The art, design and antique trade has taken August to review how it fared at Masterpiece and some are considering what to do at LAPADA, coming up swiftly now in September.
We have several new clients who sell simply amazing works of art. But they come to us because they want to increase sales. Historically in the fine art world it is difficult to tell if the display of an object makes a difference to its sale value. You can’t sell the same thing twice and compare the result. However, clients see the trend. One client had been very happy with the look of their stand that they designed themselves, but had sold nothing. They asked us to design their stand the following year. A couple of days after the fair opened, I noticed a quite a few red dots next to works. I tentatively said ‘I see you’ve sold a few things’. The reply was ‘a few things? We’ve sold everything!’
Here are four creative ways of addressing the common problems with the stand designs we see.
1) Create a focus
Focus is a visual thing. It isn’t necessarily your most important piece, but a piece that looks great or can be made to look great with an interesting design treatment.
2) Create intrigue
If they can see everything from the aisle, the visitor will not go onto your stand. Nobody ever got their cheque-book out in the aisle.
3) Create atmosphere
With a focus and some intrigue, visitors will be drawn onto the stand, and into your space. Give the space a different feel to the fair. Lighting, colour, and floorplan are great tools to create intimacy. It is not the focus piece that you are looking to sell, it is the piece which the client turns and sees after they came onto the stand to see the focus piece.
4) Create functionality
Clients have to flow onto and through your space. You have to be able to show a piece close up, show a catalogue illustration or an in-studio photo of the piece without breaking your sales spiel. And without compromising security. You might need a computer, book, cupboard, desk, chair, business card at hand. Don’t design the stand then wonder where the desk is going to fit, or where your boxes of catalogues are stored. Stand design is holistic, and it shows.