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Creating the Perfect Craft Market or Trade Show Display

Ahhh, the holiday season. Strolls through gently falling snow, cozy mugs of hot cocoa by a fireplace. While we wish this season was all about slowing down and soaking up the warm and fuzzies, the reality for most entrepreneurs is that it’s one of the busiest times of the year. In fact, researchers have found that 64% of customers begin their holiday shopping as early as December 2nd!

If you’re a maker, crafter, or have a service offering that is especially valuable over the holiday season, chances are you’ve been looking into holiday markets, craft markets, and other kinds of small business tradeshows to put your goods and services on display. Markets and fairs are a great way to increase your brand’s visibility locally and meet people in your community. They tend to be beautiful events that are highly-broadcasted on social media, which is a great marketing opportunity for you!

Getting ready to participate as a vendor in your first craft market can get a little chaotic. That’s why we’ve put together this blog full of tips and ideas to help you nail the perfect craft market or trade show display!

Tips for first-time craft market/fair vendors

There’s a lot to keep track of when planning your craft or tradeshow display, so here are a few key things you need to know before getting started.

Find out how much space you have

Even if you only have a table, you’ll need to determine the size so you can plan your display accordingly. You might also be responsible for bringing a table cover—in which case; this information will be very handy. Most craft market tables are 6’ x 2.5’.

If you’re occupying a bigger space like a stall or a booth, knowing the size and layout in advance will help you determine what to bring.

source: flickr.com/photos/renegadecraftfair

Consider your lighting

Lighting is a small but mighty factor in how your booth or table is received at a craft market. If you’re in a space with lots of natural light, you’ll have less to worry about. But if you’re indoors, you might want to bring your own lamps or candles to provide some more ambient light. Just be sure to find out from the hosts what is permitted beforehand.

Consider your positioning

There are a ton of questions you’ll need answers too before you’re able to plan your craft fair display. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Are you inside or outside?
  • By a window or wall?
  • What is behind you?
  • Are you in a corner or in the middle of a lane?
  • Who is beside you and in front of you?
  • Are you near any of your competitors or people with similar offerings to yours?

Use your booth as a conversion opportunity

In marketing speak, “conversions” are just a friendly word for turning strangers into potential customers, or “prospects”, or prospects into customers. Your craft fair has never been a better place to convert passersbys into prospects. You’re meeting in person, you’re both shivering, there’s a general feeling of holiday cheer—what have you got to lose?! Take the opportunity to chat with each person that comes by, tell them about your business, and ask what they do. Here are some quick tips:

  • Have business cards or flyers handy for people to take with them, so they don’t forget you
  • Have an elevator speech ready
  • Start with a question about them, and find a connection between you
  • Have a sign-up sheet visible for people to leave their emails or contact information so you can continue the conversation later on

source: thecitizenscollective.com

Take care of yourself

If your event is long, you might want to consider bringing a chair or stool to sit on from time to time. Make sure to bring water, snacks, layers, and anything else you’ll need to stay refreshed all day!

Pack some emergency supplies

Here’s a recommended packing list for first-time holiday or craft market vendors:

  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Pens
  • Paper
  • Clipboard
  • Nails or thumbtacks
  • 3M hooks
  • String
  • Gum/mints
  • A cloth
  • Stool/chair

Craft market and trade show display ideas

There are 101 ways to design a table, stall, or booth for your first craft market! We’ve put together some of the best options to maximize space while still showing off your product.

Display your brand name proudly

Your logo needs to be front and center at your tradeshow/craft market booth. There are tons of options to best display your logo. Our favorites are either draping it over your table or creating a sign and placing it above or on your booth.

Check this blog out if you need help figuring out how to print your logo on things properly.

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Here at @paperdollshandmade in the @custardfactorydigbeth today! Lots of ceramics, jewellery and christmas decorations!🙌🏻 So many amazing makers to see, if you're local definitely pop by!⭐

A post shared by Hollie Cooper Ceramics (@holliecooperceramics) on

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We are all set up at Cary Spring Daze in Cary, NC. If you are in the area stop by. #theZenSucculent

A post shared by The ZEN Succulent® (@thezensucculent) on

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Use levels to your advantage

Even if you’re only given a table, there are tons of creative ways to create more space for your products to be displayed. Stack wooden crates to make an easy and natural-looking shelving option. Consider building a small frame around your table to hang some of your work from. These levels not only give you more space to work with, but they’re also eye-catching and will likely get more traffic to your table!

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Basilica Farm & Flea in Hudson, NY.

A post shared by Paper Wolf Design (@paperwolfdesign) on

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All set up for the Renegade Craft Fair:)

A post shared by Samirah Steinmeyer (@seedlingclayworks) on

Hang things behind you

Traffic tends to ebb and flow at craft markets, especially busy holiday markets. You may find there are times where your stall is surrounded by people (not a bad problem to have!) and you aren’t able to speak with everyone at once. Hanging information or some of your products behind you is a great way to avoid people missing out on what you have to offer. Those who aren’t able to get right in front of your table will still be able to glance at things behind you.

craft market display ideas

Pick an aesthetic

Your brand identity should already have a determined aesthetic. It’s one thing to show it off online, but another thing entirely to make your brand come to life IRL (in real life). Below are a couple of different craft market table aesthetic options to inspire you.

Dark and moody

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Comes see the Ring Rainbow!!! Here at #artwestport until 9:00 today. @westport_kc #meritmade

A post shared by MeritMade by Kelly Conner (@meritmade) on

Light and airy

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One last stall-setup practice for my last market of the year on Sunday! If you're in London, come polish off some Christmas shopping at @craftyfoxmarket at the Bussey building in Peckham this weekend! ✨

A post shared by Annie | Stationery & Cards (@anniedornansmith) on

Rustic

rustic craft market display

source: flickr.com/photos/renegadecraftfair

Bohemian

tradeshow display booth decor

source: flickr.com/photos/renegadecraftfair

Modern

Decorate with pops of color

Craft markets can often be crowded and extremely busy, which is why it’s vital for yours to stand out amongst the rest. Colorful tables will naturally draw the eye and act as a magnet to your table. Avoid visual overwhelm by choosing a color palette and sticking with it. Bring color in with table covers, candles, signs, artwork, and even some fresh flowers or greenery.


We hope this blog has provided some inspiration and tools to help you nail your first craft market or tradeshow! Remember to ask the important questions before the day-of so you can prepare in advance. Get your elevator pitch ready, have business cards handy and, most importantly, have fun!

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