We love festival season here at Ed Practical Art. It shakes us out of our introverted creating mode in the workshop and allows us to have some summer fun! The best part of every festival is the customer connection. Of course we love a sale but it is equally enjoyable to hear the positive comments as folks tour our booth and take in the displayed pieces. The process of handcrafting each piece is fulfilling but seeing others appreciate the art is the Best!
After spending the long winter and spring (OK, so not so much spring as long ass winter straight into summer) tenderly creating each piece of wall art and building the furniture pieces, we definitely needed a killer booth to showcase our work.
A festival booth is a Pop-up Shop and just like a brick and mortar space, it’s your opportunity to introduce yourself to customers and make their shopping experience memorable. We wanted each and every visitor to enter our space and feel so comfortable, they could hang out and view the art for “days”.
After some trial and error in the building phase we can say we’re pleased with our pop-up shop and we’ve been having an amazing time selling Eric’s creations, connecting with customers and enjoying the overall unique community vibe of artists at the fairs and festivals. And, speaking of trial and error…we’d like to offer some tips for those of you considering your own “go” at setting up a booth. Consider it a list we wish someone had shared with us!
- Create a Plan
After you’ve been approved to attend the market, contact the show’s organizers for the floor plan and any rules regarding setup. The biggest question to answer is size, followed by how you will use those constraints to tell your brand’s story. Sketch out a few layout designs with a core focal point in the booth that highlights your particular message.
- Build the Booth
Will you be constructing the booth yourself or hiring help? We built ours but there are companies that specialize in booth design and development. How many shows you’ll attend and the diversity in theme will determine your design. If you plan on a busy season, attending multiple fairs, you’ll want to stay simple and clean with your display elements. Think, “one size fits all’’. We did plan on a full summer of events so our booth was constructed to both highlight the works of ED Practical Art and blend esthetically, into each festival’s environment.
This year, I wanted a booth that let me give the impression of being in a room, to show off my furniture and wall art. My 1st attempt left me with no storage space and a booth that was too deep: it seemed to deter people from coming in.
So, I modified the layout to allow for storage and bring my art closer to the front of the booth.
When designing your booth, consider lighting and power outlets…what are the restrictions and will there be any extra fees? Most importantly, make your booth easy to put up and take down. You want the start and finish of these events to be as stress free as possible!
- Decorating (The Fun Part!)
When choosing the colors and material to use in your booth, always keep in mind the narrative of your brand. Stay consistent to your other marketing efforts with the elements and color choices. Your unique product will drive how creative you can get…just make sure it furthers the story of your craft, not distracts from it. Think gallery space where you can highlight each item and allow it room to be seen. Light-colored backdrops are never a bad idea (there’s a reason you see so many white backgrounds on Instagram!). Keep clutter to a minimum and use long tablecloths to hide extra inventory under display tables. In addition to tables; ladders, drawers, toolboxes, crates and kid chairs can be fun foundations to display your product. Keep the entrance to the booth open and inviting. Consider a comfortable traffic flow when setting up the presentation; you want people to feel comfortable and to enjoy the experience.
- Relax and Have Fun
After your business cards are in a convenient spot for folks to grab, relax and enjoy yourself! Farmer’s markets, craft shows and festivals are seeing increased popularity and you are a part of the fun! Greet your visitors with eye contact and a warm smile. Consider handing a card to those leaving without a purchase and/or having them sign a guestbook with their email for future contact. If you are promoting your business via social media channels, have a flyer or brochure with an invitation to follow you.
If you’ve been to ED Practical Art’s booth this summer, thank you! We really are having a blast and have enjoyed seeing so many neighbors and meeting new visitors to Lake Tahoe. If you haven’t been to a festival yet, here is the schedule for the rest of Summer 2019:
Homewood Handcrafted Designs under the Pines
August 9, 10 & 11 (Friday to Sunday
August 30, 31 & September 1 (Friday to Sunday)
10 am to 5 pm
Homewood Mountain Resort
5145 West Lake Boulevard Homewood, CA
Tahoe City Art by the Lake
August 16, 17 & 18 (Friday to Sunday)
August 23, 24 & 25 (Friday to Sunday)
10 am to 5 pm
760 N. Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City Tahoe City
Sample the Sierra
1201 Al Tahoe Blvd. South Lake Tahoe, California
Hope to see you out there!!