Create Your Best Art Display Booth

by Carolyn Edlund 

Are you on the show circuit this season? Create a booth display designed to attract shoppers and maximize sales.


A well-designed booth attracts shoppers while increasing perceived value of the work.


Know your booth design and have a plan

If you haven’t set up your display before, or if you are making big changes, set it up in your studio or an outdoor space ahead of time before you start your shows. This will let you know whether you are missing anything (including fixtures, tools, etc.) It will also give you a chance to get a booth photo if you need one. Don’t arrive at a show hoping that you can make a booth work out. This usually results in problems and unnecessary stress.

Keep your booth uncluttered

Use your exhibit space to highlight each piece. Give a bit of breathing room to each one. This type of approach features your work as significant and special. Avoid displaying a jammed rack full of goods, or a selection that overwhelms the shopper. A cluttered or haphazard display also serves to make your work look like a commodity, and less valuable. You don’t have to put every single piece of inventory out in your booth at once. Many times, less is more when it comes to presentation.

Don’t scrimp on lighting

Lighting is an important tool to show your art or handmade products to their best advantage. If you are at an indoor show, or an outdoor show where you can light your booth, don’t miss the opportunity to make your display a well-lit and attractive one. And having extra lights available is better than just throwing a few in your vehicle and hoping they are sufficient.

Leave an open and easy way to enter your booth

When you plan your booth layout, avoid creating a narrow entryway. This can make shoppers feel “trapped” when they come into your booth. Think about the flow of traffic, and how you can encourage people to step into your booth space comfortably.

Use sales aids

Some artists use video loops to show their technique, or give an idea of how their work looks when displayed in interiors. Do you use eye-catching signage that describes what you do, or pulls in customers from the aisles? Every piece of information that you can provide is another way to engage. Have these ready when you interact with shoppers.

Keep bestsellers at eye level

A multi-level display is often quite effective in a show booth, but this will depend on your medium and the size of your work. Don’t make shoppers stoop down to take a look at what you make. Instead, bring it to them by using risers or counters that are raised to an appropriate level.

Make your work as accessible as possible

Touch is an important part of the sale. Provide a booth display where merchandise can be handled to attract customers who want to know more about your work in an approachable way. If you must use locked cases or displays that discourage touch, keep in mind that you will want to overcome that barrier in the ways that you interact with shoppers in your booth. For example, placing an item in the shopper’s hand to give them a closer look while encouraging a sense of ownership.

Keep security in mind

You will be handling money at a show, and your inventory is valuable. Do you have a safe place to keep cash and credit card receipts? Do you need an assistant in your booth to keep an eye on things if you take a break, or to help with sales? Plan ahead to keep your art and your cash safe, so that you can spend your time selling, not worrying.

There is no better way to create a dynamic and inviting booth than planning ahead. Each element of the display is a decision, which should be made carefully. Plan to give visitors a great experience shopping experience that encourages sales.


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