Displays & Equipment

The 4 components of your First Successful Display! [Ready, set, Go!]

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Posted By Sandy

All right!!  You’ve done it!

The 4 components of your First Successful Display!You’ve booked your first art event.

Your work will be in the spotlight.  People will have the chance to buy it — Wow, you could even make a few sales!

Now all you need is a display worthy of your art.  But how do you pull together a look that will showcase your products best?  Where do you even start?

Glad you asked… you start HERE!

We have a formula that builds winning displays.  We don’t have a fancy name, but it does cover the four components of your first successful display.  Use this formula to help you cover your bases, create a customer friendly browsing area, and have a gorgeous display!

So here it is, our formula for the 4 components of your first successful display!

First, you will need display surfaces.

These surfaces can be simple folding tables with tablecloths, portable countertops, or anything with a surface that will hold your product.  I have seen small bookcases, baker’s racks, and even small dressers used in great displays.

The point is that the surfaces must be able to withstand being set up and taken down repeatedly.

The 4 components of your First Successful Display!If you’re going to be doing an outdoor event, you need a way to level your surfaces, so things don’t roll off.

When you’re thinking about what surfaces to use, consider how your product will be used by the customer.

Think about what would be the “natural habitat” of your product.  These make great settings that help the customer to picture the product in their home.

Think about cost, quality, and durability because these reflect on you.

You also want to think about how the materials of the surface and any coverings will coordinate with your products.

Once you have surfaces covered, it’s time to think about containers.

The 4 components of your First Successful Display!Depending on your product, what will hold and showcase your art?

Do you need small containers like dishes, boxes, baskets or trays to hold small items?  Do you need jewelry displays for bracelets or necklaces?

Are your items are larger, a nice tray or bare shelf will show off the piece to its best?

You may be able to skip this step if your art is all larger pieces.  Items like sculpture, pottery, and ceramics might be best just on a clean surface.

When choosing your containers, you want to complement your work with them.

That should be reflected in the materials, shape, and color of the container.

Make pens?  Consider lining them up in specialized display cases, or on a parchment lined tray with stationery.

If you create fabric art, is it best arranged in baskets or hung on hooks?

Keep the style of the container in the same style as the art.  And use containers that a customer might use to hold a collection of similar items.

The 4 components of your First Successful Display!The third component to a great display is elevation.

This elevation step is about displaying your products at different heights.  This adds visual interest and encourages the customer to move their eyes from product to product seamlessly.

Some products lend themselves easily to elevations.

For example, a necklace on a felted bust is slightly elevated.  But set that bust on a shelf or cake stand, and you increase the impact and allow another bust to sit in front of it without blocking the view.

You can use planters with plates to create shelves.  Or set a small folding bookcase on a tabletop.

Repurpose things in new and exciting ways to create drama.  You’ll capture the customer’s attention.

The fourth layer of your display is shelter.

If this is an indoor event, or you’ll only be participating in indoor events, you may skip this step.  But if you’ll be attending outdoor events at any time of the year, you’ll want a tent of some sort.

The 4 components of your First Successful Display!Sure, some people go without a tent.

They prefer to be out in the open, they may even need the sun on their products to get the best effect.

But usually, it’s best to have some cover.

At the least, it provides you with some shade.  Then again it may rain, and you’ll need to protect your product.

If you’re looking for your first (or fourth) tent, check out my Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Vendor, Craft Fair Tent.

I cover everything you need to know about picking the right tent for you, your product, and your budget.


So, those are the 4 steps to creating your first event display.

Whether or not you go the tent route, the other three layers are critical.

Consider your display to be an extension of your image as an artist.  Every piece should make your art look its best.

You want a display that is interesting and cohesive.  And you want it to encourage your customers to linger and look at everything.

You’ll even want to try to keep it “touchable” since customers who touch products are more likely to purchase.

All of these layers and choices work together to hopefully lead to better sales and a fun customer experience.


Now that you know how to build your display, you should read our next article on how to build your Murphy Kit!


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