Jewelry displays are one one of the most often overlooked elements of a successful tradeshow. We caught up with Tracy of Tracy Arrington Studios in Apopka, Florida to uncover her secrets for creating award-winning tradeshow booth displays as she travels across the U.S. introducing her jewelry lines to new buyers.
Tracy started her business in 2011 after working for over a decade as a buyer and merchandiser. She only sells wholesale, which means tradeshows are her biggest marketing opportunities. She regularly attends the American Made Show, NY Now, JA, and IJO shows. Currently, Tracy has over 150 clients carrying her jewelry throughout the country and internationally.
Tracy’s greatest challenge is finding ways to get her delicate jewelry noticed inside a mammoth building filled with her competition. She has to stand out from the crowd. Tracy was recognized early on for her talents in designing unique and eye-catching booths when in 2012 she received the Temporary Visual Display Award at AmericasMart Atlanta.
Aside from layout of the booth, her decor ideas must not be too complex to set up and take down, nor too expensive to ship from one destination to another.
An Inviting Space
“I always want people to walk into my booth and feel like they are in a very special store, Tracy says. “I want it to feel relaxing, soothing, and energizing all at once. A place they enjoy visiting and can feel pampered in.”
Tracy is fanatical about three things in her booth:
- Good lighting, and lots of it. She uses white LED spot bulbs because they consume little energy and don’t make the space uncomfortably warm. In a 10′ x 20′ booth, she usually has 8-10 tracks with 5-6 lights on each. Additionally, decorative lights hung over displays make the space feel cozy and inviting.
- Jewelry items have to be at the right height. The absolute minimum for Tracy’s displays is 32” and she prefers to be closer to eye-level at 42”.
- Make it easy for customers to linger. Tracy is available in the background to answer questions but otherwise lets people have all the space and time they need to think about how her line will fit in their stores. She offers bottled water, splurges on specialty chocolates and provides a place for people to sit.
“Displays should cause someone to make a purposeful decision to step into your booth to see more,” Tracy says. “The overall impression entices but doesn’t tell the whole story. They have to walk in to see the whole story!”
Tracy purchased her first display pieces from Rio Grande. She decided on linen props and feels it was a smart investment because the pieces are high quality and durable. There’s nothing worse than showing beautifully crafted work on dingy, fraying, or dirty displays.
Always careful not to overcrowd groupings, Tracy incorporates a decent number of jewelry items on each prop. Layering multiple pieces on a bust is acceptable as long as each one stands out enough to be seen on its own. She adds pops of texture and contrast to keep everything from blurring together into one large, monochromatic space.
Lately, she has opted for a limited range of display styles but uses a greater quantity of each. She generally sticks to three sizes/types of busts, a couple of earring and pendant holders and lots of risers to create interest.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Tracy knows the time, money and energy she invests into her booth pays off. The number and size of her orders continues to increase and the average price per item goes up when customers see her work in person. Tracy believes there is something magical about holding the work in your hands and feeling the quality for yourself. The feedback she receives from customers is that her booth is always a surprise and they love to see the changes she makes from year to year.
With that in mind, she knows her booth design will never be finished. It is always a work in progress and she will continue to evolve her displays as her business grows and customer needs change.
The Displays Tracy Loves
I use with these boards for every show. They allow me to quickly and easily pack my necklaces for travel. I stack display boards with bubble wrap between the layers and then I secure the bundle with stretch wrap. The entire stack fits into my carry-on luggage.
I provide these trays and pads to my customers so they can gather pieces as they create the unique story for their stores. The trays are elegant and really show off my jewelry well.