Planning Your Craft Show Booth

It is important for you to begin planning out your craft show booth as soon as you get the dimensions of your exhibit space.

Most shows work with a display depth of either eight or ten feet, and display lengths in multiples of five feet. To make full use of your rented space and to catch customer's eyes from a distance, think of an attractive way to build up the height of your display and to use the back and side walls.

This is especially important if you have items that are suppose to hang on a wall; it makes it easier for customers to examine and look at piece and to visualize how it would look in their own home than if it is lying flat on a table.

Most shows have a display-height restriction of about eight feet, for your craft show booth which is a good height because two-by-fours, plywood and drywall come in eight-foot sections. If you must exceed the height restrictions check with the show management first.

You should keep your craft show booth design simple so that it can be transported easily, and if you have to, assembled alone. Try to stay away from complex designs that are time-consuming and expensive to set up and take down.

Outdoor Shows

If you plan to exhibit at outdoor craft shows and fairs then you should consider purchasing or renting a tent or canopy. This will help protect you and your jewelry from the environment. Everybody loves a bright sunny day, but sitting in the sun for eight to ten hours a day can be dangerous, not only from sunburns but also heat exhaustion and sun stroke.

Displaying your crafts under a tent will also protect your work from the heat of the sun and from fading. It will also be a lot easier for your customers to see your products if they are not displayed in the direct glare of the sun. And of course your customers will enjoy the cool shade from the sun for a few minutes as they browse through your booth. A tent will also protect your display from a sudden downpour or a strong gust of wind.

Whether you build a freestanding craft show booth with weather protection or cover your indoor display with a canopy, remember that colored canopies will distort the appearance of your products, it is therefore recommended that you use a white one.

Look through the Yellow Pages under "Tents and Awnings" you will find many companies who produce, sell and rent tents and freestanding metal framed canopies for shows and exhibits.

Make It Safe

Make it safe by ensuring that there are no protruding shelves or dangerous support wires, and be especially careful about hard-to-see steps, slippery surfaces and low overhangs. Ensure any visible electrical cords are taped down; also if you have any small carpets, use two way tape underneath the corners and edges so no one will trip over them. Secure your booth structure and make sure it's design and materials can withstand the strain of crowds; some major craft shows have a daily traffic flow of thousands of people.

Make sure all exhibit materials and signs are kept within the craft show booth confines. All passage ways and exits must be kept clear and unobstructed. The last thing you want is a customer or browser taking legal action against you because they tripped either in or in-front or your booth from a protruding object, loose carpet, dangling wires, or anything else that could obstruct their way.

Flame Proofing

Every craft show booth must comply with local fire regulations. Fabric used in curtains, drapes, backdrops, table coverings and banners must be flame-proofed or fire-resistant. The fabric used in these must be treated with fire retardant, which can be either "washed in" or "sprayed on". Be sure your material has been treated, because a Fire Inspector may approach your booth before and sometimes during a show to inspect for fire hazards. He actually cuts small samples of fabric from display booths and tests it with a lighted match.

The easiest materials to fire-proof are those of natural fibers including; jute, burlap, linen, cotton, rayon, wool and silk. Materials containing polyester are difficult to treat effectively and may have to be totally immersed in fire-retardant rather than just sprayed. Know the content of your fabrics and its resistance to melting rather than bursting into flames and how to treat it. If you need to get fabric fireproofed, check your local dry cleaners, who may fireproof fabric, or look in the Yellow Pages under "Flameproofing" to find a company who will fireproof your fabrics and issue a certificate as proof that the fabric has been treated.

If you intend to treat the material yourself check the Yellow Pages under "Safety Equipment" to acquire a spray-on type of fire retardant. A homemade fireproofing solution can be made by mixing 7 parts Borax and 3 parts Boric acid to 100 parts of water. Soak the material in your bathtub, wring it out by hand, and iron when almost dry. When dry, test the fabric with a match. Before you buy or build a display, check the regulations.

Related Articles:

Your Jewelry Displays Must Sell - Five Steps of A Sale
Good jewelry displays should convey the message "Buy Me". Learn how to lead customers through the five steps of a sale with your display.

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