The summer show season is nearly here for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means lots of income and a lot of preparation.  If you put in a little bit of work in before (and during) a show, you can ensure you’re maximizing your profits. 

I’m going to share a few tricks I employ to get more people to buy from my booth.

1. Two-foot (or One Metre) rule. 

People are walking, talking, eating, chewing gum, AND looking at the booths around them.  No one stops dead center if front of every booth to see what’s inside so to get their attention, you need to use the two-foot rule.  That means within the first two feet/one metre of the left and right sides of your booth, you have something truly eye-catching to draw people in.  A large picture, something colorful, or a tall stand.

2. Set up your display ahead of time at home and walk by it quickly.

Again, people don’t look at your booth from straight on (as we so often do when we set up our booths and assess them) so be sure it looks good when you’re walking past it.

3. Put levels into your display.

Use shelving on your tables or tables of different heights to add space for your products and resting places for your customer’s eyes.

4. Make sure your branding is cohesive.

Your brand should be evident in your booth both in your product and in your displays.  If you use mostly blacks and whites, your tabletops shouldn’t be wooden.  Or if your branding is rustic, you don’t want metal and neons in your booth.

5. Have a wide price range.

It’s an odd behavior among humans but when we are presented with a range of prices, we are most likely to purchase something in the middle.  We don’t want to be seen as cheap and buy the lowest priced item but we don’t necessarily want to buy the most expensive item either.  So if you make sure you have a few high-priced items in your booth, then you raise your average sales.

6. Employ scarcity. 

Like the last little ‘trick’, scarcity is also a great way to increase the chances people will buy from you.  When I set up my displays, I only set out one of each print or note card set.  That way when people pick them up, they realize that there are no more behind it.

Thus they feel that if they want it, they need to buy it or someone else might take it since there’s only one.  Now, if anyone asks me, I’m certainly honest and tell them I have more but most people don’t ask.  The first time I tried this ‘trick’, I nearly doubled my sales at a show.

7. Tell your story. 

No one can sell your work as well as you so be sure you’re telling your story!

8. Say, ‘Hi!’ to everyone who comes in to your booth.

People don’t always expect to be greeted and they instantly light up when you acknowledge them.

9. Stand; don’t sit. 

I know it can be hard, especially for a two-day show, but your customers feel like they can engage with you if you’re standing.  If you’re sitting, they’ll feel like they’re bothering you.  So try your best to stand and set aside your crossword puzzles, books, etc.  Remember, you came to the event to sell!

10. Know who your product is for and what they use it for.

Including these little points in your signage is really important at holiday shows but it applies to summer ones as well since there are always gift buyers shopping.

For my last holiday show I set little signs like, ‘For the writer,’ next to my note cards and, ‘Art for your couch,’ next to my illustrated pillows.  I really increased my sales at that event and I had less people asking what things were and if they would be acceptable for such-and-such a person.

What little tips or tricks do you use at summer shows?

(Image via Renegade Craft)

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