I am trying to work on the design of my booth and was wondering where most of you choose to sit during a show and is there any benefit over one spot to another? I see some people who sit out front in a directors chair and some who choose to sit inside their booth behind a table or display of some sort...I suppose it depends somewhat on what you are selling...I sell mainly 2D art and some jewelry...Do any of you veterans have any thoughts on this subject?

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  • I've never quite understood those that sit outside their booths on director's chairs and watch folks going by. Usually their in the way of pedestrian traffic or look something like vultures waiting to swoop down. I'm too old and my feet are too bad to be standing for a whole show, so we use director's chairs, but in the back of the booth. They put us up to almost eye level and let us be unobtrusive while people are browsing/looking. I haven't found a stand that I really liked yet (I'm going to check out the Target one someone mentioned), but try keeping things out of sight.
  • My thoughts -depends on your approach , if your a people person -in front off to the side in a directors type chair to greet people -if your not a people person or have limited space -behind your cashout in the back or side .It really is a experience thing -not everybodys medium will be the same . My best advice- dont be too agressive -it scares the heck out of timed people !
  • I set my tables up in a U shape- 2 6 ft tables along one side and back wall in an L for display , and a small 4 ft table at the other side towards front, for my sales counter. I usually create at a show- I do custom work for some customers- and I also offer to change over earrings to clip or post if the customer prefers. I find that this also draws customers in, and re-assures that my jewelry IS handcrafted. My display tables are on risers- counter height, and this is great for customers. No bending and stooping. All tables are covered to the ground or floor. This hides my sales supplies boxes, bags, spare trays to replenish, lunch cooler etc. my sales table is normal height, as I am usually making jewelry, when not busy with customers. I find that people are less intimidated about browsing if I am occupied. I greet each customer as they enter, and tell them to please ask, if you have any questions. this allows them to browse without hassle, keeps me busy, but interactive, and the customer usually peeks at what I am currently creating, which gets them to open up with questions. Children especially are curious as to how things are created, and I have made several sales that otherwise would not have happened because I was "demonstrating". I do occasionally get up to walk out into the sun, but am usually right in the booth/tent. I have a "to do projects" cart, with tools, supplies for demonstrating, and a 3 drawer, wheeled caddy to hold the sales supplies, which I just wheel back into the studio to replenish when a show is done. This works extremely well. It takes me an hour and a half to set up for an outdoor show-tent and all-by myself.
  • I am in the camp of standing rather than sitting but I do have a high directors chair when I have to sit. As far as standing goes I bought about four feet of anti-fatique matting at the hardware store, cut it in half and layer it at the shows, so I'm standing on a double thick pad. I put this at the back of my booth out of the way where I feel comfortable standing. I also stand on one all day in my workshop. It's amazing how this eases back and leg pain.
  • I have tried various places to sit ( tooooo old to stand around) this is of course up to each but I find that a path to get to me sitting in the middle with room for people to come up and talk. As I have found people love to watch you at your trade I always have a portrait drawing that i can start from the beginning. I spend the 2 days drawing and talking to a great many people answering questions and giving out cards taking info on possible portraits, so this attracts new business as well I makes me approachable (not stand offish) I would like to tell you I thought this up my self but my mother was a high school art teacher with her masters in art educ. my father was a commercial artiest they were emphatic that the airs some artist put on put their potential customers off, its a fact we go to the public and ask for their attention so it helps if we give them an opening to come to us. I hope this helps, best of luck you need that too.
  • Well it's funny how important these little things are! The reason I have almost always put the table in the front is because half my sales are from gemstone rings set in silver. I resize the settings from sizes 3 to sizes 11 and have them in trays. I have seen women walk down the center of a craft show, catch a glimpse of my rings and do a hard right (or left). If I put the rings farther back, I wouldn't catch the women who wander by. It's like the rings reel them. I have my tall chair right there behind the straight table and it's not like I have to walk up to people. I'm already there.
  • I find that tables across the front with you behind them draws a straight line right to the next booth!!!!! You know what I mean?!! They just keep on going.

    There are different schools of thought on this.

    In my time I think I've done every booth layout imagineable. And I find, for me, the product right out in front works best with me standing and showing how it works.

    When I'm at a good show and I get going, I can draw a crowd. And when that crowd is in the aisle, other people will say "What's he got?" And as far as I'm concerned, the more, the merrier! And for me, that's when the real fun begins!
  • Hi there. I sell strictly jewelry and accessories, so the idea of theft is always an issue.

    Where you sit, although I find I am never sitting, I'm always up selling to my customers, depends on the show you are doing, the size of your booth and how the booths are arranged. Foremost, I always want people to "come in" to my booth, so I set up in a U shape and have an area rug (watch out for trip and falls though with this...it's a liability to you) on the floor of the booth. To me that is inviting and plus, they have to COME IN! Once they're in, then you can keep them in with your wonderful products, right!!! That's half the battle. Of course a great banner hung up across the back of your booth and a great display are also essentials to getting them to stop and come into your booth as well.

    I find that tables across the front with you behind them draws a straight line right to the next booth!!!!! You know what I mean?!! They just keep on going.

    My rule of thumb is to get them into the booth and then sell them your product.

    Another hint for you. When you do a U shape booth, the table ends that are at the front of the booth should have a display, but always face it more towards the inside so again, yes, they have to come into the booth to see it better. Facing them completely outward, they will be more likely to walk by.

    These are more from a psychological view of selling. I hope they help you!!!

    The Key of A
  • I kinda do the same thing in that I greet everyone with saying something stupid. My stuff (jewelry) is not under glass and I say, "By the way I have a must touch policy." First they draw back cause they think I'm saying don't touch. Then they laugh and pick something up. I have a chair (tall directors) so that I am at the same level that I am when I am standing. My chair is right behind the front table. I use an L that puts a table close to the front of the booth. So I can slide off if I need to.

    I think there is a big diff between sitting in a tall chair right at the front, engaged with your customers, and sitting in the back, body turned, like "don't bother me." I always bring snacks and whatever I need to try to stay in a good mood.
  • I love the "feet facing" concept. I am doing Main Street Ft. Worth next week and will sure let you all know how the concept plays out. I have a counter top high folding table that I use for transactions and wrapping. It is draped and provides storage underneath. I have a tiny folding stool that I found at Wall Mart that provides a place to "pause" but does not give the impression of sitting and waiting for a sale. Bruce Baker is a MUST for selling guidance.

    Chris Hoyt said:
    Most of my fellow exhibitors have a checkout stand. Many made it themselves. You just measure how high your kitchen countertop is, and that's how high you want your checkout. They all place their registers and credit card terminals on the top and have their "supplies" below. Just a basic 18" square by 36 inch tall folding checkout. The front and sides are hinged and the top is placed on it at the show. Just a basic checkout. And you stand behind that.
    Me? I have my product right out in front and I have my register and terminal there too. I use the rest of my space to demonstrate what I have and how it works.
    And Dave, I too see exhibitors sitting together outside their booths. And they are usually the first ones to complain about sales. If they're chatting, they're not selling. They don't realize they are losing business just by being out front.
    I have made a LOT of observations over the years. And that's just one. Another is, I watch the customer's feet when they are at my or another exhibitor's booth. If the feet are facing towards the booth, they are serious buyers. If they have one foot or both feet at an angle away from the booth, they are lookers. Now this is not a scientific survey, but it occurs often enough for me to take notice. So now my object is to make both feet face my booth before they leave. Turn that looker into a buyer.
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