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Good Show Booths

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what makes for a good craft show booth -- or to share mistakes
craftspeople make in their jewelry displays 


I think that’s an excellent topic, one that will be of interest to
many of the Orchid readers.

I’ve been making a personal study of show booth positives and
negatives, in hopes of applying the good ideas to my own booth
someday (like when I have money to improve it.)

Since I sell beads, I don’t really need much beyond a table and
lights. However, I have seen some excellent booths for beads that
would also work well with finished jewelry that can be hung (like
necklaces and earrings.)

I think the most appealing one I’ve seen so far was a booth
surrounded by those grid racks (standard retail items) that had the
beads hanging from the racks. I’ve seen many people use the racks in
sparing amounts, but this particular booth had them all the way
around the perimeter. The advantage was that the lights (both
artifical and natural) shown through the transparent and translucent
beads making them even more beautiful. (They had the lights attached
to the grid and shining down on the beads.) It was quite remarkable.
This particular booth also had glass covered cases at the back of
the booth in front of the grid racks, for smaller items, but the
overall effect was like being in the middle of a rainbow - gorgeous.

I think the aspect that made the booth so appealing, besides the
light shining through the beads, was the effect of a small store
where customers actually walked into the booth. Because the glass
covered case was in the back and on one side of the booth, the whole
floor area was open to customers. This caused people to walk into
the booth, rather than just walk past it. I think it made for a more
buying mood on their part, like they were walking into a store rather
than walking by a flea market vendor.

So. . . the magic is really in what happens at the booth. Does the
customer just look and walk by or do they make the commitment of
"coming in?" Food for thought anyway.

Sun Country Gems

Dear Orchidians

Brainstorming on the idea of how to display loose fine quality color
gemstones in a corner booth of AGTA Tucson Gemshow!!!

Any ideas to share? including background color, material to display
on, lights etc…

Currently we display in 3/4 showcases rented from the show. Each
stone individually displayed on an acrilyic square cube stand and in
straight line giving good effect.

Obiviously tired of it.
Any suggestions

Thanks in advance to one and all
Anil G
Kris Gems

When I buy stones at shows, I prefer to view them under Ott lights
if possible - the colors show truer. I’m always a bit hesitant to
buy from a booth that has lights that cast a color shade (usually
sort of a yellow) - makes it hard to really see what I am getting.
A good neutral background is nice - I hate it when the background
interferes with trying to really see the color of the stone - either
by making the stone darker, lighter, or reflecting a color onto it.
Seems like greys and tans do well? I don’t think I’ve ever been
influenced by how the stones were aligned - some dealers put them in
rows, some have them in individual plastic boxes, some have them
loose in trays…I don’t think any of that has ever influenced me -
if it did I didn’t notice it!

I DO like it when prices per carat or prices on individual stones
are posted - I hate finding a stone I like the looks of, and getting
the dealer to show it to me, and then discovering that it is quite
out of my price range and I have wasted both my time and the
dealer’s time. I have only a set amount of time to go through a
show, and I would prefer to spend it looking at things I could
actually afford, rather than something I can’t! I would think the
dealer’s time would be better spent with customers who might
actually buy also.

I also like it when similar stones are grouped together, so that if
I am looking for a specific stone - say a sapphire for a custom
order - I can see all of the dealer’s sapphires together, instead of
one here and one there. Most dealers seem to do that, but some

Good luck with your booth!

Beth in SC which has decided that it is, indeed, winter - and is
going below freezing once again tonight. Brrrrr - I like it
cool, not cold!


I have tried many booth designs over the past 10 years. What
matters most is what type of customers I am designing my booth to
show my stock. If I am at a wholesale show I expect my customers to
be knowledgeable and design my booth to show the stock with little if
any signage in the cases. Most of my wholesale customers are like
Beth and want expediency, next they want comfort in making thier
choices, third they want to talk with the dealer to get the one on
one good feeling of trust. At wholesale I almost never post prices.
I provide my customers with an area to sit and view the stones with
an Ott Light or with the overhead lights. I provide a loop and
tweezers. Each stone has all the on the back of the case
the stone is displayed in. Inconsistent that I am, I will have to
change thiis display as I add a mountain of inexpensive stones. This
should not matter because in the market today cheapness overrides
quality every time.

I do not display my prices for the simple reason that I am tired of
giving away pricing to the multitude of people that
attend wholesale shows with no other objective than to find out what
the current prices are so they under cut the dealer. Customers that
take the time to sit down and view my custom stones quickly know the
difference. Price differences become more of a discussion of what
price range fits in with their customer base and how we can make the
deal best for both of us. Price questions also involve discussion on
how I can supply them throughout the year with the special stones
they desire. They also know up front that if I cut special stones
and they do not buy them I will sell them to other customers.

Retail shows set up is where the fun really happens. I can mix
whatever I want wherever I want. Retail customers are so confused by
the media on gems and jewelry that almost anything goes. Take one of
those 2 cent cabs I just bought, display it in nice packaging and
sell it for $2.00. Take the same stone and place it in a plastic bag
with 10 others and sell it for $2.00. Then you have my cistom stones
and jewelry. Each stone has a full decscription, full disclosure,
and is accompanied with a lot of discussion about the stone and the
process that brought it to this piece of jewelry. I do not do the
art retail shows. Friends of mine that do these shows change their
booth design every three or four years. They claim the booth
stagnates after about three years. Their customers expect them to
be artists and have an artsy booth.

Just my 2 cents as I drag my knuckles to breakfast.

Gerry Galarneau

Interesting discussion. I have a question for y’all…

Have you ever made a change to your booth that worked out really
great? How about one that was not successful?

Suzanne Wade
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255

Designing the booth so that people walk into it has worked well, as
has adding various heights to the booth. I am still not completely
happy though! Finding the ideal combination of light weight, easy
up and down, good looks, and affordability just hasn’t happened yet.

Beth in SC

Dear Suzanne

Interesting question!!

Well!! if it was me and if the booth change was successful then I
guess there is nothing to change till it has stopped producing the
desired results.

The change occurs because the preceding one did not work and you
tried to make it work unsuccessfully.

I would like to thank you, Ms. Beth and Mr. Gerry profusely, and to
let them know their views meant a lot to me.

Anil G
Kris Gem