My biggest surprise? Pegboard is evil!
Here's a staged setup of my booth layout. I took this photo earlier this spring, to apply for shows I wanted to be in. Can you spot the 5 biggest problems?
Problem 1: Visual clutter
There's too much -- too many colors, too many shapes, too many lines. My eye doesn't know where to go -- it bounces back and forth between the two sides of the booth. I knew this was a problem (to be fair, I was trying to fit everything into my camera's frame).
The one source of clutter I didn't spot, though, was the grid of holes in the pegboard book stands that my handyman husband made for me.
|Remember dot-matrix printers?|
Problem 2: No focal point
Another reason the booth looks so cluttered is that there's no focal point -- no one visual element that dominates the scene. A focal point makes the booth more attractive. Even more important, it catches the eye of weary fairgoers and draws them to the booth. I can fix this problem by creating empty space around a display I want to highlight. Or I can add a large photo of one of my items (like someone using a Kindle case).
Problem 3: Too many products
I knew this was a problem. But I didn't realize I looked "desperate." That was the word workshop leader Marlo used for vendors who display all their products at once.
But what if customer doesn't see the item she wants? If I notice someone looking at a particular thing, I can say something like, "I have those in a different pattern/color/size. Would you like to see more?"
Problem 4: All mixed up
Let's say you're shopping for an iPad bag. You come to my booth and search for the iPad bag "section."
|More is NOT better|
Turns out, I have 4 iPad bag sections! Wow! Isn't that great? Uh, no it's not. To fix the problem, my booth should be a mini Macy's, with separate departments for each product line. All the iPad stuff together, all the Scrabble bracelets together. No mingling!
Problem 5: Foolish consistency
My tag line is "Upcycling with a retro vibe." So shouldn't the props I use in my booth be retro as well? Like the go-go orange polka-dot shower curtain in the background. I just love it.
|Polka dot a go-go! Go, go away.|
But I learned that by using a retro backdrop and props, I was camouflaging my retro creations, making them harder to see. To make them pop, I need to have simpler, contemporary props. Glass and steel? I wonder how Mr. Creative Upcycling will like that.
My next show is OddMall in September. That gives me a couple of months to fix these problems. I'll post photos of my re-done booth.
What's the biggest booth no-no you've seen at a craft fair? What draws you to a booth, almost against your will?