I’m always seeking to upgrade my tent’s design for the many events I do, and I know that those of you slinging market goods may look to do the same. It’s apparent that an inviting booth increases sales. So let’s talk ideas! I’m sharing my top five styling tips, and I hope you also will share techniques that work for you!
1. Use signage that represents your brand.
Your booth’s signage should be your first consideration. In fact, before you create inventory, design a sign for your space! There are plenty of options, so you’ll need to think about how you will use the sign. Ideally, it will go front and center so that market attendees will see your company name as they approach your tent.
Some business owners view their company sign as the opportunity to share all information pertinent to their brand. After all, one can include a lot of detail on a 24” x 48” banner. Rarely, though, will someone stop and read all that content. Your shoppers would prefer to hear you share your passion for the products and services offered. And by crowding your sign with miscellaneous detail, you risk overshadowing the most important part: your company name. Even if market-goers don’t purchase from you, they still are going to tell others about your wonderful products, so you want them to have your name in mind. All that free advertising will help more potential customers connect with you via your company name.
In representing well your brand, keep in mind that color and font choices are important. The goal is consistency, because a professional representation of your company communicates trust. So let’s review the main points about signage when designing a welcoming booth:
Clear & centrally located company name
Intentional selection of sign colors that are consistent with colors used in company branding
Intentional selection of fonts that are consistent with all company print and digital media
2. Attract your shopper’s eye.
Create a feature display that speaks to your product or service. The simplest way to do so is by ordering custom posters of your products in use. For example, a jewelry designer will display an eye-catching poster of a model wearing several of her necklace designs. This accomplishes two goals: the shopper can visualize the product in use, and it creates a desire to imitate the look. Now one necklace is not enough, because the layered look depicted on the poster is a must-have style!
3. Appeal to as many senses as possible.
Food artisans have it easy when it comes to inviting shoppers in to engage their products. They only have to offer samples! The rest of us have to look for more creative measures to heighten our welcoming vibe. The display discussed in Tip #2 takes care of the visual aspect, but how can you appeal to additional senses? Perhaps you can offer a simple make-and-take product that relates to your line of goods. You can offer a free ice water at a summer market or a hot cocoa during colder weather.
You also want to consider the shopper’s posse. For example, a sisal rug provides children with an area to sit and play with some building toys so mom can shop undisturbed. Also bring individually wrapped candies and discreetly ask a parent’s permission before sharing with little ones. A bag of doggie treats is always a welcoming statement, as well as a bowl of water, because many market-goers have pooches along for the outing.
The important thing here is to find out what complements your company’s message and, at the same time, serves to welcome attendees to shop with you.
4. Decorate your space with live plants.
Easy reasoning here- plants are trending big time, and our eyes are naturally drawn to them. They’re an unexpected addition to a booth that offers products for sale other than plants. If you have room to spare for bringing one, two, or three along with you, do it! Live plants have an amazing appeal!
5. Use lighting.
Product displays need lighting, and the goal always is to accentuate and not to distract. Café style string lights are the most cost-effective, but you may want to consider directional lighting like that used in art galleries. Pendant lighting works nicely in the pitch of your tent, but make sure its style complements your brand.
There’s definitely a balance required in your design strategies, and you’ll find it’s ever-evolving. You want your booth to be a quick set-up and take-down, yet you want it to be polished and inviting. You want to have appealing display pieces, but you also want to have room to transport inventory. You want to invest in upgrades, but you also want to profit from sales. Most of this balance comes with trial-and-error.
You work hard to participate in a market, so don’t stop short by doing a mediocre booth design. Go all out so your customer knows that he or she is valued and deserving of your best care.