Tips and Tricks of the Trade: How to Display Your Products at Festivals and Fairs

pork_festivalHow do you go from bare concrete to setting up a great display for your festival, craft fair or even your local flea market? has done many craft fairs and festivals. As the company has grown we have quit doing them all except for one. Every second week in September, for almost 20 years, we have done the Preble County Pork Festival. We started out setting up in a tent and have progressed to what we think is the best spot at the Pork Festival! You can find us in the “Chicken Barn” every September. When people walk into our booth they often ask, “How do you set up your booth? How do you get it to look like this? We think part of the success of our sales at the festival is based on one basic thing…preparation! The main thing we have found is that we keep a note book of changes we can make, and any other notes we may find helpful at next years show. Here are a few basic display tips:

1. Start planning ahead…way way ahead!
You should start planning for the next festival on the last afternoon of your event while you are tearing down from the current show. While it is still fresh in your mind you should be able to make note of what items sold best, what displays provided the most sales, did you like how certain displays were set up, and what comments did customers make on your displays and how you can improve.
2. It’s all about looks!
We find that part of the success of any festival is how the products are displayed. You know… you have been in the booth where every item is lined up in a row. How boring! Make your displays interesting. Since many of our items are primitives, country and vintage looking we like to used old found items for props in our displays.

  • Old worn wooden boxes and crates are our favorite. We found these boxes years ago. pork_festival3These antique folding boxes fold flat and make for easy for storing from year to year. We found some of this type box at a local flea markets and also on Ebay. Boxes can become storage containers for certain items or be turned on their side and ends to become part of the display. Smaller wood boxes can be used to sit products in or on. You can group items together, placing them at different heights by using boxes to elevate.
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  • Step ladders make interesting displays too. The steps become small shelves for a variety of items. You can also use the ladder to hang longer products. Old rung ladders are also work well for displaying longer items, simply drape over each step or hang down the length of the ladder.
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  • Another one of our favorite display items is an old chippy paint door and old wood shutters we found. We have nails at different heights on the door. This allows us to display a variety of products. Doors not only give a great place to hang things from but also provides a break from any neighboring displays. The shutters also make wonderful display dividers and places to hang things from.
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  • The plain boring folding banquet tables are easily transformed by covering the tables with basic painters drop cloths. The drop cloths provides a lot of natural muslin material at an inexpensive price. For splashes of color you can add scrap pieces of material, that you can find at any thrift store or flea market, on top of the painter’s drop cloth.
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    3. Always be on the lookout!
    Be on the lookout for old items that normal people would easily discard. We have found great display items on Ebay, flea markets or even in the neighbors trash! People throw out the most interesting items… parts of old fences, worn and weathered doors, disregarded windows, and more. Most of all have fun with your display and as always learn from year to year how you can improve it for your next show.

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    1. hi shari-Just checked out your site as you mentioned. I do like your use of the
      old wooden folding boxes. I can’t wait to see a picture of the San Francisco box I sold you on ebay.

      Your site is wonderful, so creative and energetic.

    2. Something I see a lot of companies that are new to the whole exhibition scene is that they will try to show too much in a too small space. This makes it look cluttered and confusing as the eyes of the consumers don’t know where to look.

    3. Trade show is the very good marketing technology to promote our product to directly in market.thanks for the post.

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