I had an opportunity today to try out many of your suggestions for improving my craft show display. The day was exceptionally windy and keeping everything on the table was quite a challenge, but we found a small measure of success with a roll of masking tape and a pile of rocks. When the rain rolled in, we decided to call it quits – about three hours before the festival was supposed to end.
It’s a shame that the weather had to be lousy on a day when I was so looking forward to measuring the success of my new display. I didn’t see much in the way of sales, but I don’t think I can blame the table so much as the wind and the threatening skies. I will just have to look for another opportunity to test things out, I guess!
So, as promised, here is a look at some of the improvements I put into place:
I purchased a few yards of floral home-decor weight fabric – Denyse Schmidt’s Daisy Bouquet in Porch, from the County Fair collection and Joel Dewberry’s Bloom Glacier, from the Ginseng collection – which I intended to turn into a reversible tablecloth that I could use on a standard 8-foot cafeteria table. The idea was that I could use the bright side for spring/summer shows and the darker side for fall/winter shows.
As it turned out, I didn’t have time to sew anything this week, so I just used the raw-edge fabric. Since it was so handy to be able to use both of the fabrics on two different tables, I no longer think I’m going to sew them together. I do still have to hem the raw edges one of these days, though…
Because I didn’t want the floral pattern to compete with the items on the table, I put down a solid linen/cotton runner. I’d have preferred plain linen, but I didn’t want to spend my life ironing it. The cotton helps keep it from getting wrinkled. That, too, needs a hem, but for this time around, I just folded it over.
Several of you suggested that my display needed some big photos of my work. I incorporated imagery in some of my small table signage, but the place where my photos really stand out is on the 6-foot banner. I really love this larger-than-life sign! The only problem is that it’s taller than the table… I had to hang it up behind the display, which was fine in this case, but may not work so well in other/indoor situations. I’m considering ordering the 3-foot version for those times when it has to be on the front of the table. The banner, if you’re wondering, is from VistaPrint, and I’m very happy with it.
Various other elements
I bought a mirror, added a vase of flowers, and got a few unique display pieces at the thrift shop. I also collected names and addresses for a drawing.
I drummed up interest in my clay-covered pens by keeping a mug of them next to the drawing sign-up. A few of them sold as a result of that. I also found that sanding and buffing pen parts was a great way to get people curious and interested in how I do what I do. I sold a pen or two after those conversations, too.
One other thing I did differently was to include a clearance table. I figured it was worth a shot, since I had the extra space. It wasn’t particularly successful, but then, neither was the full price table, really. It was just not a good sales day all around. I’m choosing to blame the weather, and hope that I get a much less windy opportunity to try out my new display soon.
Thanks, everybody, for all of the fabulous feedback that got me this far. And thanks to my family who helped lug everything both ways and hung out with me at the festival for the duration – outdoor craft shows truly are a group effort!
P.S. There’s still room for improvement on the table, I think. I like the idea of using an old shutter, for instance, or a tray filled with rice. I’m keeping them in mind for the future.