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November 2012

Resources for Craft Show Evaluation

With over a dozen years of craft show experience, Alison Antelman shares her insights as she takes her own advice to prepare her 2013 schedule of shows with these Resources for Craft Show Evaluation.

Note: The opinions expressed by the author, Alison Antelman, in this post are hers and hers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASKHarriete or Harriete Estel Berman. No endorsement or refutation is implied.

Alison Antelman in her booth at a craft show.
From Alison Antelman:

Participating in a craft show is always a risk and there are no guarantees, but you can at least weed out potentially dismal situations that are a waste of your time with these resources:


Greg Lawler's Art Fair Source Book is a great resource when you are ready to invest in craft shows and travel away from home.

Art Fair Source Book is a guide that lists shows by region, location, dates, and how they rate, for over 600 shows. There are many variations to choose from including region and ranking –depending upon if you are doing shows on the national circuit or just locally. The guide itself is a worthwhile investment that is better than wasting your time at a show with no sales.

Greg Lawler compiles information from artists who already participate in shows, he supplies a postcard questionnaire with free mailing that many show promoters encourage artists to fill out. The questions include medium, show income, style of work, and a place for specific notes that you liked or did not like about the show. The questionnaire can also be filled out online after the show. He depends upon artists filling these out in order to create the most comprehensive data for the rest of us to use for our own craft show research.

There are other guides and listings out there but in my opinion, this is the most comprehensive one that I have found. I have used the Top 300 national shows but now the information is provided as an online subscription.

Visit his site and ask him questions regarding what guide is best for you. You can also follow Art Fair Source Book on Facebook.
The information that The Art Fair Source Book provides helps you determine if a show is worth your time. This information includes:

  • Return on investment
  • Gross and net sales
  • Ranking from the #1 show on down
  • Notes of sales being up or down from the previous year
  • Ratings that will tell you how worthwhile the show is regarding distance to travel, from across the country, to 1,000 miles, to not worth doing at all.
  • Dates for deadlines
  • Show dates
  • Jury odds of acceptance into the show
  • Fees
  • Reproduction restrictions, if any
  • Notes are based on artist input. For example, the notes may say that move out is chaotic, or western wear sells best, or the show is well organized but there’s no electricity available.

 Network during downtime at the show. This is an opportunity to talk with other artists.

  • Exchange information with other artists about shows, expectations, and promoters, and ask about which is the best lodging.
  • Take notes and look up prospective options later.
  • Make connections and ask if you can email a seasoned artist at another time.
  • Don't be vague, ask specific questions that will help you make your decision.
  • Keep in mind price points and quality of work. If you’re talking to someone who sells under $100 items and your work sells for over $1000, you may require a different audience.

The process of finding the right shows is always evolving. Some get better, others worse. Instead of continuing with a show that’s been sliding downhill, re-evaluate each time, and don’t let habits be your guide. Let quality, not quantity be the primary determining factor.

Alison Antelman Grand Staircase  earringsOXIDIZED
Grand Staircase Earrings by Alison Antelman
oxidized silver, 18 + 22k gold, blue zircon, peridot, hand fabricated hollow forms.


6 STEPS to Craft Show Research by Alison Antelman

READ THE ENTIRE SERIES on ASK Harriete about the craft show marketplace:

The White Tent or the White Wall


Harriete comments:
The Art Fair Review Group on Facebook was recommended in a comment after the previous post. It has potentially useful discussions. The problem is they don't have enough of a sampling. Most of the craft show listings have no information at all. Only a few have one to four comments.

P.S.S. I love comments. If you have additional resources not recommended here let me know about them in the comments. ALL comments are published except spam.

Spam is NOT PUBLISHED. Spam has increased recently so all comments need to be "approved" before publishing. I wish it wasn't necessary to approve comments, but a few people with bad internet manners have ruined it for everyone.

This post was updated on June 30, 2022, to provide current links.

6 STEPS to Craft Show Research

This is the first of three posts by guest author Alison Antelman,* an experienced craft show vendor. Her first craft show was the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival 12 years ago.  Since then, she has learned to investigate prior to craft show participation and use her years of open studio experience to help her assess shows and select the most successful events.

