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Old Town Suds' Trade Show Booth

I think the hardest part of making our trade show booth was figuring out the feel I wanted to project. I knew I wanted hard walls, that was a given (thank you trade show background). But, how do I want to display all of my babies soap? Thank goodness for pinterest. First off, there are hardly any soap trade show booths on there. What is plentiful are the stationary show booths. That, my friends, became my starting point. How do different handmade printers make themselves standout? How do they differentiate themselves from their neighbor? How do they stay true to their identity and still wow everyone who walks by? Luckily, when you are turning into an insomniac, these answers come quickly. Sidebar: my best ideas come between the house of 11pm and 3 am.

practice setup

Old Town Suds makes 80% of its products out of beer, wine and/or chocolate. Three things that I love to partake in! We are located in the Virginia vineyard region so I am always among the grapes and that is basis of our booth design; plus it flows naturally from our farmers' market display.

The semi-gloss  black hard walls took 5 coats and 2 gallons of paint. (Honestly, they probably could use a few more coats.) Then came the handmade shelves. These were constructed from cheap lumber we found at the lumber yard and some molding to provide a raised edge. They are wide enough to hold a beer bottle and a bar of soap laying down. Wide enough to create soap pyramids but not wide enough for much more than that. A lesson learned is, for our next trade show, we'll make some shelves for the corners and make a few wider shelves.

 

Next up are the lights. We used the clip lights from home depot. Originally, I thought they would provide enough spot light to highlight a few products and help draw eyes into the booth. Well, it was a good try. For the next go, we'll be investing in a different set of lights.

The sign was laser cut out of wood and held on with velcro. I really think it added a needed dimension to the booth. Also, we put a copy of our Washington Post coverage plus a few photos up of me making soap. They were to add color to the booth, plus add that little touch of showing just how handmade our products are.

Here it is! The finished product. Our first trade show booth. For my first one, I am extremely happy with the outcome. It's the first booth I've built having less than a $20,000 budget for JUST the build. It's the first booth I've built where I've been selling my own product and everything that was made by me. For those reasons alone, it's my favorite trade show booth to date.

Booth Shot

Up next, some more lessons learned and what I want to approve on before our next trade show this summer. I can't wait to make this an even better display for our wholesale customers.