FOUR MORE LITTLE SECRETS TO SUCCESS AT CRAFT SHOWS
In the previous post we spoke about steps to success vendors can take before a craft show. Today, let’s focus on steps to success you can use AT the show. Having a profitable show is rarely a result of just one or two main factors. Instead, good sales at a show are generally a result of doing many “little” things right. Here are a few of them that, when implemented well and in combination will positively impact your sales:
The best tool to capture eyeballs at a show is your signage. Communication science defines “signage” as the design or use of visual signs or symbols to distribute a message to a specific group of people. In marketing, its purpose is to deliver compelling information to help consumers with making a buying decision. In the context of craft shows this means signage helps you to:
Bring potential buyers to your booth
Make them stop at your booth
Convince them to buy your creations
In order to do this effectively, your signage needs to be visible and impactful. This means you should have at least one large (no smaller than 1.5’ x 2’ / 45cm x 60cm) poster board at eye-level (or slightly higher) at your booth. Novice vendors sometimes use the front of their table-cover to display their signage. That will not work. It places the words and images of the signage at knee level or even lower. Ninety percent of visitors at the show will not see it. As a rule of thumb your signage should be visible – ideally even readable – from at least 30 feet away. If the show has mostly table displays, your signage should also be visible from the next aisle over.
“You never get a second chance to give new customers a first impression of what your business does or how well you do it. Your sign must catch their eye, accurately communicate what your business is about, and convince the customer that you provide a product [or service] they’re going to love.”
Here is an example of a table which would benefit from good signage:
After buyers notice your signage it is equally important that they read words that make them curious to stop at your booth or interested in your products. Your value proposition is a great source for compelling wording. In the previous blog post the maker of DeoRocks used the following value proposition:
“DeoRocks is the world’s only natural mineral salt deodorant. It works to prevent odor while other products attempt to mask it or plug pores with harsh chemicals. DeoRocks™ is a hypoallergenic deodorant that is safe, healthy, and totally effective”
Good words for her signage would be:
New - DeoRocks! The world’s only natural deodorant!
New - DeoRocks Deodorant:
The same words also lend themselves perfectly for smaller signage inside your booth or on your table. This will repeat and re-enforce your messaging. As advertising expert Chris Janiszewski wrote in the Journal of Consumer Research, repetition and re-enforcement are key elements of successful promotion and advertising!
When show visitors arrive at your booth your work should look appealing, attractive and desirable. The most underrated tool for accomplishing this is lighting. G. Blitzer from ZenMerchandiser describes the high value of good lighting:
”... products are emphasized and look fantastic, it is a valuable tool to increase sales, it improves the image of your brand and your relationship with customer”
Standard ceiling lighting at indoor show venues is insufficient at best and drab at worst. Therefore consider bringing your own accent lighting. Larger show venues have power-outlets for most of the booths. If you are vending at smaller venues it might be worthwhile to request access to a power outlet a few weeks ahead of the show.
Accent-lighting need not be expensive. It also doesn’t have to be purchased all at once. Buy one or two accent lights and try them out. Then buy more once you have determined what else you need. LED lighting has the advantage of emitting less heat and is less likely to damage your products. The photo below shows how lighting affects how a product is seen by customers.
4. MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN
Most vendors overlook the benefits of wearing a name tag (first name only). It is a very effective tool to break down barriers with potential buyers. Customers are often reluctant to start a conversation, they don’t know what to say, they are unsure how to address you, or they are wary of being hit immediately with a sales pitch. Your name-tag makes you more personable and relatable and gives potential buyers a friendly invitation to open a conversation. Once there is a conversation, there is an opportunity to sell!