Alison in booth at main st fort worth arts festival
Alison Antelman at Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival

FROM Alison Antelman:

There are many different ways to run your craft business, including selling online, through galleries, or via wholesale and retail shows. In this series of guest posts, I will be focusing on juried retail craft shows. Today’s post will discuss 6 steps of craft show research.

Experience has taught me that craft show research saves time & money. If you’ve never sold at a craft show before, I recommend that your first experience should be at a local venue.

Where to start? A summary...
Every time you consider participating in a new craft show venue do the following (before you apply):

  1. View the show website.
  2. Visit the show.
  3. Walk the aisles.
  4. Discuss the show with other artists.
  5. Investigate show organization & promotion.
  6. Get a brochure/guide to the show. 

Where to start? The details...

1. View the show website:

  • Look at the list of last year's artists, particularly in your medium, then look at the individual artist’s websites and their list of events.
  • Do you like what you see?
  • What are the price points?
  • Is there anything that is of a similar type/range to what you make and sell?
  • Email past participants asking about the show.
  • Remember to tell them who you are and be gracious when asking a stranger for advice.
  • Show participants are usually willing to share information.

2. Visit the show
Some shows will give you a free pass if you tell them you are a prospective vendor.  This tells you something about the promoters.  American Craft Council usually obliges with this request for their shows. The Paradise City Art Festival was not so generous and I didn't end up going (although I was in the area visiting.)

3. Walk down the aisles

  • How does the overall setup of booths look?
  • Is the layout easy to navigate?
  • What does the work look like?
  • Review quality. Are there t-shirts and items made from purchased parts or is it primarily artist made?

4. Discuss the show with other artists

  • Talk to the artists and ask them about their work. The artist’s attitude at a show can be very telling. Do they seem happy? or angry?
  • Always remember when chatting with an artist to step out of the way when they're doing business.  They are there to sell their work.

5. Investigate show organization & promotion.

  • How many years has the show been in existence?
  • What is their potential attendance based on previous years (e.g. 300,000 is huge)? If they promise 5,000 then the clientele must be very specially interested because that is extremely small.
  • In the end, it's about the quality of the audience.
  • What are the specs on setup? If it’s the day of the show then you must make sure to have the necessary time you need to set up along with a change of clothes to convert from roadie to salesperson.
  • Where and how do they advertise and how far is the reach?
  • Do they offer any services to patrons or to artists?

6. Get a brochure/guide to the show.

  • I have one artist friend who brings me the guides to every show he does.
  • More resources for craft show guides in a future post on ASK Harriete.

Reassess Every Year:
I reassess the shows I’ve done and revisit others. It's a constant cycle that depends upon the economy, weather, audience, and even some luck.

It's important to apply to more shows than you plan to do since juried shows change their juries each year and you may not get in consistently. I’m starting the cycle again, with many show applications coming up for 2013, always keeping in motion.
Alison Antelman
Metropolis II Bracelet: Reflections on the Hudson. Oxidized sterling, 18 + 22k gold, vesuvianite, tourmaline, peridot, hand fabricated hollow forms, handmade box clasp. 8 x 2.5 x .25, $5600.
Metropolis II Bracelet: Reflections on the Hudson
by Alison Antelman. Oxidized sterling, 18 + 22k gold, vesuvianite, tourmaline, peridot, hand fabricated hollow forms, handmade box clasp.
8 x 2.5 x .25  

Do you have information or experience related to today's post that you would like to add? Please consider leaving a comment. I'd like to use this post for a new document in the Professional Guidelines. A comprehensive spectrum of opinions is important.


"Resources for Craft Show Evaluation" by Alison Antelman 

Responsibilities of Craft Show Organizer by Alison Antelman 

What's the Artist's Job for a Show?

READ THE ENTIRE SERIES about the craft show marketplace:

The White Tent or the White Wall



*Note: The opinions expressed by the author, Alison Antelman, in this post are hers and hers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASKHarriete or Harriete Estel Berman. No endorsement or refutation is implied.


This post was updated on June 30, 2022, to provide current links.

Thanksgiving Visual Feast Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. A day to simply celebrate our connections with friends and family.  A moment in time to acknowledge and share with those that make our lives more complete. No obligations other than to show up with some food to share. 

