If you were thinking I had a table at a little flea market affair, you’ll need to adjust your vision a tad. This fair (held by the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador) allocates booth space and bases the fees on a combination of on square footage, shape and location. Here’s the schedule of fees for the past fair. I had an 8 x 4 aisle booth. The structure of it was originally designed to display my mother’s stock of bears, dolls, fairies, mermaids, rabbits, beavers and other critters, but with a little tweaking, it did a very nice job for my purposes. (Thanks for lending it, Mom!)
On the side you can see that each booth has a reasonable wattage available for use. I used the equivalent of 1100 watts to light my booth, which made is marvelously light and enhanced the vibrant colours tremendously. I used a mixture of florescent and incandescent in order to balance the spectrum a bit. I couldn’t afford all full-spectrum florescent bulbs, but the mixture worked really well. The florescent bulbs also don’t get hot and don’t heat up the lamps, so repositioning them was easy. To boot, if I had a bigger booth I could have used many more lights by using florescent bulbs, as the wattage is low proportionate to the candlepower emitted.
Here’s a diagram of the booth, with the lighting and rough direction indicated in brown:
The panels are four feet wide and seven high. The back panels were navy and the side were off-white, which allowed people to see the work against a dark or light value, depending on their walls at home. The dark background also showed off certain pieces exceptionally well, whereas the light sides bounced the light around nicely. The table was for me to work at while doing demonstrations and also provided customers with a place to mull over which particular purchase they wished to make.
Everything on walls was displayed above waist level. The long table across the back of the booth held beach rocks which were interspersed with products similar to those on the wall, but on stands. Business cards were scattered throughout. Tables and shelves were all draped in light coloured fabrics to reflect light, although the top of the long table in back was topped with silky blue, to thematically go with the beach rocks.
The side panels held large pieces while the back panels held a mixture of medium and small. Groupings were thematically organised. I switched the layout around a bit throughout, but here’s a rough idea of how things went, flattened out:
The hot spots were the three-panel spot to the right of the middle panels, although the entirety of the right side of the big section (the back, btw) was fairly hopping all through the exhibition.
I placed smaller items on the tables on either edge of the booth and scattered lower-priced items here and there. This worked amazingly well, as people often seemed to see things they like as they were leaving or were pulled into the booth by the first price tags they saw being low. Many bought larger pieces.
All-in-all, this display worked rather nicely. I have some modifications in mind for next year, including hard panels throughout (the side panels were cloth attached with Velcro) and easily accessible storage units. Also, I need better signage. Plans are in place for all of these aspects.
Stupidly, I didn’t take pictures. I should have, I realise, but somehow it escaped me this time. I’ll check around and see if someone else did. I did a few interviews and there were photographers present, so who knows what’s out there?! If I find any, I’ll post ’em.