Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Convention Preparation - Booth Presentation

A good thing to remember when designing your booth display is to make sure it looks inviting, fun and has a cohesive theme to it - keeping in mind your brand.

I really wanted to emphasize booth design this year, something that I hadn't really played with before. I grabbed a bunch of fake reptile skin of natural colors to really go with the whole dragon theme of my booth and I also found three small decorative chests that were rustic looking and covered in thick (fake) crocodile skin. I found some red velvet on clearance at a fabric store and placed it in the chests over some fluffy cotton to display all of my prints and a few originals. We draped the remainder of the red velvet throughout my booth and had many people come back just to see the "eye candy" that was my booth, according to them. My sales were through the roof this year with that set up and it reinforced my brand as an artist.

Crystal Sully

And lighting might be a good factor to keep in mind too. 

led lights to light up all of the art on my table drew customers to the booth like moths to a light. I'm never going to exhibit anywhere without using lights to properly display my art. For the giant 6' Dragon print I had behind my table the light really brought the piece to life and helped sell the massive print.
Crystal Sully

 The placement of your prints can assist with better sales according to Afton Kern.

After getting my table set up I removed most of the stuff in front of the prints, leaving the portfolio open so that people who stopped by could look through it. People were highly interested in the sketchbooks, and I sold all of them. I noticed that this was the case for other artists as well, books are very popular! 
In order to use your space to the maximum advantage create a series of levels to show off your work.

For Spectrum this year I tried using a table top sign and borrowed some Pro Panels. The sign worked ok but I discovered I needed to create tiers, sort of terrace all the stuff on the table and give the sign some height. Loved having the panels.
Christine Mitzuk
Christine offers some more tips for her Gen Con experience here
Here's another example of staggered tiers by Kiri Leonard which amazingly enough she manages to fit into a large suitcase!

 Another way to display your work is the use of panels as shown in Elizabeth Leggett's space...

I just bought some metal panels (Graphic Display Systems) and they're amazing for shows you're driving to. I ended up ordering the table 'feet' as well so I can set up a half panel on a table top. I got the two-piece panels so I can fit them in my car, and I plan on bringing them to Spectrum this year so I can have a display behind my table.
Brenda Lyons

Places where you can get some of these panels; 

Pro panels -
Armstrong Panels - 

Metal screen panels -

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Convention Preparation - Prints, Paintings and Displaying Your Work

Having small matted prints are great to sell to attendees according to Kirsten;

“This is because many attendees are traveling by air and want something sturdy they can pack in a suitcase.” 

(NOTE: she’s in America where they have great conventions all year all over America… sigh). She continues ;

“…mat the mini prints in precut 8" x 10" matts. Tell your buyers it's an easy size to find a cheap frame for. You can even use a postcard service for the printing, though make sure the quality is good.”

“We have done matted prints, loose prints and backed prints at our various shows. For us the loose print on backing board in a clear bag is the best.”

Vicki Williams (wife of Allen Williams)

"I have a flipbook of available prints and keep the copies under the table, bagged in crystal clear sleeves ready to go. I organize them with sticky note tabs popping out so I can just flip through."

Christine Mitzuk

 Consider matting, framing and hanging your originals for display. “To show people how awesome they would look in their house.”
Vicki Williams (wife of Allen Williams)

But when choosing what and how much you bring to the convention be careful that you don’t overstock. According to Kirsten Zirngib Facebook feedback doesn’t necessarily equate sales.

I considered Facebook a test for how my 3D printed jewelry was received, and all the positive feedback made me think I might sell out. So I put a lot of time/money into making a bunch. ...And I sold only a very small fraction at the actual show. I didn't even see some of the people who said they'd come buy one. Point is, start with small runs, likes/comments don't translate well. 

Kirsten Zirngibl