Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Business Chat - Holiday Bootcamp 3 - Your holiday booth

OK people, if you’re following along you now have a plan for your inventory and supply shopping, and you’re spiffying up your online presence. Now let’s glitz up your holiday booth display.

Your booth is your store, even if it’s only for an afternoon. How your store looks absolutely affects your sales. Your display will make your store’s first impression on your customer. For the basics of booth display you should read Booth Display 101 and Booth Display 201. Today we’re talking about how to display for a major holiday season. Now is your chance to shine!

Speaking of shine – it’s Christmas, go ahead and add some glitter to your display and get festive. A lot of people find shopping tedious and by the time they get to you they’re fed up. What can you do to make them feel happy and festive? Maybe a little tinsel or some twinkly lights. Add something special – how about a bowl of candy? (Keep it high so the kids don’t grab too much).

If you make holiday themed work, why not try and use holiday themed display items? Christmas tree earrings can be clipped to a small plastic tree. If you’re making ornaments set up a mini-display using those ornaments.

Something I add to my booth for this season are extra signs. Signage is non-verbal communication to your customer. Here are some signs that are really important at this time of year.

1. People are buying gifts now, have a sign about your gift wrapping. (if you do it, which you should).
2. Another excellent sign is your exchange policy, what if the recipient doesn’t like it, or it doesn’t fit, what does the recipient do?
3. Where can the customer find you for the remainder of the holiday buying season? If you have a craft show in the middle of November there are still a lot of buying days until Christmas. And yes, some people will leave buying until December 24. Have a list of your other holiday shows and your contact information (such as web address and email) readily available.
4. Put suggestion signs on various products. Examples of a suggestion sign is “A great hostess gift!” or “Perfect for the teen in your life”. If you look at the customers at some point they’re glazing over with overload, lead them to a decision.
5. List your payment options prominently. If you do not take credit or debit cards find out where the nearest ATM is so that you can let your cashless customer know.

Chances are your holiday show is inside. Most indoor shows offer hydro (check with the show organizer). Lighting your display is VERY important. No matter how bright the hall is, it isn’t bright enough. You need to spotlight your work. Hardware stores such as Home Depot are good sources for lights. Also check Ikea. Check the whole store, many vendors use “work lights” which aren’t in the lighting department.
Make yourself a lighting diagram of your space and from this calculate how many lights you will need and where they will go. Now double that amount and put the extra lights in your diagram. Draw in how many extension cords and power bars you will need. Don’t forget to take extra light bulbs or batteries if your lights use them.

At every show you do it’s really important to have a cash and packaging area away from your display. Try to make it a little bit larger than normal as people will have a lot of bags and they may not want to put them on the floor while paying you.

Of course the best holiday display for your booth is YOU. The closer we get to Christmas the more people will be tired of shopping, tired of crowds, tired of all the other vendors hawking their wares. At this time of year it’s extra important to smile and be nice. And have twinkly lights.

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