Monday, June 29, 2009

Today's topic...Signage

You got your booth up and your display is looking good now let everyone know who you are and what your products are. Signage is an important part of your booth that is often overlooked. Whether you sell jewelry, food products, or knitted item you should have some signage. You don’t have to go overboard and plaster your display with it but do let customers know who you are. They may want to contact you after the event for information, products, etc. Signage and publicity go hand in hand but I am planning on breaking them up into 2 parts.

· First thing I must say, make your signs look good. Make them on the computer, have them made professionally, look to scrapbook techniques, paint them if you have that talent, etc. I don’t personally recommend hand written signs that are done in haste with a Sharpie. Take the time to make them look fabulous. Remember, they represent and speak for you!
· A banner of sorts is wonderful to have in your booth. Sign shops can make a professional one for you if you choose. But if your product is handmade you may want to consider making one yourself. With all the craft technology there is today why not. Look to scrapbook stores and supplies for ideas. Pennants are really popular currently. Die cut machines make everything neat and crisp looking. Machines like the Cricut will cut paper, fabric and vinyl…all of these will make a great banner or sign. Signs and banners can also be ordered through many of the vinyl wording websites.
· Maybe just a small sign is all you want in your booth. One that can be attached to the wall or table front with safety pins or tape.
· Another option is to place your information in a picture frame. It can be set anywhere in your booth or at your checkout table.
· Your computer is a great resource to create a sign of many sorts with the various publishing programs available.
· If your product has rare, complicated or interesting processes include a sign of sorts that has photos of you working on your product and how the process works. Wool felting, ceramics, metalwork, etc come to mind for me.
· Sale signs are great attention getters. Make them a bright color is you wish to really draw attention. As with almost all signage…don’t just scribble something quick and hang it up. Think it out ahead of time; make them look neat and professional. Have them ready and use when needed. These could include a percentage off, buy one-get one, free gift with purchase, etc. or just a simple ‘SALE’ may be enough for you.
· Office supply and display fixture stores have a variety of items to hold signage including metal frames that stand above a product, acrylic holders that stand or hang, floor and wall mounted fixtures as well. Go explore them, you may find something that really fits your needs.
· Consider laminating smaller signs so they can be used repeatedly without wear and tear on them.
· If you are placed in an aisle format (or any layout) you might consider have a sign that sticks out into the aisle so folks can see it before they get to you. Just remember to place this high enough so no one hits their head on it. PVC pipe and joints could be used to create a pole that can be attached to your side wall with tape or zip ties, etc. Your sign could be made of fabric, wood, plastic, vinyl, etc. and hang from the pipe with rings or slide over it. Wood could also be easily used.
· Price tags: Make them easy to read for your customers. WRITE CLEARLY! That is so important. Don’t confuse customers with trying to figure out if it’s $15 or $5 ‘cuz the dollar sign is confusing or loosely written. If you pull your tags at the sale counter, you may wish to place a description on them so you can tell what they were later. If you leave them on consider making them on the computer and include your contact information. But again, make them legible whether they are small or large.
· It’s okay to put a sign in your booth stating that no photos or sketching is allowed. You work hard on your product. I often will make them on the computer so they can be folded and stand on their own. Sometimes I tape them to a wall or basket. Don’t get obnoxious in your wording or actions. There will still always be someone that wants to take a photo so they can recreate an item. Simply be polite and ask them not to take photos, if they continue you have the right to ask them to leave your booth…again, politely.
· Payment forms: Let customers know if you accept credit cards. It will boost your sales 9 times out of 10. If you only accept checks and cash, that’s fine. Let them know who to make the check payable to, this way you don’t have to spell it out all day.
· Business cards: You really should have your contact information available. These will be discussed in the publicity segment next week.

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