Vendor Booth Tips for artists + Checklist for a Successful Show
After vending at our local artswalk for a couple years, I have amassed a treasure trove of invaluable insights. I’m going to share with you some of the best artist vendor booth tips and tricks, so that you can hit the ground running at your next event. From display techniques to pricing strategies, I hope my tips will propel you to success and make your next event a hit!
Keep in mind Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your booth wont be either. It takes time to gather all the necessary materials and to perfect your setup. So don’t fret if it’s not love at first sight with your booth. Just like a fine wine, it will evolve and improve with time.
Artist Vendor Booth Tips
1. Plan ahead:
One of the best vendor booth tips I could give is to plan ahead. Before the show, plan out your booth layout, marketing materials, and inventory. Make sure you have everything you need to set up and display your work. If possible, do a mock set-up of your booth so you can arrange and re-arrange things till you get it just right. Once you have a good plan for your setup, make sure to take a pic or two so you don’t forget how it’s supposed to look come the day of your event.
2. Make your booth eye-catching:
Create an eye-catching display that showcases your work and draws people in. Use banners, signs, or other attention-grabbing visuals. To set a mood or theme, consider picking a color/ texture or tone palette to be used throughout your booth. Not sure where to start? Black and White are great colors for table cloths or tents because they keep the focus on the art or chosen product. Bright table cloth colors or loud signage might distract from your product. When it comes to art booths, you want the art to be what grabs the customers attention. I use black table cloths and use maroon for signage. I use an array wood boxes and crates to display my product. To make them a little more cohesive I stained the wood with a dark stain. Any metallic fixtures or hooks I’ve gone ahead and painted copper with a weathered rustic treatment to bring things full circle. I really like how my booth has turned out, but I’m always adjusting things.
3. Light it up!
If you plan on setting up at evening / night events, make sure your booth is well-lit, so that people can see your work clearly. Use spotlights, flood lamps or whatever lighting fixtures you have at hand to highlight your products. I use an old lamp someone was tossing out. I removed the post, and painted the lamp to fit my aesthetic. You can’t always count on the venue having electricity for your booth, so I always bring my portable power station purchased from Jackery.
4. Offer free samples or demos:
If you offer a service or product that can be demonstrated or sampled, offer this to customers to encourage them to try it out.
5. Be friendly and approachable:
Greet customers with a smile. Be available to answer any questions they may have. A customer might not engage with your or ask a question if they feel they are bothering you. Stay off your phone and try not to eat in front of your customers. I like to pack some light snacks so I can munch in between customers just in case I get the mid-day munchies.
6. Bring plenty of Marketing materials:
Make sure you have plenty of business cards on hand to give out to potential customers. Include your website, email address, and social media handles on the card. Another great way and I’d argue one of the best ways to market to your customers is collect email addresses. Set up a newsletter sign up form at your booth and gather as many emails as you can. You can later use a service like Mailchimp to input your email addresses and send out newsletters.
I like to take advantage of branding as much as possible so I also brand my bags. Printing on bags can get costly so I opted for the DIY version. I purchased a rubber stamp, ink pad and some paper bags online and added that extra Higher Blend touch. It may not seem like much, but a little extra branding really goes a long way.
7. Accept multiple forms of payment:
Make sure you are set up to accept credit cards, cash, and any other forms of payment that customers may prefer. It can get a little overwhelming when it comes to all the options, but the more options you offer, the more opportunity for sales. I currently use Zettle by PayPal to process credit cards. Venmo, Paypal, Cashapp, Zelle & Apple Pay are other great ways to accept digital payment for your goods.
8. Make your product pricing stand out:
I have a price display with itemized pricing so customers don’t have to ask me the price and can focus on browsing and picking out what they like. Display your pricing prominently, or even break items apart by price brackets to make shopping easier for your customer. Take into account the location you are vending at and know their audience. Consider how much the average customer there might be willing to spend at this event and bring items more within that price range. Price to sell with multiple price points $1, $5, $10, $15, $25 etc. You don’t have to sacrifice price on your hard work. Just add a few other products at lower price points and you’ll open your customer base. The smaller items also make great add-ons and can add a few more bucks to the overall transaction.
9. Take advantage of social media:
One of the best vendor booth tips I can give you is to use social media to promote your booth appearance before and during the show. Post the event on your website, Eventbrite, Facebook Events, Instagram, Twitter, Tik-Tok and anywhere else your presence exists online.
Upload photos photos and/or videos of your products and use local hashtags to the upcoming event target and reach the local crowd. Facebook groups is another way to reach the local crowd. Whatever you do, make sure to post it anywhere you can to reach the largest audience.
10. Follow up with your customers:
After the show, follow up with customers who expressed interest in your work. Send them an email or message thanking them for stopping by your booth and offering a special promotion or discount for their next purchase. Speaking of which, if you’d like to sign up for the Higher Blend Newsletter, you can do so here.
Artist Vendor Booth Supply Checklist
- Collapsible Canopy Tent
- Sand Bags to weigh tent down (in case of wind)
- 8, 6, or 4ft Tables
- Folding Chair
- Table Covers (Sheets work great if you’re just starting out)
- Banner – Your shop name + website & social info
- Lighting + Portable Battery
- Your Inventory
- Marketing Materials (Business Cards, Flyers, Newsletter Signup Form)
- Bags (different sizes for different products if possible)
- Phone (Fully Charged)
- Card Reader (Fully Charged)
- Cash bag or box + Cash to make change. (No more than $100 – 20 x $1 | 6 x $5 | 1 x $10 | 2 x $20 is my general formula )
- Misc Accessory Bag or box (Tape, Pens, Markers, Scissors, Clips, Velcro or Zip Ties all come in handy )
- Water Bottle & Light Snacks
Did any of these items help you? Or do you have a tip you think would help an art vendor out? I’d love to heart it! Please drop it below in the comment section.