" is probably only going to matter to you anyway.

 
Quickie reads break up the monotony of endless products.
 
How can displays be themed? With jewelry or chains, make table legs out of extra-large faux-metal rings; hang items from jumbo European 4-in-1 sheet. Knitters, glass blowers, and others can show off their craft similarly. A weathered door may make the perfect tabletop and old window frames a perfect glass-covered flip-top display.

How quickly can it be put up? Taken down? Does it transport easily? How many people are needed on-site during the entire show from helpers, booth attendants, cashiers, etc.? Is everything secure if you have to step away for a moment or is it an invitation to poachers?

It's great to see craftmakers in action but not when they are so engrossed that they are oblivious to everyone and everything around them. Successful sellers quickly acknowledge people in their space, even if it's a cursory glance or nod while finishing with another customer.

An educated consumer is a good one. Quickie reads break up the monotony of endless products. The longer people remain, the more likely they are to engage further. Let them discover something new every place they look.

Always have stuff that isn't for sale. The best stuff. And it's really not for sale. And then have some stuff that's "not for sale" unless it's the right price. Save it for the handful of people who can appreciate it.


Posted by M: September 23, 2019


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