Merchandising Your Vendor Table

If  you are a vendor of any sort – whether a crafter, wholesaler, designer or manufacturer – there will be a time when you need to set up a table and reach out to an audience. From trade shows to expos to local craft fairs and so much more, a little table can go a long way when merchandised effectively.

Some key things to consider when highlighting your product and business services include not just the table, but the space around it. To plan for this, find out in advance what your vendor “booth” area will consist of.


Will you have a divider of any sort between you and the next vendor? If so, does this divider allow for merchandising opportunities, such as posters, banners or shelves? Leaving these bare won’t allow you to maximize your space and ultimately, you business. You could put press clips or enlarged photos of your product on these dividers, as well.


How big is the table you will be provided? Is there more than one available? If so, you could make a U-shape out of three tables and maximize your allocated space. Or work with two to add more opportunity for product exposure than just one would allow. Make sure you have table clothes to cover your tables to add more visual appeal. Fabric cut to size works great for this, as well.


Are you tall? Short? We are all different and view things differently, so cater to every eye level. This also creates visual appeal that will lead any one’s eye directions up or down – allowing for them to see more than just a flat showcase of product. Use cake stands, pedestals, boxes and other height altering pieces to add depth and level to your display. Use your table clothes to cover these so they seem seamless with your overall display. Be creative here – the opportunities are endless.


Want to add some color to your display? Add a throw rug! This is a great way to add some fun with color and design while also identifying your vendor space from the rest. It’s likely you will be among the only tables to have thought to add some visual appeal to the ground – so expect more foot traffic as a result since it will make you stand out!


Does your vendor table blend in or stand out? Be bold in your color choices in an effort to “pop” from the rest. You can still be sophisticated, sassy or whatever your style is while using color. Whether tan or pink, if you stay consistent and use color effectively, it will make a difference in your overall vendor table appeal.

Finally, think outside the box as to how your unique business can maximize a vendor table space. Remember to showcase your product first and foremost, but also make your table enticing enough so people want to approach it. Keep it clean and easy to understand so that “shopping” your table isn’t a challenge. And take notes so that next time, you can do it even better!

Have ideas on how you have created a great vendor table space? Let us know!


  • Megy Karydes
    April 9, 2010

    Nicole – awesome ideas (and reminders). I exhibited at my first trade show this past January and was so concerned about my tables that I didn’t maximize my hard wall space (which I’ll be doing this coming July at the Chicago Gift Show/Beckman’s). Since our products deal with fair trade items and artisans, I’ll be blowing up photos of our South African artisan partners making our copper and brass jewelry as our visuals on the wall. People seem to really relate to seeing people making the items.

    I hadn’t even considered a throw rug as an option – clever, simple and cost-effective. I’ll add that to my overall trade show booth visuals!

    Thanks again for the articles!

    -Megy Karydes, Owner
    World Shoppe

  • veena
    April 9, 2010

    Hi great post as usual, I really like your website.
    I feel that if you use more images (even ones you shoot yourself, actually preferably ones that you shoot yourself) would greatly enhance the impact of such useful tips.

  • D Long
    April 10, 2010

    Thanks for the useful info. I just have to add that the floor covering you use must be completely attached to the floor to avoid having a trip/fall hazard in your booth. Luckily, duct tape now comes in many colours, and you should be able to secure your carpet less conspicuously.
    -thoroughturtle beadesign-
    D Long

  • Rachel
    April 10, 2010

    So many great things to think about, and super useful for craft fairs. Thanks so much for this. I’ll be linking.

  • Great post! I’ve done a lot of craft shows and just started re-vamping my booth for more of a boutique feeling. I bought some lightweight items that could sit on a tabletop, leaving the floorspace open and uncluttered, and repainted them in my business colors (white, turquoise, and green) to make my booth unified and eye-catching.

    I’ve considered a rug for my space but most of my shows are outdoors and it’s not as practical.

    Now the two main concerns I have as I continue to tweak my booth are:

    1) THE WIND
    The wind in Texas, especially in April, is absolutely ridiculous and ever-present. So I have to make my booth displays as wind-resistant as possible. Not an easy feat unless everything weighs 100 pounds! I also need displays that protect my hats and accessories from blowing away, or blowing into the dirt/mud/oil spot on the pavement near my booth. Yikes!

    Is the booth setup easy to pack into my husband’s minivan? If not, can it fit in my sedan whose seats don’t fold down? And do I have room in the garage or my studio to store my booth displays in between shows?

    Building a great booth space, whether indoors or out, is quite a challenge but mine is slowly coming together. I’ve been a functional designer of things (pottery and hats, especially) for years, so at least it’s a fun challenge.

    If anyone has further suggestions I’m all ears!

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