We had an absolutely beautiful fall day on Saturday for the Larkspur Autumn Harvest and Craft Fest. The organizers were caring, the weather was wonderful, and there was an interesting representation of artisans. This is our third craft show this year, and we are still learning a ton about how to put ourselves together for these events.
We spent hours the next morning talking about the best way to lay out a 10 foot by 10 foot square. And while what we have isn’t awful, I’m afraid it might be intimidating, maybe overwhelming, and certainly somewhat cave-like.
We could debate these issues endlessly among ourselves, but I can’t even tell anymore what’s good business and what is just my personal preference.
Any opinions from the internet? What would make you go into one vendor’s stall, and pass by another? Do you like things grouped by type/color or mixed up? Do you want to talk to us, or should we shut up?
Good questions. I’ve been to quite a few shows and like to speak to the stall holders. However I don’t like it if they’re too keen to talk to me. That can be a bit off-putting, but that’s just my opinion. I like the items grouped by colour (like my own wardrobe) and tasty bits right at the front. You need to catch people’s attention of course, but you as stallholders also need to be out of the weather as best you can. A tricky problem and one best solved by watching the other stall holders and seeing what works, I suspect.
I think your opinion about overly friendly vendors might be shared by many customers! I know I pretty much hate it when people approach me. Blech.
I also prefer items to be grouped by color, or perhaps by colorway. As long as it looks deliberate, then I’m happy. Our worry was that we’d end up with blocks of unbroken natural colors, which are not as catchy looking. But I think it’s much better than putting bright colors in the midst of the natural ones.
Thanks for your feedback, I’ve read your comment to the family. We’re going to experiment with the layouts.
I am no expert for sure but I think that like items should be together, not so much product that it’s overwhelming and an open area so shoppers can move around (a challenge in a small area). If there is too much “stuff” and too many people, I tend to walk by. The spinning demonstration would be an eye catcher for sure! I admire you for all you do.
Thanks Jacque! It’s good to get a confirmation on grouping like items. I hate having to hunt through things to find what I need. The original thought was that forcing folks to explore the merchandise would help them see it all. But as one of my buddies pointed out, we’re not a supermarket! It’s not like anyone HAS to look through our stuff, and frankly, no will want to if they can’t find what they need.
I’ve read all the comments to the family. I think I may have them on board with the “group things that are alike” concept. They kept telling me that I needed to go onto medication for obsessive compulsive disorder, instead of just grouping the items like I asked. Pbbt.
Having been part of several craft shows, what I have seen work is an open area not closed in. As the others have said, eye catchers such as you spinning would be inviting for shoppers to watch. The most effective stalls [ones who sold the most] had the lower priced items prominently displayed with the pricier ones to the back. Also, the shoppers don’t want to feel compelled to speak with you, so a warm and inviting smile that shows readiness to communicate but not pushy seems to work best. Just my 2 cents worth. Judy
Lower priced items in the front! That’s brilliant Judy! We are doing that at our next show, whatever other changes we make. I’m thinking of moving the pegboards back, and the tables to the front and sides, with more merchandise on tables. That should diminish the “cave” feeling, and make moving around easier.
I think we may be just a touch more talkative than is strictly necessary, perhaps even a bit too pushy. I’m more than glad to let that go.