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How to Set Up An Artist Booth for Conventions and Festivals

Artists have more tools than ever to connect with people and showcase their hard work. Today, we have social media, blogs and websites, YouTube videos, and more to proudly show masterpieces on the Internet, where they can reach hundreds to millions of people in a day. We’ve written content before on how useful the Internet and social media can be in helping artists find more business and clinch sales. But there’s still something to be said about meeting people in person. 

Art is meant to be experienced–whether it’s ceramics, paintings, sculptures, or textiles–and being in person and up close with the piece makes the experience that much better. That’s why there’s still a lot of value in showcasing your work in person; not just at galleries and exhibits, but also at art conventions and festivals. They give you the opportunity to catch the attention of passersby, which might translate into more followers or sales. Read on to learn the art of setting up your artist booth, so you can be the spectacle at your next local festival. 

Have Clear Signage

The quality of your art is and how many people follow your brand online can influence how many people arrive at your booth, but if people can’t see the name of the artist or brand, there's a chance that they’re going to walk right on by the booth. Remember, festivals are very busy, energetic places and there are lots of other tents and stands competing for everyone’s attention. At the very least, your brand/name needs to be visible. 

Exactly how you display your name/brand in signage is up to you. If you have the money, and it’s in line with your brand, you could have a professional sign made and printed up. But if your brand revolves around sculptures from recycled or salvaged wood or painting with handmade paints, it might be even more impressive and attention-gathering if you create your own signage made from carved wood or painted by yourself. Whichever option you decide on, just make it legible and stand out! And be sure to check with the organizer of the festival if you’re unsure about the parameters and what’s allowed. 

Create a Layout That Draws Customers In

The layout and where you place your art in the booth or tent can really have an effect on how long potential customers stay, and if they make a purchase. Don’t believe us? Tour your local supermarket or shopping center. You’ll see there’s a strategy to how the lay the store out and place products. 

If you have the space, place your biggest and most eye-catching designs and artwork in the back of your booth or tent. Why? Because people will be drawn right to it, and on their way, they’ll have to stop by all your other nice pieces and view them again on the way out. They might see something else that will catch their eye, and then, all of a sudden, you’re ringing up your next sale. 

If your space allows for it, try to also arrange your art and products in aisles. The reason stores do it is to keep customers walking around the store, and the more time they spend in your area, the more chance they’ll end up buying something. That’s why the bigger the area or booth you can set up, the better. 

Make It Look Nice

Again, take this advice in the context of your brand, but giving your booth some visual appeal will also help lure passersby in. You might be renting or borrowing stands and tables from friends and family, they might be in various states of use or different heights, and so on. But a simple crisp tablecloth or elegant blanket can cover them and make it that much more professional and clean-appearing. It also lets you tuck extra stuff underneath, too. 

Of course, if you’re selling your handmade birdhouses, having a more homey appearance might play more into your brand. But if you’re selling your own blown glass sculptures, it might be better to have them arranged neatly on small plinths and platforms or under glass domes. Whichever way you decide to go, be sure to include some caution in your design (especially if you’re selling delicates like designer glassware or wire sculptures)--make sure to display signs that say “Careful!” and keep your more valuable works out of harm’s way. 

Final Thoughts

And there you have it. These three little tips might seem simple, but they go a long way toward making your art booth the most attractive at your next art festival. Make sure that the name and brand is visible and legible, and that the booth itself looks attractive and is set to hold customers’ attention. But above all, remember to have fun and enjoy yourself, and be proud and happy to show off your work!

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