The 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.
- 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
This post was updated on June 27, 2022.