There’s a certain thrill walking down an artist alley and getting to see the work put into a display. Folks who are able to create a space for themselves in the crowded convention that makes me feel like I’m solely at their booth for one moment create such an enchanting experience.
With convention season right around the corner, it’s time to start working on revamping my booth to achieve this as well. In the past I created a setup based on my experiences with craft shows. But this year I want to level up my display for artist alleys.
In order to do this, I starting at the roots of the booth. The way your products are displayed can create that magical moment I mentioned earlier or make the customer feel like they’re at a flea market. And today I want to share what I’ve learned that a display setup should showcase, the styles typically seen in artist alleys, and some necessities every booth must have.
- Three Things Your Booth Should Do:
- Display Style One: The Newspaper Stand
- Display Style Two: The Menu
- Display Style Three: The Bookstore
- Display Style Four: The Consignment Store
- Things Always Needed In Your Display
Three Things Your Booth Should Do:
- Tell your customers what you sale/promote.
- Showcase what target audience or niche your products are aimed for.
- Share how much your merchandise is worth.
One of the subtle ways to make these happen starts with the base setup of your booth. How you display your products can entice a variety of folks to stop by. I think this is because certain setups remind us of other store fronts from everyday life, which is why I named them as such below. (If there are proper names let me know! I couldn’t find it but it would be cool to learn!)
Display Style One: The Newspaper Stand
One that is perfect for quickly showcasing what you have. This setup focuses on using tiered display stands.
When you see this type of setup, you know you can quickly skim through and find the merch that vibes with you with efficiency. This is great for selling recognizable character prints and greeting cards, for example. The downside is that you only have so much space on your table, so make sure to highlight the favorites at eye level. And you have to keep a lot of your inventory below the table.
Display Style Two: The Menu
This style became pretty popular over the past few years due to the pandemic. You create a board of your merch with numbers or other identifiers by it to help you and your assistants be able to quickly grab the merch from behind the table. Usually a grid system is used as the backbone and foam board is attached to make it a solid wall of merch.
This one is great especially if you have helpers with you that might not know all the things you’re selling at this convention. It’s a fantastic setup if you sell a lot of small merch, like enamel pins, stickers, lanyards, or keychains. The downside is that you cannot see those walking around you, so you have to trust that no one is going to take your display items. (Though there are ways to discourage this.)
Display Style Three: The Bookstore
Just like at a bookstore, where you can browse and pick up a book before deciding it’s a winner, this display style let’s your customers touch your products before purchase. This is great because they can properly feel the quality of your creations before buying.
This setup is especially great for folks who sale purses, plushies, and any other material that the quality can be checked by touched and yet isn’t fragile.
Display Style Four: The Consignment Store
Unlike the other display styles, this one takes the chaos of life and runs with it! It uses a variety of display stands on the table, with each display usually showcasing a different type of product. When working with this style, I’d suggest that you have the bottom be hands on products, with the top being a menu for folks to browse if your booth gets overcrowded. It’s a fun way to play with the verticals of your booth.
Things Always Needed In Your Display
- Pricing. There should be multiple price lists in your booth. You never know which direction your next sale might come from, so find a way to showcase them.
- Ways to Pay. Do you take credit or just cash? Are you willing to barter? Make sure this is showcased in your display somewhere.
- Vertical Displays. Folks are finding to take in a lot of information when they go through an artist alley. Having your work at multiple eye levels will help hook folks better.
- Where to find you. You have a booth here, but what if they wanted your work a few months from now? How can they get in contact with you to get your work later on? Whether it’s a stack of business cards or a QR code to your linktree, do what is
Depending on what your products are will change up your display, but hopefully these can help spark your imagination when you next work on your booth design. And if you’re lost and don’t know which one to start your artist alley career with, pick the one that would call to you when you’re in an artist alley.
As for me, I’ve got some deep diving into deciding which style is best for my new work as well. Hopefully next week I’ll have some time to work of some sketches for the booth.
Until Then, I Wish You Luck!