Come join me at my one day pop up at The Sill Northumberland. Included in the video are some of my top tips for anyone wanting to attend their first pop up shop or retail show. I’m far from an expert in this, but I get asked a lot about shows, ideas, displays, props etc. so hopefully this might help someone who is unsure and needs a little bit of advice.
There is a lot of stages and points not included, such as prep work, admin etc. Maybe these could be featured in another video or blog post at some point.
Share your advice and top tips below 👇🏻 there is always something to learn, no matter how many years you’ve been doing it for!
I’d love to hear what you’ve learnt over the years, whatever product you sell!
Or even share your regrets… mine is painting crates because they need repainting e v e r y year and I do NOT have time for that 😆
View more Reel videos like this on our Instagram page, here.
Tips included are:
Arrive early - always a good idea!
Invest in a trolley - life saver.
If you can, invest in some QUALITY stock boxes ‘really useful boxes’ are great and don’t break on every outing. I often buy these in the January sale when they have offers.
Table cloth - buy a couple so you can rotate them and save on washing and ironing. Black is good to hide marks and creases, it also helps my products stand out. But this could vary on your products and branding.
Branded table runner / banner / sign. Help your customer recognise your business amongst the crowd. I know of so many creatives who create EVERYTHING themselves and they do not promote this. They sit back and hope the customer will just know the hard work and commitment they have put into their business. They feel telling the customer that they make everything themselves is bragging. It certainly is not bragging. It could be one of the most important things you tell them, as it could certainly result in a sale or even better a committed customer! Try displaying a picture of yourself, whether you are drawing, baking or creating. Display this on your stand with some short and catchy phrases, facts or slogans which reflect your business, its values and story. Seeing your face on this image, will relate you with the business. If you don't feel confident enough to tell your story, at least try to visualise it!
Baskets, baskets, baskets! I’m obsessed and when I think I have enough, I’ll find a new one with cute handles that I need. But they do come in handy and are great for storing extra stock, stacking and building height, holding specific collections etc.
Display your products using various heights, these could be built up using fold out shelves, upside down crates, wire baskets… different levels make it look extra exciting whilst utilising valuable space. It can also provide you with a little privacy to store personal items such as money, that you might not want on display.
Consider having ‘display items’. This works the same with samples. Saving multiple items getting marked or handled. Having a ‘display stock box’, makes set up a lot more efficient than opening 7 different boxes all at once.
Bubble wrap to stuff bags or filled products if relevant.
Finger stands (I don’t know the official name for these, I think they are actually for plates 😂) are great for anything flat. These encourage customers to touch and ‘flick through’ which is good to have on a stall, as it gives you a cue to chat with them and discuss your product. The same thing goes for artwork browsers, another great investment!
Build brand awareness with packaging, displays, stickers etc. Lots of purchases are for gifting, you could be missing out on customers if they don’t know who you are or where to find you!
S hooks and bulldog clips are super handy and very useful at larger events which work on a ‘shell scheme trade stand’ where you’re usually not aloud to attach anything to the walls on these stands, therefore hanging stock using a hook over the top of the walls are a great option. These are also great for attaching to baskets and hanging extra stock as shown in the video.
Plastic display stands. Very handy for products, business cards, greeting cards etc. It’s nice to mix things up and have some products flat and some upright.
Foliage - I mean I go a bit over the top when it comes to flowers and foliage but I find it gives my display a lift and is nice to mix up with the seasons. I do think bringing a little nature into your display adds personality. You could try incorporating your inspiration behind your products into your display such as the ingredients you use.
Card reader - so so important. I use Zettle and it’s great. There are lots of other options on the market such as Square and Sum Up. There is often lots of referral offers or discounts throughout the year.
Cash box or bag, with a float.
Notebook for sales. Or record sales using card reader app.
Paper bags. I have various sizes. I would definitely recommend having 2 or 3, depending on your product size variety. I have stamped mine using a stamp from English Stamp Company and they last years!
Water, coffee, snacks. It’s tempting to spend all your takings on food and baileys coffee!
Price tags, you could create a price list or individually price items. It is very important to display prices, as those customers who don't feel comfortable in asking may be put off from buying. There is loads of different ways to do this to work alongside your style and brand. As I have so many products at different prices, I print my own labels with my branded background. These are laminated and hand cut. This eliminates messy, tory, soggy price tags and keeps them crisp and clean. If you decide to use 'display' items, you could consider keeping these items permanently priced. Meaning you don't need to price every new item, just the ones on display.
Like I said above, there is so much not included. I am no expert and still learning myself. However, I think it is a good start and something to think about when starting out with retail events. For more tips, events and behind the scenes why not follow me on Instagram for more videos and posts like this.
Let me know your tips, wins and ideas, I would love the hear them!
All my best,