Is Booth Location Important?
To consider this question, lean back in your chair and visually select your favorite retail store. Do you see its physical space? What type of facade does it have?
Imagine peering into the large storefront window, viewing over the many products on display.
Continuing, now turn your attention to the store’s location within its retail neighborhood. My guess is you could pinpoint the exact location on a map, without the requisite smart phone app.
When you want to go back to the store, it’s there. All set to address your needs.
What Happens If It Moved?
Now imagine the same scenario, but with a different ending.
What would happen if you went downtown (or local retail center) and the store moved? It didn’t move too far, just a few blocks away, without a forwarding address. What would you do? (Assume no smart phone is available).
If you came specifically for that store, you first might be disappointed. You may walk around the area looking for it. If you couldn’t find it, you’d might leave (I would).
However, to make this interesting, assume you were able to find your favorite store. You just happened to turn down the right side street. Ah – everything is great again.
A Second Time - Frustration!
Carry this thought forward to the next time visit this store. They’ve again moved, leaving no forwarding note.
They’ve got to be in the area, you’re unsure where. With only limited time to spend, you walk around looking for that store, missing perhaps the opportunity to view others (of different products).
Eventually it is spotted, only this time, you aren’t especially excited. “Will this happen again if I come back”? You wonder.
THE SAME SCENARIO POSSIBLE AT ART SHOWS
Although this is perhaps extreme, I feel this same scenario plays out every year at art shows, especially when vendors are randomly moved around the fair from year to year.
New visitors to the fair will never know if you moved, or where you may have been. Returning art fair patrons, looking specifically for you, could see this scenario unfold.
Will Your Following Find You?
When I first started doing art fairs, I never considered the likelihood that some visitors would return annually to see what new photography I had available.
In my second year, and certainly by the third, this became readily apparent. They were looking for me!
That is when I realized how important a same or similar booth location was when doing the same show multiple years.
Most Shows Honor Location Requests
Luckily, most shows I do either try to keep the artist in the same location as the year before (if requested) or in a nearby similar location.
This really hit home in 2015 when I had — at two different shows — two different customers mention they came to that specific art show primarily to see me.
One purchased two large Dura Plaq prints, and knew what they wanted from having seen the prints last year.
I know they weren’t the first to do so. Many others have sought me out, and for this reason alone, it is important to leave a forwarding address.
Leave a “Forwarding Address”
Some shows – though not all — will provide the booth number to you prior to the show.
If the location has changed (and even if it hasn’t), knowing the booth number and/or location can be very productive. This is great information to share with your customer newsletter mailing list and/or Facebook following.
And When They Show Up!
Have fun, enjoy the show and your customers.