Join Justin Reznick for an in-depth discussion in this video What makes a booth successful, part of Learning to Sell Photography at Art Shows.
- I'd like to take you through a booth and talk about what I think makes it successful. Now I think it's only fair we use my booth. I don't want to critique somebody else's without their permission so let's dive into my booth. I can tell you creatively the choices I made. Logistically the things that I decided to do. So we're looking at a booth that was displayed about two years ago. We'll notice that it's on grass and a lot of times you're going to be in a park, and so that's something to consider. So I'm on grass and I've got a 10 by 10, so it's 10 feet by 10 feet, very strict amount of space.
It's not very big and it's something to consider, you have a limited amount. So I want to display every photograph that I have that I know has ability to sell. All my best sellers but you don't get to do that. You get to be incredibly selective,. Now on the back wall and the left wall, we seen metal prints. Large metal prints especially on the left wall. That print there is 60 inches tall, 5 feet tall and there's a print that's 5 feet wide. I want drama, I want to bring people in.
I want to get them excited. These metal prints help to do that. The luminesce, the color, the depth wonderful. They also happen to be very trendy right now. Things be go in cycles and there's a joke a photographer tells me and I love this joke. He says, "You know what I'm going to display? "Framed prints. "I'm going to be the only one doing it." And what I love about it is that's traditionally how we think about photography but it's become somewhat out of style. We don't see it a lot in art shows.
We saw canvas and now we're seeing metal. Now we see prints on wood. All these different methods. One day I think that framed print is coming back. So that's why you see metal here. Now two years ago, you saw canvas so it changes and it's important that we keep up to date with modern trends. You need to study what's selling. What people are interested in and you need to be a part of that movement. Ideally you want to be ahead of it. On the right side, we see some canvas. Now I love to be consistent so I would critique this a little bit.
I would like to say this probably should be all metal but sometimes you have inventory, and I have canvas here. Canvas of the plulose. I love the plulose on canvas. It has such a canary feel, so I love it and I thought you know what this is a strong wall. It may not match the other two walls but on its own I really think it's fantastic, because I have two rolling hills shot. And then I stripped it at the bottom, and that stripped kit sells really well, and it did sell at the show. But it was definitely beneficial in which display it.
You'll notice themes throughout right. The left wall is nothing but waterfalls. The right wall is the plulose. The back wall is a combination of the northern lights with some fall colors. So I've got two color themes, but I want people to walk into the booth. I don't want them to go what's that doing here? That doesn't seem to fit. You know I do photograph wildlife but you're not going to find an image of a polar bear in my booth, even if I love that image because it just wouldn't necessarily make sense. So being consistent is really important. Now I got black walls, Pro panels and I love the black because it gives me a museum quality.
The images themselves are hung and gallery hooks, which Pro panels sells. Next are the prints we see name tags. Those little tags are very similar to what you'd see in a museum or fine art gallery. They have a little image of what you're seeing. Sizes with the size it's available in the booth highlighted and a description title and where the image was taken. People can be shy and they may not be comfortable talking to you so give them a little bit of information so that they can feel comfortable and then engage.
Okay now we also see in the middle of your table with the tablecloth and three small baskets of prints. It's so crucial, I'll talk about pricing in a little bit, but we have something in our booth that most people can afford. If you walk in and you look at the price of the metal print and you say something like $4,000, I can't afford that. They may love your work, not everybody can afford a $4000 print but guess what on the table is something for $25.
And $25 while it's something to a lot of people if they love your work and make a connection, it is enough to get them to have that impulse buy. So we'll talk about that more later but that's what those baskets are doing. Behind the baskets are black bins with prints and I have it in a circular fashion so people can move through in a circular way and cover everything in the booth. It's very important that they walk in and they come out the other side. In those black bins are larger prints, more expensive prints and they're able to cycle through.
Now storage is key. I did not allowed to store stuff outside the booth because guess what I'm surrounded by booths. So I'm using, I have a bin underneath the table and the black bins with the prints, if you lift them up, I have storage underneath so it's very important you get creative with how you store things. We also see lighting. Okay lighting was pretty new for me and these lights were purchased at Pro panels as well. They do sell a lot of the accessories you're going to need and they actually go through a wonderful tutorial on how to set up the lights with a portable battery.
And adding that light is that little bit of magic quality. Again how do I simulate a gallery? How do I make people feel like they're in a gallery? Lights. They're not essential but they do give you that little bit of extra touch especially at a show that has long hours. We can do it in the morning and in the evening when the light is not as strong. And we'll see that nice white booth that is way more expensive canopy. Nice and strong. Now there's one thing that bothers me about this booth and that it feels a little bit cramped, 10 x 10 is not ideal.
So recently I took a plunge and I invested in a 10 x 15 booth. All I had to do was get another Pro panel. That's the beauty of expansion is that I didn't have to buy a need booth. I was able to get two Pro panels and extend it in the middle and now the booth is longer, 50 feet but I did have to get a new tent. That's where I got that king canopy for less than $300. Now we're looking at this new booth. It just feels roomier and since I went to this, sales have increased pretty strongly.
The ability to go in there and not feel cramped. To make the images not feel as close together as possible. In an ideal world, you'd have your own gallery and we have far more space in between these prints. This feels cramped to me in terms of how close they are but I've got to do it. I've got to get things on the walls to show people. You have to engage them as quick as you can. But by having the 10 x 15, I'm extending the space and making it more comfortable. So this is my current set up, 10 x 15 black Pro panels.
Notice everything in here is on metal. Really bringing the audience in and I feel good about it. The lighting adds that extra touch. You never know what's going to come two years from now. I think it's important to be open and iteration to upgrading your booth. It's as simple as this. Will this upgrade increase sales and if the answer is yes then it's worth considering. So go to an art show, check out the booths. Look at the ones that stand out to you and use Pro panels and the canopy sites that I shared with you to help build the best booth you can.
- Applying for an art show
- Purchasing a booth
- What makes a booth successful
- Pricing your work
- Controlling costs
- How to treat customers
- Processing different forms of payment
- Packaging goods for customers