5 THINGS I LEARNT FROM EXHIBITING AT LDF 2018

1. You have to put in to get out

Exhibiting the series ‘Illuminated Lines’, at the private view of LDF 2018.

Exhibiting the series ‘Illuminated Lines’, at the private view of LDF 2018.

To be a part of such a big event, exhibitors are required to pay a fee for the stand they will be showcasing their work on. This is pretty common protocol and the amount varies depending on its size, it’s location and many other factors. Expensive as it may seem, it is worth every penny. 

Your work will be displayed at a fair, where the focus is on creating a platform for art and design. Not only will your work be exposed to thousands of visitors, there will be other makers exhibiting all around you. This is a great opportunity to network in your industry, as well as with potential customers. 

*TIPS*There are ways to make this cheaper…

  • I exhibited on a shared stand linked with @pca_craft, so I was able to pay a discounted price for a section of the space. 

    • You have the opportunity to sell your work and make some money back to cover your initial costs. 


2. Logistics

The transporting of my lights, pre-installed into a display wall for the exhibition.

The transporting of my lights, pre-installed into a display wall for the exhibition.

The planning of an exhibition is just as important as the actual event. Make sure you’ve considered all aspects of your display, before arriving for the installation. This covers everything from; the colour of your stand and what paint is required, to the plinths and props you’ll need to support your work. 

 

*TIPS*There are ways to make installation easier…

  • Flat pack furniture is easier to transport (not only to the location, but getting it in the lifts and to your designated area). 

  • Consider adapting your design. I know for future exhibitions I would leave my wiring on show instead of building a wall to conceal this. 


3. Everyone love freebies

Plymouth Gin serving cocktails at the  @plymouthcollegeofart  stand for LDF.  Photographed by PCA.

Plymouth Gin serving cocktails at the @plymouthcollegeofart stand for LDF. Photographed by PCA.

Usually if someone has paid entry for an event, they are eager to pick up lots of freebies to make their visit worthwhile, myself included! The main thing to remember is that it’s an excellent tactic to drawn people towards your stand, but the free gifts shouldn’t detract from the work itself. 

*TIPS* There are ways to catch someone’s eye…

  • Things they can wear/use like badges and tote bags (with your branding on for extra exposure).

  • Free alcohol at the private views; we teamed up with our sponsor Plymouth Gin to draw more attention to our college’s location, as well as our stand!


4. Audience Interaction

AudienceInteractionLDF.jpg

Being present to talk to people about your work is equally as important as exhibiting it. If you aren’t able to attend the whole event, make sure you have a representative. Visitors are just as interested in the story of your brand and the making process, as they are with viewing the finished piece. 

 

*TIPS* There are ways to get chatting to your audience…

  • Get to know them; they could be in the trade and wanting to make an order, or a client looking to purchase something for their home.

  • Use this as a free survey opportunity; what colour do they like the best and why? Which piece is their favourite?


5. Branding

BrandingLDF.jpeg

At an event with 550 exhibitors, it’s important to try and stand out from the crowd. Social media is an excellent way to spread the word about your work, and get the name of your brand trending. The group of designers I was exhibiting with used the hashtags:

#ForCraftsSake

#PlymouthEdit

*TIPS*There are ways to make your brand stick…

  • Business cards! Make sure there’s a photo of the work you’re exhibiting (visitors will pick up 100s, so an image will remind them which work was yours). 

  • Add your instagram name using vinyl stickers on the wall near your work. This way if a visitor takes a picture, they will already have your brand details.