Art Festival Tips: Your Booth Display

Are you on the show circuit this season? Use these booth display tips to attract shoppers and maximize sales.


Outdoor Art Festival. Read our show tips for artists at


Know your booth design, and have a plan. If you haven’t set up your display before, or if you are making big changes, set it up in your studio or an outdoor space ahead of time, before you start your shows. This will let you know whether you are missing anything (including fixtures, tools, etc.) and will also give you a chance to get a booth photo if you need one. Don’t arrive at a show hoping that you can make a booth work – this usually results in problems and unnecessary stress.

Keep your booth uncluttered. Use your space to highlight each piece, giving a bit of breathing room to each one. This type of approach features your work as significant and special. Avoid having a jammed rack full of goods, or a selection that overwhelms the shopper. A cluttered or haphazard display can serve to make your work look like a commodity, and less valuable. You don’t have to put every single piece of inventory out in your booth at once. Many times, less is more when it comes to presentation.

Don’t scrimp on lighting. Lighting is an important tool to show your art or handmade products to their best advantage. If you are at an indoor show, or an outdoor show where you can light your booth, don’t miss the opportunity to make your display a well-lit and attractive one. And having extra lights available is better than just throwing a few in your vehicle and hoping they are sufficient.

Leave an open and easy way to enter your booth. When you plan your booth layout, avoid creating a narrow entryway, which can make shoppers feel “trapped” when they come into your booth. Think about the flow of traffic, and how you can encourage people to step into your booth space comfortably.

Use sales aids. Some artists use video loops to show their technique, or give an idea of how their work looks when displayed in interiors. Do you use eye-catching signage that describes what you do, or pulls in customers from the aisles? Every piece of information that you can provide is another way to engage. Have these ready when you interact with shoppers.


Keep your booth display well-lit and use multi-level displays. Read show tips at

Keep your booth display well-lit and use multi-level displays.


Keep bestsellers at eye level. A multi-level display is often quite effective in a show booth, but this will depend on your medium and the size of your work. Don’t make shoppers stoop down to take a look at what you make – bring it to them by using risers or counters that are raised to an appropriate level.

Make your work as accessible as possible. Touch is an important part of the sale, and if you can provide a booth display where merchandise can be handled, it will attract customers who want to know more about your work in an approachable way. If you must use locked cases or displays that discourage touch, keep in mind that you will want to overcome that barrier in the ways that you interact with shoppers in your booth.

Keep security in mind. You will be handling money at a show, and your inventory is valuable. Do you have a safe place to keep cash and credit card receipts? Do you need an assistant in your booth to keep an eye on things if you take a break, or to help with sales? Plan ahead to keep your art and your cash safe, so that you can spend your time selling, not worrying.



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