How to Make Your Booth Stand Out at a Jewelry Trade Show (or any type of show)

Woohoo! You did it! You’ve committed to doing a trade show or maybe it’s a craft fair, trunks show or it could even be a jewelry show at a friend’s home. Whichever it is, you're investing money and time and your goal is to not only get a return on your investment, but to make some money.

A show, no matter what type, is no guarantee that you will make money. However, having a booth and/or display that your DREAM clients are drawn to will definitely increase your odds! Tracy and I were just at the NY NOW show (formerly the NY International Gift Fair) visiting two of our Mastermind students and another designer who is in our community. One of them was exhibiting for the first time and the other two are NY NOW veterans. Each of the designers had very different booths and it was interesting to see the ways that their set up, displays and product merchandising reflected their brand personality.

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kathylo.com and colleenmauerdesigns.com

I really love trade shows! I am fascinated by creative people and product. I am even more fascinated by how designers set up their booths. If the way a booth is setup doesn’t grab me, I may miss out on a really great product – I am not alone in this!

It’s really important to have a booth & display that pulls people in.

At trade shows like NY NOW there are so many different products, it’s pretty amazing to see. With so many jewelry designers competing for business it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. How can a jewelry designer create a booth that makes them stand out and will draw people in? Think creative, clean, warm, and a pleasant environment that buyers/shoppers can easily step into. Your booth or space is like your very own retail store, your home for a few days. It’s just like you’re inviting guests into your “home.”

So how do you create this awesome space?

  1. Plan ahead.
  2. Do a mock setup of your booth before the show. Map out where everything goes.
  3. Take pictures of your merchandised displays or booth set up. Make sure you take note of all of the displays you need, etc.
  4. Test the layout. Invite a friend (or two) who will give you honest feedback to view your mock booth. Walk them through your booth. Was the layout easy to shop? Listen to all of their feedback.

You will save yourself countless hours of precious set-up time at the event by planning ahead. Note, even though you will have a plan, you may want to change things once you are setting up at the event. This has happened to me more than once when I was overseeing trade shows for Dogeared. Don’t worry just go with it.

Your plan will still be the guide you will follow.

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Robindira Unsworth jewelry, Wasabi by Jill Pearson, Margaret Solow Jewelry. & Lulu Designs

Guidelines to setting up your booth:

  • Make sure you have room for people to easily walk inside.
  • Lighting is very important especially for jewelry, necklaces and earrings. Lighting should be your most important investment.
  • The walls of your booth should be neat and consistent.
  • Your jewelry should be thoughtfully displayed and merchandised.
  • Signs should be visible and legible from down an aisle and should include company name, logo and any tagline if applicable.
  • Depending on your booth size, make signs with enlarged images of your best selling pieces – these can be show stoppers.
  • If you have press/PR, make signs of the articles even if it is from a blog post – people love press!
  • Have all of the jewelry priced because when you get busy, you or your staff will not have time to look up prices.
  • Create show special packages of best sellers or special wholesale assortments.

Remember the same principles apply for in home trunk shows and craft shows.

Your booth & display are key to attracting your DREAM clients.

We want to hear from you! On the comments below, answer the following:

  1. Which is your favorite tip from the above?
  2. Are you currently participating in trade shows or other “live” events? If so, tell us what you did well and what you’d like to tweak!

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8 Comments

  1. Pam Millershaski on August 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I really liked the suggestion of placing photos of jewelry product with sign. I am going to do this for my next show in 3 weeks. I’ve done several shows but I was wondering what other jewelry sellers do to keep track of sales/inventory during or after the show? I have a spreadsheet with the items but would it be better to use inventory numbers?

    • Irene on August 28, 2013 at 12:20 am

      If you use square formcreditmsales you can also use hem for inventory control. Simple and no extra overhead.

    • Robin Kramer on September 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Pam,

      Images really do capture attention. If your spreadsheet works for you that’s great. Style or inventory numbers certainly can make it easier especially if you have people helping you at a show. Instead of just the price on an item you can have the # of the item as well. That way you don’t have to deal with a lengthy description. It is all about ease for the buyer and you.

      Good luck with your show! Let us know how it goes.

      xo Robin

  2. […] a fantastic, eye-catching jewelry booth will capture the interest of show attendees, but having a successful show with lots of sales takes […]

  3. Emily McHugh on September 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    It is definitely important to have a beautiful booth that represents your brand and grabs your target audience. The key is that you do not (and should not) spend a fortune doing this. The small business advantage is being clever with unexpected materials, e.g., crisp white cardboard boxes can do wonders for a booth. The only thing you should splurge on is light (and maybe floor padding if you have extra bucks to spare).

  4. Andrea on September 6, 2013 at 11:11 am

    What a great article, Robin! I am constantly looking for new ideas for my booth display. Love the idea of doing enlarged photos of best sellers to grab attention. I do alot of statement pieces which take up more display real estate than many of the more delicate pieces that people are making today. Any thoughts about merchandising statement pieces? I’m finding that mid-range retailers like Anthropologie and J. Crew hang their statement pieces all together on bars, which I don’t care for much. Thanks!

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