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display safe? Your primary concern must be
safety. Straight-pin the corners of the table cover and make
hospital corners so no one can trip on excess fabric laying on the
floor. The display must be level and sturdy. (Don't forget to take
shims for table legs on uneven floors, especially when exhibiting at
an outdoor show. ) Step back after you've set up your display and take
a good look: is it idiot-proof?
Use Solid Color
Fabric for Your Display Cover.
Prints are cheerful, but when you put your
work directly on printed fabric, the design screams for
attention and competes with your product. The bottom line:
work is overlooked.
Display your work with
That means clean, fresh-looking fabric, down to the floor.
If the back of your display is visible, drape fabric over that
side too. For wrinkle free table covers, use 54"-60" wide
double-knit fabric; when pulled out of the box after weeks or even months
storage, it will
drape beautifully, and no wrinkles. Use space under your
table to hide your stash of extra inventory, out of sight.
Do You Have
Adequate Lighting? Every display improves with light. Even people who
normally manage very well without lights need a complete light
setup if the light bulb overhead is burned out; waiting for
a janitor may mean losing several hours of sales. If they
can't see it, they won't buy it.
Set up a separate box
or suitcase with:
if you don't have a professional lighting set up, clip on
lights serve well in the interim. If possible, the long
flexible-arm lights may be attached to your backdrop or part of
your display and it's easy to adjust the area of focus.
Lighting is money well-spent.
3 or 4 extension cords , in different
lengths. Some promoters insist on heavy-duty cords with 3
A couple of 'cheaters' (3-to-2 adapters.)
A roll of duct tape to tape the cord to the floor so no one will trip on it
bulbs. (Many shows will not allow larger bulbs; some state
200-Watt maximum per space. That gives you up to five
well-lit areas in your display.
If you are planning to
buy a ready-made lighting system, you should be aware that some
shows are banning halogen bulbs because they are hot and
can cause a fire. There are good systems with true-light
or broad-spectrum bulbs which are excellent, but pose no
Create a flexible modular display.
You may have a 6x10 ft. space at one show, and a 10x10 corner space
at the next.
Display your work as
close to eye-level as possible. If you want people to be attracted to your work,
they must see it.
Don't display your
product flat on a table, all on one level. The result is confusing to the eye. Nothing
Display your work at
different heights , -think of stair steps.
This solves two problems: it makes your work visible by separating
it into groups, and displays in an organized
manner. Each piece will be seen individually.
It also brings your work closer to eye-level.
Slide PVC pipe over the
legs of your table. Cut the pipe to a height that will add
8-12 inches or more to
your table legs, or more. Card table legs will take a piece of PVC
pipe right up to the bracket. Make sure your display is sturdy and
Find the best type of
display for your work: If you have framed photographs, paintings, etc.
it's more effective to hang your work on a hinged vertical
display. Inexpensive room-divider screens, hinged shutters, or a
similar arrangement work well. Large paper clips make effective
hangers if you open them into an 'S' formation. Store them in a
coffee can with a plastic lid. Have you researched
ready-to-buy display systems? See www.GraphicDisplaySystems.com
for lightweight display modules. Start with a basic
formation, and add more modules as your needs
There are several types of ready-made wood displays
that come apart or fold down that look particularly appropriate
with traditional or 'Country' crafts.
There are several display
systems made of hinged wire grid panels. These are wonderful
as display panels, and also help define your booth space if you
make a fabric back-drop for the backside of the panel. It can be
attached with velcro or with small ties. These are designed
to be sturdy low-maintenance items in contrast to home-made
If you buy a good commercial system,
you can use the time you saved to increase your production.
Using tried and true solutions allows you to focus on what
you do best: design and produce your product.
Questions to ask about a commercial display
Will it fit in my car/van?
Can I make it fit
many different size/configuration spaces?
Think modular: your booth will
never be the same size/configuration twice. Commercial
products usually take this into consideration, but in the final
analysis, you have to live with this set up. Play a few
games on graph paper to determine how flexible your choice
I carry it and set it up by myself?
is even more important for those who exhibit at shows
Is it sturdy?
Shelving units should carry some sort of information
such as: "Holds up to 50 lbs., 100 lbs, 200 lbs. etc."
It's worth doing a little research to find your dream
Attractive work, well
displayed, almost sells itself!
cover the following Eastern US States:
would like to mail your credit card information, or to send a check,
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