We will probably be setting up a booth this year for the first time. We plan on doing at least one local event and any others that are close enough to manage in order to help get the name out there. I wanted to solicit ideas from you on what you consider to be a good booth set up to attract new clients, and what has or has not worked for you when setting a booth up and marketing your studio to potential clients.
I was thinking a backdrop of three hinged 4'X 8' sheets of OSB (or something similar) standing up, framed and painted nicely to hold shoulder and small wall-hung lifesize stuff. I figure they can be folded up and stored more easily in the trailer. The booth size is 10'X 10', no power. A couple of 5' tables with nice tablecloths or tanned hides out front with brochures, cards, pens, maybe a pedestal mount or two. Bigger stuff can go behind the table (out of reach), but can still be seen from in front of the table. Of course we would have the studio caps and t-shirts for sale as well, maybe at a small discount.
Also, what do you give (if anything) as a "show incentive"? A percentage off the first job? A straight denominational discount? A cap or shirt? Marketing is not my forte, but my assistant seems to have a pretty good handle on it, so I will combine all ideas from him (JD) and you all for our "master plan". BTW, this is a small town event, so the Rent-A-Hooter girls handing out cards probably wouldn't be appropriate for this one ;-)! Thanks in advance for your input!
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I do from 4-8 trade shows per season, not for my taxidermy, but for my outfitters business. I see a ton of different displays at these shows. OSB looks cheap, even when painted, don't use it. The nicer taxi displays have tounge & groove cedar or pine as a back drop, that looks very nice as does the black auto carpet that they use for the World Show backboards. Make sure your tables are skirted too. The more professional your display looks, the better. Lighting does help show your work better, I have been stuck in some dark booths in the past. You could print up some "show special coupons" and hand them out. Make them specific for the work you like to do best. If that's deer heads, go $10.00 off your next deer mount.
Hope this helps
www.trophybears.com is my outfitters business website, for anyone that is curious. I have been adding pictures to it, and trying to spruce it up a bit.
Your intentions are to show your mounts in the best "light" possible. A reproduction of a log cabin wall is not what you want but a light colored wall (pale to medium blue), either painted panels or fabric covered will enhance your mounts.The blue will reflect in the eyes and make them sparkle.If you use the 3 panels as you mentioned, build a (light bar) that will will tie in the two upper corners and use track lighting with multiple lights directed to specific mounts.YOU CANT HAVE TOO MANY LIGHTS.Keep all mounts out-of-reach of everyone, kids will break everything they touch and so will a lot of adults.A selection of tanned skins will keep some people busy while waiting for their turn to talk to you.Keep a good supply of business cards and brochures if you have them, but only give them to people who ask for them. Most handouts that are just given out randomly will end up in the dumpster, so save your $$$.I've been to a ton of these events and have enough experience to also know that you don't have to give anything away.If your work is excellent it will do all the advertising you need. Good luck.....JL
As you visist all kinds if shows, take note of the "inviting" booths. An old sales pro once told me you should never have a table in front that you sit behind. Make your booth open in front. Stand at the front to greet people, or have a stool. That table is a barrier to YOU and YOUR WORK. You want em in where they can talk with you, look at your work etc. A "please do not touch" sign is a good idea, but most work we do should stand up to some jostling around. Use a nice piece as an eye catcher, invite em in to look, and close the deal.
The tongue and grove pine is a great idea, looks sharp. Some framed 8x10 photos of work in addition to your display mounts can help, a photo portfolio book, lights even if ya gotta rig batteries to run it. Have a professional sign done as well. Ditto on the cards. We have all gone to a show, taken a hundred cards home and pitched em!