How to prepare for a Trade Fair: Brain storming Ideas

18th Mar 2013

Over the next few days I’m taking time out planning a stall to show off our design work, photography, and website designs for the upcoming April Trade Fair at Liverpool Hope University. Not only will be lots of potential clients and investors there, there is a cash prize available for the best stall too, so I’m at least hoping to impress the judges and get some good marks. 

A trade fair is not just a craft fair, it fulfils two purposes, to showcase your company and to trade or sell. 

I’ve formulated some objectives for the stall. They are to: 

Make people aware of our bespoke design work.

Sell our photographs.

Promote photography services.

Therefore, we need space to display on the table and display board: 

Our photo-canvases and photographs in frames for selling.

Our website designs via a laptop.

Our designs via an iPad.

Display catalogue of photographs to sell.


Stall Design

I need to think carefully about the design of the stall. Been busy on Pinterest looking for some inspirational stall ideas! It’s great for finding display ideas and design examples…

Firstly, branding is all important. We have a corporate identity, logo and colours, I want to keep, show and capitalise on. It is also important to give of the right impression for the business, showing wears off as quality items and designs, not inexpensive, as we aim our work at the higher end.

To do this, the stall needs to have a table cloth or some kind of draping material, which matches our corporate colours teal (dark turquoise) and white. As brown paper also features in our branding I will need to try to include that in the stall somewhere along the table and display board, along with possibly, with vines and leaves to fit the Garden of ‘Eden’ theme of our website.

We need some way to display our name or a welcome sign. I’ve noticed three ways for stalls to do this. Some have a material banner hanging from the table, some have a sign standing up on the table, while others have a name displayed on the display boards behind the table. A material banner hanging from the table might be the best for us to use here, so as not to restrict space on the table, giving more room for display of laptops and photographs in their frames and photographs hung on the backboard. 

I have already purchased packaging too, Eden sticker labels and brown paper bags, in keeping with the style I want to portray, for taking away purchases in.  Frames will be wrapped with tissue paper and sealed with a sticker, then placed in a bag with a business card and flyer.

Secondly, we also want to show the stall as being beautiful and eye-catching to show off my design work, photography, and website designs in the best way possible to pull in sales and generate design interest from possible clients.

There is a known rule in retail that the ‘eye-line is the buy line’ therefore the most expensive items should be placed at this height, it also gives them more status if they are towards the back of the stall and the cheaper/smaller items at the front, covering a range for all buyers.

Design items will be kept to one side of the table, such as flyers, and iPad with design examples on screen for people to scroll though. 

Photographs in the smallest frames, will be kept to the other side. Possibly a set of small, standalone shelves could be used to display the frames in tiers, if I can find one in time, cheapest towards the front, dearer to the back of the table. Next to these needs to be space for our photograph catalogue.

The two display boards at the back of the table will be used for displaying the larger photo canvases, which is ideal as they are large and heavy and are the most expensive items. Two lights will be rigged up and pinned to the board to highlight these canvases.

Possibly a poster size print out of a graphic design or website design might also be beneficial pinned up on the board to show what we do at a glance.

Ideas for the displaying prices and price lists I have seen include a notice board, picture frames, blackboards, tags on items. I think we should use a mixture of these, with tags on the large items and a list of prices for the small items. The stall would suit this list in a frame.

Thirdly, we need to advertise the business in general to promote interest for new clients.

Signs to encourage people to like our business Facebook and Twitter pages need to be produced and be visible on the table. I’ve seen a funky looking sign on a pole, like a lolly pop, used before for people to see as they walk past. Maybe a social networking flyer could be made also for people to take away.

Extra items needed on the table include leaflets on our work, business cards, and postcard size flyers. 

As the stall is to showcase the business photographs of us at work may be good to have on display, pictures of our Facebook/Twitter page, and details or our current client list which helps to make the business look reputable.

Lastly, a float is also needed.

Now we’ve just got to get everything together for the big day. Fingers crossed! Watch this space…



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