May 112010
  • Are they ever finished?
  • Should I have more than one set up depending on the type of show I am doing?
  • Do I really need a tent? If so, what kind and where should I buy it?
  • My display is b-o-r-i-n-g. How can I spruce it up? (especially on a tight budget?)
  • Just where am I going to STORE all of this?

Setting up a booth for a show can be an overwhelming task and truly, for some people, it is a never ending task as different elements are added or taken away or as the artists’ needs change.

Join us for a series on “Show Booths and Displays” where we will try to answer some questions, wade through the information, talk about resources, vendors, pricing, what works and doesn’t,  and we will track the evolution of the booths of several artists.

If you have specific questions or tips regarding booths and displays, please use the contact tab above or the comments below. The more input we receive, the more beneficial this series will be for all of us. 🙂




 Posted by at 2:00 pm

  2 Responses to “Show Booths and Displays”

  1. Booth layout & displays for jewelry? How to safeguard against theft, yet allow customers good access to touch, pick up, try on a piece without being worried about them running off with a valuable item?

    To me, the most inviting booths are those that have the displays set up in a ‘U’ shape to allow people easy entry. Merchandise is set up along the walls and people can follow the ‘U’, but is that the best way to showcase the work?

    Do you recommend a poster or posters of your best jewelry pieces along the back wall to draw people in?

    What about ProPanels as walls?

    Some jewelers use actual glass display cases, so it appears you are entering a mini-store rather than a tent arrangement. For those who use that configuration, what are the costs? What are the ease of set up and tear down? Where do you buy your displays?

  2. Glad to see this series! My booth has come a l-o-n-g way since my first show, but it’s still a work in progress, and I love to hear other artists’ ideas and see photos of their displays.

    Most of the shows I do are outdoors, so I consider a tent an absolute necessity. If you get one with separate frame and fabric (unlike the scissors-action EZ-Up type), you can use the frame without the top for indoor shows as well.

    I agree with Kathleen that a “U” configuration works well, and that’s the way I usually set up. I put the tables as far forward as space allows, and leave a gap between the back table and one side table to make room in a back corner for the “office” stuff.

    That said, your layout should be flexible in order to adapt to different situations. If you’re outdoors in hot weather and roll up one or more sides of your tent for ventilation, a U-shaped layout might not work. Or if you get a corner space, you might leave two sides open to encourage people to walk through. Or if your neighbor doesn’t show up, you may be able to spread out a bit. Stuff like that.

    As for glass cases, I have some but don’t use them any more. They are beautiful, but I think they can be a psychological barrier to customers. My sales are definitely better when my jewelry is out where customers can touch it and try things on. I’ve never had a problem with theft, but of course you always have to be watchful. It helps to have another person in the booth with you if possible.

    At my last art fair, one booth had ProPanels with shelves to display jewelry and glass and it looked very professional. I’ve been thinking about getting some, but worry about the expense. Is anybody on this forum using them? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    As for the boring display, I think that’s a problem we all face. I want my booth to be creative, but not so jazzy and fun that it takes attention away from the jewelry. (Not to mention that I don’t need more display “stuff” to store and haul around!) I’d love to hear how other artists handle this one!