Monday, June 16, 2008

How to do a trade fair

We've been discussing in a previous post how unorganized and unprofessional (as well as how unfriendly) Etsy's craft show booths are. Here are a few pics of proof:

Julie minds the Etsy booth Anda at the Etsy booth with her whale pouch STITCH- Etsy Booth
Etsy + Art vs Craft (Round 6) ETSY booth Etsy looooooooooove!

Thats a small sampling from a search on Flickr.

The sad part is, they don't look like a 60-person 27-million dollar e-commerce site with a million members and hundreds of thousands of online shops. They look like an Art Therapy outreach who is showing off what their geriatric, mentally handicapped or perhaps low income inner city kids are doing. If I saw this booth at the local street fair I would wander right by. Most of the shots show so little of what Etsy is, bascially seeming to be just a few pieces of whatever they felt like hauling along. All that's missing is a plate for donations.

What's sadder is some the street team are scads more saavy.

Our booth! PDX Etsy @ Mississippi Street Fair

Do you see a differnce? (did you see the WWSD wheel?)

Branding, polish, and NOT looking like a gypsy caravan. The street fairs went so far as to make banner that LOOK like the sites logo. I think the people in Brooklyn have forgotten they HAVE a logo. They instead keep tossing out dodgy banners with appliqué with themes that have NOTHING to do with etsy, and most of all they don't look professional. What have we been asking for since post #1? Professionalism.

Now I've seen a great many street/artisan/craft fairs in my time. Here's what Etsy should do: Stop making heir staff make stuff, and instead invest say a little of that 27MIL and get a proper trade/craft show kit.

Logo. They have one, they need to use it. A white EZUp is easy, but you hang a Etsy color LOGO banner under the header and it's done, but for the extra mile get someone to screen print the Etsy logo on the EZUp and it would soar higher to respectablility. If they went crazy with the image improvement they could get custom made tent with the etsy colors and logo and really stand out and look like an honest to god Internet sensation. Next, ditch the curtains from Grandma and instead opt for nice branded crisp table cloths. Have a couple pop up trade show billboards to the sides or back with perhaps a nicely organized mosisc dozens of typical Etsy items printed on them in a nice clean grid, and have some more on possibly some vertical banners out front. Now, on those clean branded tables have Etsy business cards with some fact and figures on the back (how many shops, ho wmuch listings and the like are), a couple tv's play some videos of Etsians raving about how they have quit their day jobs or found their niche.

Now that's a trade/craft show booth that will be crowed with people and not embarass the ones already listing with you. How about it Etsy, how about growing up and looking like it?

80 Comments:

spetsy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I am SO the boss of you said...

I'm embarrassed FOR them. How in the world did they secure the funds from investors? I don't see how it's possible with the rampant unprofessionalism they convey constantly.

just bitchy said...

27 Million doesn't go as far as it used to.

And, when you don't actually have to worry about paying rent with your art fair money I guess you get complacent.

*rolls eyes*

The Incredulous One said...

Fundamental business concept: brand identification. Design a logo, use it consistently, so people recognize it. Develop a product that you promote consistently. Make it easy for your customers to understand what your business is about, and to remember it.

Sigh.

I am SO the boss of you said...

I wonder how many nice cars that 27 million bought because it sure as hell isn't going to the site.

I am SO the boss of you said...

I think Etsy 101 should have taken Business 101 before they got too big for their britches.

Dani said...

My husband used to work for a web site that sold accordion shutters... they had a booth with all those professional looking goodies... they went to a home fair, paid like $5000 for a 2 day spot, and sold like CRAZY! even though the company had 10 full time employees, was in it's first year, and had no BIG investor backing them up...

WTF... if small business can do it, so can big business! I've seen etsy seller's booths that look better than that!

notsomuch said...

I have to disagree here, I love how the etsy table looks. It's bright, eye-catching and extremely creative. My booths tend to look rather similar at the local fairs and I generally make out far better than the "professional" folks around me.

I don't think etsy folks need to pretend to be something they're not. They can be professional without losing their DIY roots or creativity.

It'll be a sad day when etsy's nothing more than a white tablecloth, suit, tie and corporate line.

christina said...

The Incredulous One said...

Fundamental business concept: brand identification. Design a logo, use it consistently, so people recognize it. Develop a product that you promote consistently. Make it easy for your customers to understand what your business is about, and to remember it.