Each year I decorate my table with a theme.

Thanksgiving 2012 was a Mondrian-inspired motif with Mondrian Birthday Cake, Mondrian Cookies, and table arrangement...Here are a few photos.

Everyone was asked to wear primary colors. Here I am with my daughter Aryn.

Red Gerber flowers in black vases were very simple. Yellow candles in black candlesticks.


Thanksgiving-2012-table-birthdayThanksgiving 2012 includes a pound cake in a Mondrian Theme. It was inspired by the cakes at the San Francisco Modern Art and the book "Modern Art Desserts" though I didn't follow the recipe because I didn't own the book until a few days later. Nuts!

Thanksgiving-2012-table-jellybeansWe even had red, blue, and yellow jellybeans in black dishes.

Mondrian inspired screen for our Thanksgiving.

A Japanese screen in the dining room was inserted with colored paper to push the theme further.


Best wishes for a pleasant Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Share your table with me on Facebook.


Below are a few of my previous Thanksgiving tables with ASK Harriete readers. If you CLICK on the Thanksgiving year, you can view a larger album on Facebook (with more pictures). They start out fairly basic but become more elaborate each year.

Thanksgiving 2006 This was the year I made a pumpkin coach with gold wheels and vines all sprayed if the pumpkin coach was coming apart right there on the table. I wish pictures had been taken.  It was a fantastic table. Poof the coach was gone.

Thanksgiving 2007

"THANKS" in twigs on the wall made by my children. Twigs on pumpkin pie, and log-shaped Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Frosting with Bark texture. Rough brown paper for a tablecloth.



Thanksgiving 2008


One of my favorite tables in grey, black, and silver. If you look closely none of the chairs match. They are all different painted black, slowly collected over the years one at a time. Grey pumpkins tie into the Thanksgiving theme!

The drawing on the wall by my daughter inspired our black line linear theme.



Thanksgiving 2009


The theme was brass and gold. I spray-painted grass from the garden, and the grass mat runner going the length of the table. Vintage gold striped drinking glasses.  Brass under servers and gold plated flatware keep the metallic theme.


The brass sphere was my first hollowware project as a student.  I also spray-painted the candles gold. Fall decorative gourds and orange flowers add color. Brown paper for a table cloth.


Grapes make a great centerpiece. This looks like a still-life painting.



Thanksgiving 2010


Thanksgiving 2010 was shades of grey, and black, with a lime green accent.

Green flowers (yes, green flowers) from the farmer's market with just a few white flowers for accent.

The desert matched our green theme.
Spiral Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting  White Sugar Sprinkles and green candy accent. We always have both birthday cake and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.


Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 the theme was leaves hence a "flower arrangement" of leaves collected from the yard. Only a few orange lilies for color.

Thanksgiving Tablesetting 2012

First course is Pistachio soup. Gold metallic paper leaf is the place card.

Thanksgiving 2011 leaf theme
Nothing ever matches on my table. It is always a combination of plates and dishes collected over the years.

My favorite plate (shown above) displays a turn-of-the-century Japanese motif.  I only have four of these. Glasses are vintage 1960s Libby with gold leaves found on e-Bay. Vintage gold plated flatware from the 1960 was inherited from my grandmother. She bought this when it was all the rage. Hand washing flatware is a pain so I only use it for special occasions.

Carrot Cake with sculpted Cream Cheese frosting in the shape of a leaf to follow our leaf theme.





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Next week's posts return to The White Tent or the White Wall. Topics include finding craft shows, reviewing your selection, submissions, and more.


This post was updated on June 30, 2022, to provide current links.



Resources and Highlights for Remarkable Booth Display

The previous post titled "Guidelines for Remarkable Booth Display" was a brief summary. This post expands on some of these guidelines with more explanation and resources.

VisualMerchandising WindowsBergdorfGoodmanI found a great book to recommend: Visual Merchandising: Windows and In-Store Displays for Retail, by Tony Morgan. Many quotes from this book appear in today's post. The price for Visual Merchandising is modest . . . or look for it in your local library. The author has written many books.

Another book at a somewhat higher price is Windows at Bergdorf Goodman Anniversary Edition. The publication date is November 15, this sounds like both a timely publication and could be a really great holiday gift. It must be amazing!

