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The requirements for your craft show booth will be spelled out in your contract for each show. This includes set up and break down times and policies to which you must adhere. In order to avoid having to have different displays for different shows, it makes sense to create a moveable display that will work well in the majority of situations -- both for indoor and outdoor events. Even if the promoter supplies a backdrop, a rug or tables, you can bring your whole set-up and use it instead. Your display is your portable store, and since it reflects you and your product, you want it to be outstanding! A display that creates the best presentation for your crafts can make a huge difference in how well you sell your crafts.

Because you and your booth will be constant traveling companions, make sure it's light yet sturdy, easily collapsible and just as easy to erect. You need to be prepared for wind, rain and bratty children running around knocking into display poles! Your booth may continuously evolve, and it may take years to find the best set up, only to find colors and trends changing, or your products developing and the whole look of your booth needing a facelift. As a creative person, have fun with your booth and allow your skills as a craftsperson to spill over into booth creation and display. If you need help with the construction, ask male friends or family members for assistance - and ask female friends for help with display ideas. (Or vice versa as the case may be.)

A professional display marks you as a professional and enhances your products to promote optimum sales. Basically you want the space to be comfortable for you and customers. You want it to be inviting, making customers feel welcome enough to cross over the threshold that separates the lookers from the buyers. It should be comfortable for you too, as you will be in it for days on end. It also needs to be attractive, yet well organized for a 10 X 10 space (or slightly larger in some cases). Use of colorful signs, banners and accessories attract people and enhance your craft items, hopefully encouraging visitors to pick them up.

Use colors that follow a theme or complement the predominant colors or style of your products. Red, white and blue would be a good theme for country items, while black and silver would be a more contemporary look. Each craft style will dictate the best overall look for your display. You also need to have an area for doing business -- taking money, wrapping and writing receipts -- as well as a space for storage. If that sounds like a tall order, it is! That's why it may take a while to get it right. Observe other booths and record what you like and don't like. Then take the best of the best and incorporate those ideas into your booth.

The entrance to the booth is critical. It's the make or break point for drawing a potential customer in. Experiment until you find the best mix of color, signage, banners, spacing and product display that works best to get people in "the door." Booth openings should be wide enough to allow several people in, and you should never stand out front or in the entry obstructing the flow. Have your bestsellers, lowest priced or most striking products closest to the entrance so you can optimize the five seconds you have to capture the potential buyer's attention!

Your booth sets a mood that is immediately picked up by shoppers passing by. Make sure it sets the right mood to interest people in stopping to take a look at your amazing crafts. Have the products in as natural setting as possible, that is, if you have home decor items, create a homey environment. If you create baskets, fill them with what people would naturally fill them with -- and vary this throughout the year based on seasons and holidays. If you produce jewelry items, have earrings and necklaces on mannequins to see how they would look, and have plenty of mirrors for customers to try things on.

Display objects at eye level or slightly higher, but not on the ground. Have multiple levels of display for greater visual appeal. Hanging products should not obstruct views or be a hazard to a customer walking through your space. Place your crafts so they are easily accessible and so customers will feel comfortable picking them up -- and not afraid they will break something or mess up a "perfect" display. Statistics reveal people are four times more likely to make a purchase when they have touched the item.

Booth design, product display and merchandising must all be carefully planned out as part of your overall sales strategy. Once you commit to taking your craft from pastime to profits, you become a professional businessperson and creating a quality booth and stunning display will be worth the effort in increased profits.
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