Yes, most small food business owners have been there. The festival, the fair, the farmer’s market, the charity event, the gala. Any event where we find ourselves managing a small temporary space, better known as the stand, to showcase a variety of products to the, hopefully, many people that will attend the festival or fair or farmer’s market or… you get my drift. These events are great for publicity and just generally getting your product out there in the great wide open. Cacao Art is no stranger to them (all of them) and I can now proudly say we have the set-up of our stand down pat.
It wasn’t easy, but we understand now that having a standard setting for the stand is the best way to go. So, here are Cacao Art’s tips for a great stand:
1. Double check what is going to be available at the event. Are they providing one or two tables and chairs? If not, invest in one big fold-out table and a couple of chairs, very useful and easy to carry around. Also important to double check: the space that you will have to fill. You don’t want a half-empty or over-stuffed space.
2. Do a mock-up of your stand the day before. Get your table out and think about the look you want or just set it all out in a similar space. Some times event planners will provide tables with tablecloths that may not match your color scheme, so another good investment would be a few yards of a sturdy fabric that goes well with your palette.
3. Go for height. Creating some height, using food platters, cabinets or fountains is a great eye-catcher and helps define where your space begins. A big poster is also a good investment; make sure the logo is nice and visible.
4. Pops of color. Another great eye-catcher, providing pops of color attracts people to the stand. This was an important lesson for us, as our palette is mostly chocolate browns, silvers and white… Elegant, but not exactly jumping-off-the-page. We incorporated orange and pink accents and always take fresh, colorful flowers that change according to the season.
5. Accounting stuff. This gets lost in the excitement of setting up a pretty stand, but it’s actually very important. After trial and error, we found that little sis’s system was the best… Print out an Excel page with ALL your products and prices and make sure to write down every time something is sold (or even just given away). Also, make sure to write down exactly how much of everything you’re taking with you. This helps settle accounts at the end of the event. Maybe it’ll even give you the surprise of a tidy profit from your lovely stand!