Bergdorg Goodman dress shown in Bazaar magazine 1
"Bergdorf Goodman turns 111 this year and is feting the occasion in appropriately high style. Premier designers have been enlisted to create exclusive one-offs, such as Akris's 10- piece window-print capsule collection inspired by "a vintage photograph found in the book Windows at Bergdorf Goodman." Image and quote found in Bazaar magazine.

Helium ballonlettersThe windows of Bergdorf Goodman are famous for style and innovation. Some windows are very involved productions, while others only involved a background of burnt toast graded from light to dark or helium balloons (proving that not all great ideas have to be expensive or complicated).

VisualmerchandisingPeglerMost of the books on visual merchandising are college textbooks and kind of pricey (as textbooks are inclined to be). Buy the used early editions or borrow the books from your local library.  If they don't have it, use the inter-library loan program with your local colleges. Here is one more book recommendation with good information despite very lackluster images in black and white. Visual Merchandising and Display (6th edition)

As we review some of the principles in window design applicable to booth display, keep in mind the importance of focusing on a few key ideas.  The booth display needs to excite the customer about why they can't live without your work.

I was watching a video about the fashion world and a comment from Mindy Grossman, CEO & Director of HSN caught my ear. She said, "It's the idea of inspiring vs. selling. People want to be inspired to buy things, they don't want to be sold to."


YOUR NAME (or company name) UP HIGH on display
"Signage is probably the most important component of any display. You can't assume that every person who sees a display is going to understand it. There are many ingredients that go into signage. It needs to educate, explain, and make the product something you just have to have."

"Often signage and graphics may be used as a statement to support the ...theme, or sometimes as the prop that ties" a theme together. "It is always best to keep any text simple and explanatory; punchy one-liners always work best." "...too many tags, signs, or graphics can lead to visual overkill."  Visual Merchandising

LIGHTING to highlight your work. "Lighting is one of the most fundamental aspects of design." Visual Merchandising has a lighting chart for a variety of lighting options. Low voltage LED lights are really phenomenal options for limited electricity. They even run off a battery.

CLEAR THEME that relates to your work. This could be:

  • color
  • topic
  • texture
  • visual motif
  • seasonal
  • demographics of your customer. Will your theme relate to your customer base?

"...What are you aiming to achieve with your display? Are you aiming to shock, attract, or cause a buzz?" Your objective may be to "stop passing customers in their tracks."  Visual Merchandising

The Louis Vuitton windows featured an eye-popping installation by dot-obsessed Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.


  • COLOR THEME works with the merchandise.

"One of the most effective... schemes that has been used by visual merchandisers worldwide is the use of only one color. Various shades of the same color used in the same display can create impact." A display "based on the color blue, for example, can add an emotional value: it could be perceived as cold, sad, or - depending on the hue - warm." "Color can also promote a trend: pink for valentine's Day, for example; red for Christmas; or black for a more luxurious fashion look." Visual Merchandising page 80

"Color really is the most magnificent tool for capturing the attention of passersby and creating atmosphere. If in doubt, always go for the brighter or darker option. Taking the soft option will not be as effective and will be perceived as predictable by the customer who may overlook the color weak" or stale. Visual Merchandising page 83



"The hardest category of products to design display... for what is called 'smalls'. This includes... jewelry." "It is much harder to focus on little things and get a big impact." "What you need to do is make a broad statement that grabs people's attention from a distance, and then focus their field of vision onto the product by drawing them into the center, corner, back wall, ... to notice the little gem. Pin spotlighting and clever signage is a sure-fire way to get this done." Visual Merchandising page 74

Bamboo PLINTHI do not think that artists and makers selling their handmade or artist-made items should use commercial displays. It sends the wrong message. Commercial or purchased displays look...well....just so commercial.  It does not say "handmade", "artist made" or one-of-a-kind. It says standardized, commercialized, manufactured.

The display (left photo) is from Visual Merchandising page 155 featuring lacquered bamboo.


Next week a brief pause in the series on Display and The White Tent or the White Wall In honor of the holiday, I'll share images of my Thanksgiving themes from past years.

