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Topic: Booth layout question  (Read 2854 times)
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BluegrassBeagles
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« on: May 12, 2004 08:44:14 AM »

I've got a booth-related question for you fellow crafters. My booth is set up like a shop. People come under the tent and browse the merchandise that is set up on tables in a U-shape. I have noticed, though, that a lot of people will stop and look at my endcaps, then walk on without coming in to see the other stuff. Should I invert my U so that the customers walk around the perimeter of the tent?

I'd love your input.

P.S. I sell pet-related items (dog cookies, toys, etc.) and people-related items (jewelry, purses, windchimes, etc.)
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2004 09:07:43 AM »

I have never set my booth up like you have yours because I see so many booths like that where people don't want to go 'inside'.  I do the U the other way, like you are considering.

I have a 10x10 tent that I set up, so I set my tables so that each one is at the edge of the tent. This way, customers never actually are UNDER my tent- but my soaps are so they don't melt- but when your booth/tent is right next to another one on either side this starts to REALLY limit your space!

I am getting ready to do a fairly large show at the end of June and I'm trying to redo my booth since I will have vendors on each side of me, but can't seem to figure out a decent configuration! We're in the same boat!
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2004 01:53:57 PM »

i experienced the same phenomenon this past sunday when i did my first flea market. i have the same size tent and had a small table near the front, some shelves in the back with items on them and two folding tables with all of my testers on them. i noticed that most people don't feel comfortable walking directly into your tent unless something in particular catches their eye.  i would try placing the eye-cathing items up top so people can see them from afar, that will increase the likelihood that folks will see something they like and decide to investigate further. i think the next time i do a show i will stay completely out of the tent and just hang out behind it. the tent was 10' x 10' but the space we're alloted was 10' x 20' that way, if customers want to come inside (especially if your tent has nice shade on a hot day) they don't feel like you're breathing down their neck anticipating a sale. it relives pressure on the vendor also, at least for me. try hanging some of the dog toys along the perimeter of the tent so people can see them as they're passing by. or how about sitting a pet bed just outside your tent with some of your toys and food things with a large stuffed animal dog propped up likes it's enjoying the items that you made. that will get a chuckle out of the folks and perhaps entice them to come in.

hope this helps,
k.
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2004 04:54:26 PM »

Yeah I agree, invert your U-shape, then people can peruse the goods and not feel weird going into your booth. People like to remain anonoymus when they are looking but not quite sure.

My friend & I usually make a short sided L. It jets out a bit, but not in a way that traps customers in the space.

Like this:



-t
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BluegrassBeagles
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2004 09:18:29 PM »

thanks for all your input. my biggest worry is about those shows when you really don't have any space on the sides because of other vendors. i've got a show next weekend and I'll try a new configuration then. i'll take pics to show everyone.

by the way...i learned a few years ago from a british lady i worked for that in europe, shopkeepers just acknowledge their customers with a "hello" or what-have-you. she often laughed about how americans are always breathing down their customers necks when they're in shops. i've tried to adopt the european model from her...much easier on me, anyway! so now I've got to make sure people see the frelling stuff in the first place, huh?
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2004 11:35:14 PM »

i'm all for some sort of "walk into the booth" configuration ... U or otherwise. the main reason being, as has been pointed out already, that many shows have the spaces edge to edge and if your tent is 10x10 and the space is 10x10 (which is pretty common), it's kinda hard to have people walk around the outside of the tent!

i like the suggestion about putting a pet bed down in front of the booth with a big stuffed animal and some of your wares! and yes, just say hi or hello and let the customers know that you're there if they need help ... and then let them shop! i like sitting near a front corner, esp. if it's a busy show, or sometimes i'll sit in one of the back corners. where i sit depends on my booth neighbors and if they're smoking and various other things.

good luck!

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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2004 06:17:26 AM »

i go through the same thing at comic conventions. though i never have a walk-in booth, just a table, i have to think of ways to catch eyes with the least amount of commitment possible. people don't like to be trapped by vendors. they might end up caught in a lame conversation about lame comics (or crafts) that they can't get out of. and then (GASP!) they might feel obligated to buy something. oh, no!!! so i just put my most eye-catching stuff right in the line of sight (i find that my book 'AW, SNAP!' is a good example of that). that draws people closer. then, yeah, the euro-core 'hello' or a 'how are you?' works great. i see the assclowns with the top hats and wolf-at-sunset t-shirts and the "hey, there! take a look at this new book - do you like zombie cheerleaders?!" and it makes my skin crawl. especially if i have to be next to them. once i was sitting next to a zealous fanboy who scared off a former 'real world' castmember from my table ("you look familiar... are you... you were on tv, right? yeah, oh, awesome! yeah! on the real world. yeah! cool!" and she was all uncomfortable and slinked away into the crowd). i don't give a crap about 'the real world', but she was going to buy stuff, dad blurnit. he lost my sale.  i, of course, stabbed him in the face.

travis
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