Designing your vendor booth takes time, practice, a lot of trial and error, and much more success. You are not the first beginner in this journey. You are a successful business person who is expanding and growing their company. The decisions you make in regards to your business will reflect in your booth as well as other areas of your business. Take some time and consideration to plan out your booth, be willing to make changes, and investments.
In building your vendor booth there are a variety of things you need to take into consideration. Of course you want a booth that shows you and your product as well as a booth that will attract customers. In my years I have seen a variety of vendor booths from the simple table with product on it to the most breathtaking display of product that showcase a vendor and their product to the highest level of perfection. Here are a few things you need to take into consideration in building your vendor booth.
Research - Take some time to get out of the office (in my case the home office) to see other booths. Take note of what you love and what you hate. What are some trends you see in vendor booths? Did you see a booth you absolutely loved? What did you love about it? The layout? The colors? The style?
Transportation - Build a vendor booth that can breakdown for transportation. How are you going to move this display? How well is it transported from event to event? How many people do you need to transport your display? What are the measurements of your vehicle's truck, door openings, etc? Remember you need space for product as well.
Additional items that you will want to consider purchasing include a hand truck or dolly, tie down straps, and totes.
Materials - What type of material are you going to use to build your booth? You want to use materials that are lightweight but sturdy. If you are going to use wood to build your display then use 1"x2" wood vs. 2"x4". Consider using thick foam or plastic over drywall or particle board.
Grid displays are more and more common. These type of displays are great for a variety of products including clothing, jewelry, hats, purses, signs, artwork, and more. The grid displays are lightweight and easily configured to fit your needs.
When you pick out your tables consider ones that are sturdy but that are lightweight. Think about utilizing ones that fold in half to save space.
Backdrop - Backdrops make a huge difference in your booth. The backdrop gives your vendor booth the feel that the customers just walked into your shop. It stops your booth from being lost in the sea of the show. The backdrop does not need to be expensive and can be made using some PVC pipe and fabric.
Branding - Branding is one of my favorite things I have studied and practiced in business. Building your brand is essential. Think about some of those well known brands we see everyday. They have done any incredible job at creating a brand that everyone knows and recognizes immediately. One of the goals in your business is building your brand. You are working to become the go to person for your product. Your brand needs to be consistent and utilized on everything. Your booth needs to reflect your brand as well as your products, business cards, bags, etc. When someone walks up to your booth they need to immediately know that it is you and your amazing work. Most people would tell you that my brand colors are pink and black. That my logo is recognizable by the butterfly and the colors. My business name is spelled uniquely (aka misspelled) as Bonus Mommie. As I build my business I will keep my colors consistent and my logo on as much as possible. I want people to see my work and know immediately it is a Bonus Mommie product. When I do classes people refer to me as the Bonus Mommie not my real name. I am Bonus Mommie. What is your brand? Does everything you have reflect your brand?
Layout - Your booth layout needs to be planned ahead of time so you can identify if you need additional grids or table covers or signage. Nothing is permanent so if it is not working rearrange it after you have tried it. Your layout needs to include items such as wrapping/bag area, checkout area, and a place for you. There also needs to be space for business cards, marketing materials, guest book, etc. Building your layout needs to start with the size of your space then add tables then display racks/grids then bins. Remember to avoid the cave feeling. Often times vendors will have their product all the way inside the booth and lacking of light. Customers will feel as though it is a cave and not want to walk in. Avoid the cave effect.
Build it up! - Products are eye level or close to it will catch the customers' eyes. It is important to allow customers to see product from the distance to draw them into your booth. If you sell t-shirts then do not lay them flat but rather have them hanging so customers can see the front and back.
Let 'em Touch! - Customers want to touch and feel the products. If you have items bagged up maybe consider making swatches of fabric so they can feel the fabric. If you sell lotion, let the customers try it.
Glitz, Glitter and Glam - One blogger had referenced how Disneyland does an amazing job at every detail thought out the park to reflect the themes of each area. The idea that your booth is your product's theme park is my favorite state in their blog. I love the idea of being completely over the top and memorable. You want to catch your customers' eyes and this can be done using lights, glitter, bling, and more. Connecting your booth to your customers through signage, tablecloths, lighting, colorful displays, and height.
Merchandising - Product placement is very important and it does matter. It is important to keep your shelves full. If your booth looks empty a customer is not impressed and will walk on. Many customers consider a lack of merchandise as no selection. To give the idea that you have a lot of product consider using smaller displays. For example, instead of having a half full basket use a smaller basket so it is full and overflowing. Remember there is a balance between full shelves and overcrowding which makes the customers feel overwhelmed.
Bring your product forward and restock your product immediately. You want customers to be able to easily access product so if you continue to bring the products forward it is easier to reach. If you run out of something then replace it with a filler such as a sign or decoration.
Keep your extra merchandise out of sight but within reach. This can be easily done by keeping it in plastic bins under the tables hidden by the tablecloths. This way you can easily reach it to restock immediately.
Marketing You - Customers want your information so have your business cards and other business information available and easily accessible. Customers who do like your product but are not comfortable talking to you will grab your card and reach out to you at a later date. It is well worth the investment of a nice business card that includes your business name, your name, phone number, website, and social media.
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As a business owner you need to stay in the know with trends, hot topics, and creative ways to continue to build your business. One of the best ways many handmade business owners have found to build their business is through craft fairs or similar events. We have put together a variety of information to assist you in being more successful at your events. If you are looking for resources on Facebook please let me know so I can direct you into groups that are appropriate for your location and business focus. If you have any questions, please email us through our contact us page. Please take some time to look around and let us know if you need anything.
Xoxo, Bonus Mommie