Then we start a series by Guest Author Alison Antelman about how she previews craft shows, selects the craft shows she participates in, and more. Hear from Antelman's years of experience.

PS. I love comments, but the comments on ASK Harriete now require my approval before they go live. This is because increasing visibility has attracted spam.  Please be patient, I publish all comments whether I agree or disagree but remove spam.

This post was updated on June 30, 2022, to provide current links.

Guidelines for Remarkable Booth Display

Here are the highlights of a remarkable booth display. Pick one or two ideas as a focus....not everything listed here will work together.

Remember less can be more.

YOUR NAME (or company name) UP HIGH

CLEAR THEME that relates to your work. This could be:

  • color
  • topic
  • texture
  • visual motif
  • seasonal
  • etc.


DIAGONAL LINES create movement.

CURVED LINES create motion.



  • COLOR THEME works with the merchandise.

REPETITION of similar elements


LIGHTING to highlight your work.

THURSDAY'S POST details and reference materials.


This post was updated on June 27, 2022.


Booth Display Impacts Customer Behavior

Emiko Oye boothThe previous post featured a booth by emiko oye from the August 2012 ACC show in San Francisco. I asked emiko to share observations about how her booth design affected customer behavior and sales.

She said,  "the most important benefit of an improved booth design is that the booth worked for me." The booth engaged the customers, bringing them into the booth and helping to initiate a conversation -- the first two steps to a sale. She attributes an increase of approximately 1/3 more sales than the previous year because of the innovative booth design.

Below are a few questions from me and observations from emiko.

What do you think was the impact of your booth design?

  • People definitely paused and looked longer instead of walking right by.
  • The booth design invited them in. All I had to do was stand in the back corner waiting for them to engage in conversation.
  • There was enough room for attendees to walk around. In contrast, some booths feel like a gauntlet -- customers may feel they will be cornered or pressured into a purchase. Most people choose to walk right past instead.
  • The design created "positive energy" in the space with room to walk around. (While we both discussed how the concept of "positive energy" seems a little "new age", she definitely thought that allowing flow was a successful component of the layout and in part a result of her yoga training.
  • The mannequin in the back of the booth with exhibition work gave people more to look at, drawing people further into the booth, and worked well for framing the price point for less expensive work.
  • Photos and work displayed on the walls engaged people throughout the booth.

What was the impact of winning a booth award?

  • The award gave something to talk about when people walked in.  They could comment on the award and the booth.
  • The booth award gave "permission" for the customer to begin a conversation. Bruce Baker says it is an important sales technique to wait until the customer has given "permission" before speaking.
  • Everyone loves a winner.  The recognition from ACC gave me credibility.
  • The validation also made people look more closely at the work.  People wanted to buy work from a winner.

Emiko oye I noticed that you didn't use a jewelry case. What are the advantages of not using a jewelry case?

  • It was a huge advantage that I was not standing behind a case. Too often cases are like a barrier between the seller and the customer. My work is not expensive so security was not a big issue. Displaying my work out in the open made it accessible. Since my work is made from toys, it was natural that people wanted to touch it. Touching the work is an important step to make a sale.

Were there any other tricks you can offer?
I made small treats and offered them to anyone who looked like they were staying for a few minutes.  A bite-size treat was a psychological commitment.

Many factors contribute to a REMARKABLE booth that sells your work. Uniqueness, clarity, inviting, engaging, multidimensional, depth, psychological . . .  all factors work together to sell your work.

We can see the benefits of an award-winning booth.  In the next post, some specific recommendations and actions will be offered for booth layout.

Your comments are most appreciated and often influence future posts...

FUTURE POSTS on ASK Harriete will cover a spectrum of issues under the white tent theme: 

  • Booth Display Criteria
  • Visual Merchandising Resources
  • Craft Show Research
  • Evaluating and Selecting Shows
  • The Role and Responsibilities of Craft Show Organizers
    and more.

SubscribeSUBSCRIBING IS EASY. Put your email into the white box under my photo.


This post was updated on June 27, 2022.







Display Ideas Remarkably Effective

If some of the ideas in previous posts for improving the booth display of your art or craft seem like too much trouble . . . perhaps there is more than meets the eye.

