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~ Effective Display ~
Is your display safe?
Your primary concern must be safety.
Straight-pin the corners of the table cover
and make hospital corners so no one can trip on excess fabric laying on
the floor. The display must be level and sturdy. (Don't forget to take
shims for table legs on uneven floors, especially when exhibiting at an
outdoor show. )
Step back after you've set up your display and take a good
look: is it idiot-proof?
- Use Solid Color Fabric for Your Display
Prints are cheerful, but when you put your work directly on printed
fabric, the design screams for attention and competes with your product.
The bottom line: your
work is overlooked.
your work with pride. That means clean, fresh-looking
fabric, down to the floor. If the back of your display is
visible, drape fabric over that side too. For wrinkle free table
covers, use 54"-60" wide double-knit fabric; when
pulled out of the box after weeks or even months storage,
it will drape
beautifully, and no wrinkles. Use space under your
table to hide your stash of extra inventory, out of sight.
Do You Have
Adequate Lighting? Every
display improves with light. Even people who normally manage
very well without lights need a complete light setup if the light bulb
overhead is burned out; waiting for a janitor may mean losing
several hours of sales. If they can't see it, they won't buy
up a separate box or suitcase with:
you don't have a professional lighting set up, clip on lights serve
well in the interim. If possible, the long flexible-arm
lights may be attached to your backdrop or part of your display and
it's easy to adjust the area of focus. Lighting is money
3 or 4
extension cords , in different lengths. Some promoters
insist on heavy-duty cords with 3 prongs.
of 'cheaters' (3-to-2 adapters.)
roll of duct tape to tape the cord to
the floor so no one will trip on it .
Extra 40-Watt bulbs. (Many shows
will not allow larger bulbs; some state 200-Watt maximum per
space. That gives you up to five well-lit areas in your
If you are planning to buy a ready-made
lighting system, you should be aware that some shows are banning
halogen bulbs because they are hot and can cause a
fire. There are good systems with true-light
or broad-spectrum bulbs which are excellent, but pose no fire
Create a flexible modular display. You may have a 6x10
ft. space at one show, and a 10x10 corner space at the next.
Display your work as close to
eye-level as possible. If you want people to be attracted to your
work, they must see it.
Don't display your product flat on a table,
all on one level. The
result is confusing to the eye. Nothing stands out.
your work at different heights , -think
of stair steps. This solves two problems: it makes your work
visible by separating it into groups, and displays in an organized
manner. Each piece will be seen
individually. It also brings your work closer to eye-level.
PVC pipe over the legs of your table. Cut the pipe to a
height that will add 8-12 inches or more to your
table legs, or more. Card table legs will take a piece of PVC pipe
right up to the bracket. Make sure your display is sturdy and won't tip.
the best type of display for your work: If you have framed
photographs, paintings, etc. it's more effective to hang
your work on a hinged vertical display. Inexpensive room-divider
screens, hinged shutters, or a similar arrangement work well. Large
paper clips make effective hangers if you open them into an 'S'
formation. Store them in a coffee can with a plastic lid. Have
you researched ready-to-buy display systems?
There are several types of ready-made wood
displays that come apart or fold down that look particularly
appropriate with traditional or 'Country' crafts.
There are several display systems made of
hinged wire grid panels. These are wonderful as display
panels, and also help define your booth space if you make a fabric
back-drop for the backside of the panel. It can be attached with velcro
or with small ties. These are designed to be sturdy
low-maintenance items in contrast to home-made
If you buy a good commercial system, you can use
the time you saved to increase your production. Using tried
and true solutions allows you to focus on what you do best:
design and produce your product.
to ask about a commercial display unit:
it fit in my car/van?
Can I make it fit many different
Think modular: your booth will never be the
same size/configuration twice. Commercial products usually
take this into consideration, but in the final analysis, you have to
live with this set up. Play a few games on graph paper to
determine how flexible your choice is.
I carry it and set it up by myself? This
is even more important for those who exhibit at shows alone.
Is it sturdy? Shelving
units should carry some sort of information such as:
"Holds up to 50 lbs., 100 lbs, 200 lbs. etc."
It's worth doing a little research to find your
Attractive work, well
displayed, almost sells itself!
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