Sunday, June 17, 2012


One of the hazards of conventional arts fair is the creation of an invisible barrier between the seller and the buyer. This is a wall that causes many to walk right by your booth, maybe only glancing at the objects or services you are offering. This may have little to do with the quality of your work and everything to do with the belief that your space is private or unapproachable. Although a jewelry seller may not want guests wondering around behind their counter, there is not reason not to create spaces that encourage visitor to explore and hang out a bit. The more activity in and around your booth the more curiosity and visitors it will attract. If you are lucky enough to have a tree adjacent to your booth space, spend a little extra money to place a few hay bales around its base that the public might use to rest their feet. Although not specifically related to your booth it helps perforate that invisible barrier and suggest that the Faire is happening inside your booth as well as in the streets and byways. Your products and booth should spill out into the world, no tuck back from it, and coming up with ways to attract the attention of your audience and welcome them in will only help your popularity and eventual sales.

Transporting Your Audience

In the end it is your efforts that will support the overall story the entire Faire is trying to tell. You are just one part of the big picture that will transport your audience into the time period. You may be shy about your talents as an actor, but a kind “Good day malady” or a “Good morrow kind sir” can be the extent of your old English accent, but may be just enough to make your audience feel welcomed into the larger play that is the Faire. Take advantage of cheering when a parade is passing, or boo if a group of Spaniards appears near your booth. Ask customers if they have had the good fortune to see the Queen this day, or if they have tried a meat pasty or sticky bun, it will only help make the story more convincing. Still, if these efforts are just too much work, or just too embarrassing to perform, at least dedicate yourself to not purposefully popping the illusion by whipping out a cell phone or surfing the web on a tablet when in front of the public. Your actions go a long way to supporting or undermining the overall experience and pleasure of your guests and customers.

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