Consider the great free publicity, visibility, and improved selling because the display is so remarkable.

Emiko Oye.Below are images from emiko oye's display this summer at the ACC show in San Francisco. Her booth won an award (for good reasons) because her display included significant features mentioned in previous posts.

Here are some highlights to describe what is "working."

Cohesive display that works with her Lego jewelry.

For emiko oye, the idea for booth components that fit together is conceptually consistent with her media, Legos (that fit together).  Her jewelry is all made from Legos.

The floor pulls her booth together into a unified display. The same thing can be achieved with a rug, carpet pieces, or floor cloth but she used rubber floor tiles. 

The cardboard display is made of purchased cardboard units.  Something similar could be made with other materials consistent with your work. An important aspect is that she departed from the standard jewelry case to display her work.

Emiko Oye booth display

NLightbulbote the colored light bulbs hanging above her display. The primary purpose is to attract the eye. Stores at the mall do similar tricks -- hanging gems or objects above the display to attract the customers (like moths to a flame.) Emiko saw a similar idea hanging over kitchen appliances in the department store and adapted the idea for her booth. Talk about a light bulb as an icon for bright ideas!

Emiko Oye booth with lights.

A wall of publicity gives the seller credibility. If you mount the articles on foam core it will eliminate reflection and wrinkles. The articles establish your credibility in the first 30 seconds. An important goal is to give people a reason to buy your work.


The publicity wall also gives something for the friend/significant other to look at while their spouse is buying. (Not all shows allow a publicity wall, so make a publicity book instead.)


A sign placed up high establishes your identity and gets your name and identity above the crowds. Stores do this all the time. Just walk around the mall for examples.

Large photos in the back of the booth can give people a better idea about what you are selling.

A mirror is necessary for customers to look at themselves while trying on jewelry....but emiko oye has taken this one step further by decorating her mirror with Legos to make it consistent with her theme. Look closely...
Photo Credit: Ravipa Veerasaksri

Your comments are most appreciated and often dictate future posts...

FUTURE POSTS on ASK Harriete cover a spectrum of issues under the white tent:
comments from emiko oye about the impact of her booth display,  booth display criteria and visual merchandising resources, craft show research, evaluating and selecting shows, the role of craft show organizers, and more.

SubscribeSUBSCRIBING IS EASY. Put your email into the white box under my photo.


This post was updated on June 27, 2022.

Window Dressing for Booth Display - Hang It UP

This post is all about ideas for hanging stuff UP.

What could be more simple and fantastic than a tangle of hangers to create an innovative background? A perfect theme for anything clothing related.

Metallic gold hangers have a completely different look. 
White hangers look just as fantastic!

Remove the shelf and HANG UP what you are selling.  This works extremely well for water pitchers or cups.

Coffeecupshang it up
Or put handles on your trays and platters to display your work.  Where possible, hang up your scarves, or jewelry. This increases visibility and makes your display more dynamic.

White twigs
Painted white twigs seem like a great idea for a holiday show...but don't overfill the twigs with merchandise.  The twigs are your eye-catching focal point and you don't want to lose the drama.

Below the display uses a peg board for display in a whole new way.

PhilipKarlberg portraits

Hang up anything.


When a display is both metaphoric and a fantastic display, it becomes a real winner. Look at this display for books made with pencils.


In the video below, watch how the display with pencils is constructed.

Wondering ....what to do with those old cassettes or video tapes?

Cassette tapes
JUST DRAPE THE TAPE... Tapes aren't that strong, but certainly strong enough to catch the eye. Practically speaking you could always camouflage some mono-filament fishing line for strength.

Building the fixtures (like this piano) may take too long...but I am thinking, what about the jewel boxes from C.D.s?  Glue them together in a grid. Build a front to your display to camouflage the legs.

What could be easier than helium balloon letters?
Helium ballonletters
In this window for Bergdorf Goodman the helium letters spell out the store name. The brilliant orange dress really works as a focal point. You could use a variation of this idea to spell out your name. Remember the post "YOUR Name on Display" suggests getting your name up high.

Velvet ropes are a great idea evocative of the holidays, theater, and elegance.

The sweep of the velvet ropes also creates eye-catching movement.

