Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Using The 5 Senses To Tantalize Your Arts And Craft Show Customers

Let's talk about how to target and draw in your customers at your arts/crafts show. Booth preparation with your target audience in mind is essential. You don't want just an attractive booth, you want one that helps you sell! 

You want the customer to see your booth from across the way and to make a beeline right towards you! You want to offer as many sensual delights as possible for you shoppers.

The first step is to identify who your product is being bought for; not who is purchasing your product but who will actually be using/wearing/enjoying it. The person who is shopping should be able to immediately identify your product, the demographic you are targeting (kids, adults, women, men, just tween girls, etc)  and the quality of your product. How will they know all of that from glancing at your booth as they stroll by? Here are some ideas that talk to the customer and will showcase your art.

Let's Think About The 5 Senses

First, let's think about SIGHT. One of the most powerful ways we communicate with each other is through the use of color. Here is a link to a website that discusses the meaning of colors, and specifically here I have shown their information about the use of colors in the retail world:

  • Red: Creates urgency - often used in sales and impulse sales
  • Green: Easy, calm - used to relax people
  • Blue: Creates trust - used by financial institutions such as banks
  • Navy blue: Cheaper - selling to price-sensitive
  • Royal blue: Urgency - selling to impulse buyers
  • Pink: Romantic - selling to women and girls
  • Yellow: Grabbing attention - used in displays and windows
  • Orange: Energizing - used to push for action, as in impulse buying
  • Purple: Calm - used in anti-aging products
  • Black: Power - selling luxury, aggressive products, or to impulse buyers

  • It's kind of surprising isn't it? You are sending an instant message when you use color, just like major retailers. If I see a booth painted bright purple and hot pink, when I head over there I am expecting to see products for young girls. What I found in this actual instance was elegant jewelry for women. Not at all what I was expecting!  In this case, even the shades of the colors were talking.

    Pale lavender and barely there pink would have successfully told me women and girls: romantic and classy. Many jewelry and other artists like to use black as their back drop. Yes, it is typical, but think of the message here, do you want the customer to think what you are selling is typical? Analyze the best color choices for your product and audience, see if it appeals to you and then take a step back and remember ...less is more! You want your products to be the stars!

    Another powerful sense we have is SCENT. Who is going to be enjoying your product? If it is men, maybe you want to spray a little men's cologne in your booth. Yes, I know it is probably the woman who is shopping but smelling men's cologne will remind her of her significant other and make your product just "seem right" for him. Many brick and mortar retailers use this trick, why not you?

    Are you selling crocheted items for babies? Baby powder scent will draw mom right in! Or maybe you just want to make shopping in your little booth be as enjoyable as possible so the customer lingers? Have you ever been in a handmade soap and candle shop and you don't leave for a long time just because it smells so good? Even if you are not selling soap, you can "profit" from this trick!

    TASTE is one senses that I tend to forget about in my booth. This is an easy one, just a bowl of little hard candies or mini Tootsie Rolls will help the customer feel welcome and maybe even a little obligated to at least linger longer and look more.

    Let's talk about TOUCH!

    Even the artist who is selling fine art paintings should try to integrate the sense of touch into their booth. It can be as simple as having prints of their art in a bin for the customer to flip through or inviting textures on the walls of their booth or table covers. 

    If you sell a product that is touchable, make good use of that! Make sure your product is accessible, whether it is jewelry, knitted items or wooden items. It is nice to look organized and orderly, but if the customer feels like they can't touch without messing up your display, you may lose them. People love to browse and touch, make it easy for them. Don't forget the business cards, people love to take one and it can lead to a sale later on.

    Last but not least, HEARING.

    You could put a little music in your booth if you have a little player, but chances are this may not be the best given all of the other noises usually present. I think the most important sound for your customer is your friendly voice welcoming them to your booth. It is crucial to interact with your customers, after some experience you will learn to gauge which customers want more verbal interaction than others. Some just want to be greeted and then left to browse, others want to know all about your art or craft, or they want to tell you all about the vacation they are enjoying. Don't sit back with a book or worse; be talking on your cell phone, engage!

    That's it for now, hopefully these tips were helpful to you! 

    We'd love to hear your tips and advice for craft shows around the world. Leave us a comment below.

    And if you are an SPST member, please don't hesitate to interact on the Craft Show related threads in the forum if you have questions or ideas to share : 

     Did you miss our previous articles on Craft Show preparation?

    Hi, my name is Tara. I have been passionate about creating in some form or another all of my life. Our family has always enjoyed our time at Lake Michigan and love to collect Petoskey stones and other fossils and stones. When I discovered jewelry making I finally found my niche for creating beautiful pieces that I can share with others. Each piece I create starts with the stones themselves and then it just seems to flow from there. I have collected gemstones and beads from everywhere I travel and always can’t wait to get started with the new treasures.




    1. Very interesting!! Thank you so much for sharing such useful tips with us!!

    2. this series is so useful. Thanks! i look forward to more.

    3. Wow, some of these ideas even though common sense are things that as a shopper we appreciate but as a seller we forget to include. Thank you so much for the excellent hints :)

    4. Thanks for the tips. You provided some ideas that I would never have thought of. Thank you for also adding my baby booties.

    5. I absolutely the color wheel idea. Terrific article!!!