Common Errors in
Displaying at Craft Shows

Many booth displays could be improved by avoiding a few common and obvious errors in displaying that decrease their effectiveness, and thus, not attract the customers attention.

The following errors in displaying should be noted and taken in consideration when setting up your display:

Too Much Merchandise

There is no need to pile everything you've made into your display. Variety is important, but when too much is offered, the customer doesn't know what to look at, and may either get confused or miss one of your better pieces because she was distracted from everything being crammed together.

Too Little Merchandise

On the other hand, a word of caution must be presented concerning bare or half-empty displays. The bare look makes your booth appear to be going out of business, or that you have not produced enough jewelry for the show giving an unprofessional presence.

Try to keep at least one of each item you sell in your display as a sample. If you run out of merchandise (and it does happen!), take orders. Better yet, try to produce more than you expect to sell so that you do not end up with a half empty booth.

Also contributing to the bare look is lack of consideration about props, display fixtures, lights, and other elements that enhance the total appearance of the display.

Too Many Props

Just as there is no exact amount of merchandise that must appear in a display, neither is there a given number of props that should accompany an item of merchandise or appear in a give area.

Remember display props should complement and enhance the merchandise and must not overshadow, dominate, or be located so that the salable items are hidden in the display, regardless of the props' uniqueness and appeal. There should be no question in the customer's mind what items in the display are for sale and what items are props.

Inappropriate Props

The use or misuse of props that are not merchandise enhancing are common errors in displaying. Use props that go with your overall theme or atmosphere that you are trying to present. Props must be evaluated as to whether they are seasonal, masculine or feminine, rustic or modern; and whether they compliment or distract the merchandise.

Lack of Attention to Detail

There is probably nothing less professional in a display than one that is not completed. Check your display from all angles, make sure that:

  • you have used an attractive way to create height in your display and are using the back and side walls
  • you do not have any empty shelves or spaces
  • all merchandise is neatly displayed and not tumbling over or falling to the ground
  • dirt and dust is removed from surfaces, and floor coverings are vacuumed or swept
  • there are no protruding display fixtures that a customer could walk into
  • your display is sturdy to withstand crowd flow and designed with traffic patterns in mind
  • everything is priced and labelled
  • lighting is pointed in the right direction to highlight your merchandise and not blind your customers
  • there are no tools or garbage left lying around in your display area
  • extra stock and packaging materials are hidden out of sight
  • your booth looks complete and inviting

Errors in Applying the Principles of Display

Many functional errors in displaying that can be observed in are concerned with application of the principles of design .


As you can see, displaying and presenting your jewelry is a critical factor in increased sales and the success of your jewelry making business. The jewelry industry has become very competitive, as a matter of fact the public is becoming swarmed with craft shows — maybe even too many!

You must attract the consumer's attention, and get them to stop. Again, you may have the most beautiful products with the highest quality and workmanship, but if you don't get the consumer to stop and look, they will never know what they are missing.

Designing and building your display doesn't have to cost you a fortune, just a little imagination and creativity.

Go to as many craft shows as possible and take a serious look at the different booths and how each of them have displayed their work.

Ask yourself what you do and do not like about each one. Why are some drawing crowds while others sit despondent? What about the exhibitors themselves? How is their boothmanship?

Learning from other exhibitor's mistakes and successes will be an invaluable lesson in avoiding errors in displaying your work to SELL.

Related Articles:

The Importance of Boothmanship
Discover the importance of boothmanship to impress your customers with your personal and professional image.

Jewelry Display Tip #1 - Learn From Others
Before designing your jewelry display check out the competition. Discover why learning from other exhibitor's mistakes and successes will be an invaluable lesson in displaying your work to SELL.

Return to Common Errors in Displaying At Craft Shows
Return to top of Displaying Jewelry To Sell
Return to Beading Design Jewelry home page.

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Light Sources As Selling Tools

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