This is just wrong at a craft show, . . . but not at the mall. Why?
You know why.
At a craft show the audience is looking for what YOU have made, i.e. "handmade." While many items for sale may not be one of a kind, they certainly are not manufactured by the 1,000's or millions. People are coming to buy directly from the artists or makers who have created work that reflect the unique abilities of one maker, not a corporation.
At the ACC show I walked past one booth with 30 identical pendants hanging from a display on top of their display case. What in the world is the point of that? The illusion of buying one of a kind or limited production vanishes on the spot.
Multiples of the same item send the wrong message. It doesn't say artist-made, hand-made, or limited-production. It doesn't even say special.
Since a craft booth is maintained by the maker, if a pendant is purchased, you can replenish your display from inventory in a few minutes. This is not Macy's selling 100's of the same thing.
Only one of an item should be displayed.
The same principle goes with displaying too much inventory, over all. There were a few booth displays that had so much inventory on display it was overwhelming. Quoting one attendee: "There were a few booths I didn't go into because I couldn't deal with feeling overwhelmed. It is hard enough to go to the show and look at so much work, but if a booth felt crowded, I couldn't deal with the quantity of merchandise."
I did not take photos of the "TOO MUCH STUFF" offender booths to avoid embarrassment, but in contrast, here is a prime example of a selective and thoughtfully presented display.
Among many booths with artist clothing, the display in the booth of Amy Nguyen was my favorite. Notice how carefully the jackets are organized by color. Each jacket hangs evenly spaced so there is room to look without even touching. The large photo in the corner frames the jackets with the glace of the eyes toward the clothing.
The clothing designer did not put out too much merchandise. It might not surprise you that this was a deliberate decision on her part.
When I admired their booth and asked if I could take a picture because I loved their display, my comment opened an entire conversation about how careful they were not to let their display get too crowded. They understood that their work was special and they wanted the display to convey that message.
They also had plenty of light directed on the jackets (which was the topic of the previous post).
Before concluding this post, notice also that the booth for Amy Nguyen did not use any commercial clothing racks. This leads us to our next Display Offender #4 Commercial Display Racks & Purchased Display.
Harriete Estel Berman
Previous Posts in the series WANTED Better Display:
Your Display is An Invitation To Walk Into Your Booth or Walk Right By BYE
WANTED Better Displays - Display Offender #1 Black Drape Booths