it’s been several years since we’ve made a significant change in how we set up our booth for retail shows. Actually, the last time we made a major change in how our retail show booth’s set up was in November of 2017, so I guess one could say that this change was long overdue, right?
And here’s the deal… there’s one particular aspect of our booth setup that literally drives my husband CRAZY! He hates everything about them and truthfully, they do take a LONG time and are a total pain in the neck to put together and they’re almost as big a pain to take apart. And that would be…
the Grid Boxes
which you can see clearly in the picture at left. We used them to hang up & display all of our zippers, hardware and some of our patterns, PLUS… we also use the flat grid on top of each box to display many of our bag samples.
They look great once they’re set up and in place, but they take a LONG time to put together and have to reinforced with LOTS of zip ties to keep them together considering all the weight we load onto them.
But we figured a few things out in Houston during the International Quilt Festival…
Since we’ve started using a cross bar on both sides of our booth for our lights, we’ve also started hanging more & more of our bag samples from these bars. We like it for two reasons:
- it’s like adding a whole ‘nother layer to our booth because it allows us to show a LOT more of our samples in the same booth footprint, and…
- It raises those samples up and out of easy reach.
Now before you just to conclusions, please know that we do not mind customers handling our bags at all. As you can see, we put LOTS of samples low and within easy reach for our customers. Additionally, for every sample that’s displayed up high there’s almost always an additional sample (of the same design) available for our customers to examine within easy reach on a lower tier.
So what’s the problem?
Well it’s actually more of a safety issue. You see it’s pretty hard to get hold of these bags that are on the top of our Grid Boxes, but I’ve actually seen people jumping to try to reach them. But here’s the deal, they are forgetting that trade show booth installations are not permanent. The tables tend to slide because they aren’t anchored in place. And the Grid Boxes are only held down with bungee cords. Our entire display could literally topple over if a jumper were to lose their balance and fall into the Grid display.
Even so, a few persistant customers do occasionally manage to get one of these bags down but when they do, they almost never are able to replace it… which means we have to stop in the middle of a show, often with customers waiting, to get out the step stool to climb up high enough to replace it. Needless to say, it can be a bit scary, but it was during one of these frustrating moments in Houston last Fall when we had a “Eureka” moment! My husband said ” Why don’t we just hang them ALL from the overhead bar, because its a rare customer who can actually reach and take down the ones we hang from the bar!”
So in that moment, I started making plans for how we could change our booth for our next show!
So… here’s our booth plan for the Road to California Quilter’s Conference next week
(assuming of course that the show doesn’t get cancelled, ugh!)
I found some grid walls sized perfectly to place on top of our tables. They’ll easily accommodate our zippers, patterns and fabrics while still leaving plenty of room to display our bag samples on the table tops below for our customers to examine more closely (see the overhead view at right above). But we also plan on bringing quite a few extra samples to hang along both overhead poles (see front & side view at left above). Even though these samples cannot generally be taken down by our customers, they will definitely give them a different look to consider for each design since there should generally be a sample on the tables below that they can open up and check out.
And now, it’s YOUR turn!
The Road to California Conference is next week. It’s going live for the first time since 2020 and we’ll be there. And guess what? We’re getting out of here just in time, because there’s a huge storm coming on Sunday!! YIKES! We’d love to see you there if you’re in the area, so stop by and say Hi! And if you have comments, suggestions or questions about the show or this set up please feel free to leave either or all in the space provided below.
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