A brilliantly colored blind would be a great backdrop. The great thing about this idea is that the blind collapses for travel. ADD your name on top...or open the blind to reveal something behind.

Look at these other amazing ideas for suspending creativity in the air by Ken Marten.
They both use Vaseline as an adhesive.

BlueFLOWERwreathBlue flower petals are inspired...I can also imagine this with autumn leaves.

The whole idea for this series of posts
is to be inspired by display ideas from either stores or window displays. Think about how your booth can be remarkable!

Would you like to share an idea? Send me a photo. Leave a link in the comments.

Would you like help with your booth? Contact me.


This post was updated on June 27, 2022.

Window Dressing for Booth Display - White on White!

Imagine EVERYONE at the show...coming to your booth. Selling at a show is all about numbers. The more people in your booth, the more sales you will make.

This could all be made in foam core without the horse and be amazing.

The extra work required for a spectacular booth will be worth the effort.
A fabulous booth will bring in your customers.
A fabulous booth shot will get you into the next show.
A fabulous booth will earn you a reputation for "worth watching", blog posts, and magazine articles.
Be prepared with lots of cards. People will go home to look at your website.

Today's booth ideas are white on white.

A collection of mundane to ordinary objects all painted white
can be extraordinary.

White post-it notes couldn't be much simpler.

A stack of white chairs looks great!

The Polo Ralph Lauren window features the Spring Collection 2010 and was on display at Polo Ralph Lauren’s Bond Street store in London, which is the brand’s main flagship store in Europe. Both windows were executed by Hiro Hayashi, vice president of creative presentation, Europe and Japan, Polo Ralph Lauren.

Some ideas are a little on the heavy side and would only work if you lived close to the art fair or craft show with a van and some help.



White on White always looks fabulous.
If your work is small, what if were displayed on Cake Plates, white plates, white boxes, or white baskets? Yard sales shopping might help you find some great solutions. 
Finish with a can of white spray paint. 



Too much furniture to transport? How about this iteration of white furniture I found at The Urban Farm and Garden on Facebook?

Only the shelf is real, but all you need for display. Painted  furniture from The Urban Farm & Garden on Facebook

Maybe just one or two props are all that is needed to make a booth look distinctive.

My concern is that every white tent booth these days looks too much alike. Purchased displays, cases, and standards of professionalism in the white tent have turned to stale white bread.

Brighton-based designer Kyle Bean‘s window is based on the theory that "Matter cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed." 

Click on the image (above) ..because the rest of the windows are phenomenal (even if you can't use the ideas they are worth checking out!)

The wooden structure (shown above) could be prepared in advance and assembled on site. And it could also hold your merchandise. Or think about how you could put your name on top with 3-dimensional letters.

Sure, many of the display ideas in this example are heavy....not ideal unless you have a truck and help for a local show. But can you stop thinking about what will not work...and think about what you can do to freshen your display?

White box white ribbonWhite boxes with white ribbons. Big boxes stacked up could create a pedestal. More boxes hold up your tabletop.

White ribbon big bow and boxes in the back of your booth? An elegant and festive motif for the holidays.

Make your own paper-mache eye.
What about adding a diamond (rhinestone tear) inspired by Dali. 

White on white could be cut from Foam core.

Glasseshair white
Make your booth a destination.
Make your booth remarkable.


This post was updated on June 27, 2022, to provide current links.

Window Dressing for Booth Display - Mirror Mirror

Many booths need mirrors to sell their items.... such as jewelry, scarves, or clothing. Why not make your mirror a focal point?
Mirror, mirror.

Imagine a whole booth of mirrors
find an old mirror and decorate it to match your booth.

Another idea below:
Go to a plastics store and have them cut a bunch of mirrored Plexiglas.

Mirro rmirror The Window Display Blog

Seems that the squares could hang using mono-filament fishing line from the tent structure or pipe & drape. I can see the movement as being fabulous as it would catch the light and the eye.

Mirror balls capture the light.
Mirror balls
Christmas window display found on Flickr


Gold metallic details with fabric create an upholstery motif.

More ideas on Friday...followed by a summary.

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Would you like help with your booth? E-mail me your booth image along with images of your work. We could brainstorm some ideas.

This post was updated on June 27, 2022.