Sigh.
------------

The saddest part of it is when Etsy hands out advice to sellers they keep stressing how important branding your business is and making sure your logo is in front of your target market again and again.

Etsy, follow your own damn advice!

lessa said...

Wasn't one of the reasons for hiring a lawyer to help with taking care of their trademarks? Why bother with a trademark if they aren't going to use it for something as obvious as advertising?

SoCaliGirl said...

Oh no, they're more interested in making sure they're not affiliated with anyone who their employees don't like.

Their booth looks sparse, disorganized and unbranded. Maybe Xiane can give Etsy branding advice because her booth is fantastic. Or even Lollibomb.

Its a completely different animal when you are a small business owner, compared to when you are a large dot com with millions of customers.

I am SO the boss of you said...

I'll be happy when Etsy grows the hell up. Fun little booths with fun colors won't cut it when no one knows who the hell you are due to misbranding.

They talk to everyone about branding their business yet they don't take their own advice.

*sad

And in my opinion, a suit and tie never killed anyone.

The Malevolent One said...

Notsomuch - Etsy IS big business. They have hundreds of thousands of customers. They have over $27 million in funding and are backed by the same people who back Walmart. Etsy is not "indie", it is not "grassroots". Slapping a thin veneer of hipster-ism over that fact in the form of handpainted signs and mismatched tablecloths doesn't change what they are.

They ARE pretending to be something they're not.

I am SO the boss of you said...

notsomuch said...

I have to disagree here, I love how the etsy table looks. It's bright, eye-catching and extremely creative. My booths tend to look rather similar at the local fairs and I generally make out far better than the "professional" folks around me.

I don't think etsy folks need to pretend to be something they're not. They can be professional without losing their DIY roots or creativity.

It'll be a sad day when etsy's nothing more than a white tablecloth, suit, tie and corporate line.
--------------

When they became a multi million dollar company with millions of customers, they took on that role. Sadly they still think like a small business out of someone's basement.

Andy Mathis said...

I have to disagree here, I love how the etsy table looks. It's bright, eye-catching and extremely creative.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SWIMMEY, is that you?




jk

S2 said...

"I have to disagree here, I love how the etsy table looks. It's bright, eye-catching and extremely creative. My booths tend to look rather similar at the local fairs and I generally make out far better than the "professional" folks around me."
***

Then you should put more effort into your setup, because that looks terribly unprofessional and not creative in the least.

"I don't think etsy folks need to pretend to be something they're not. They can be professional without losing their DIY roots or creativity."
***
They CAN?? I'd love to see that!
When are they going to start doing anything professional??

"It'll be a sad day when etsy's nothing more than a white tablecloth, suit, tie and corporate line."
***
uh, they can be cutting edge and still be polished. They can be artistic without looking homeless. They don't have to use white tableclothes but not using flea market bedsheets is expected from a multi-million dollar company.

Lucy said...

Embarrassing.

I've seen lemonade stands that look more professional than that. I'm very serious.

KeepBreathing said...

notsomuch said...

"I have to disagree here, I love how the etsy table looks. It's bright, eye-catching and extremely creative."

Really? I don't understand how any member of Etsy could type out these words. I could find a few dozen shops that could create a better banner than that with their eyes closed.

What about it is creative? They literally have NOTHING going on at their booth. How about having some samples from Etsy shops, raffles of Etsy products.. Showcase SOMETHING to get visitors to want to log on to the address on their stupid sign.

Charlotte Marie said...

I am just floored. These examples look so terrible, I actually feel sorta sick. What happened to all the marketing and branding tips given out so freely to sellers? I can not in good faith recommend Etsy to sellers or buyers - what a dissapointment! And they expect us to advertise for them free of charge??? Good grief.

TheSneakyOne said...

Aww. Anon at 1120. Please familiarize yourself with the blurb above the posting box. We delete all Anon comments.

But you made a funny, so I am reposting it for you.


"It's difficult to jerk off and make promotional stuff as well.

I mean, what more can you expect from a place that celebrate their staff running around, defacing strangers cars with Etsy stickers."

TheSneakyOne said...

Dear Anon @ 1126. No Anon comments are allowed, per the rules ABOVE the posting box. Feel free to post on any article you want, as long as you choose a name. ANY name.

But you made a relevant point. Sop, I will repost it for you.

"I was at the Renegade this weekend... and shit you not, I actually LOOKED for the Etsy booth and didn't see it. That's how truly lacking it was. My boyfriend noted the empty booth and suggested that's where they were supposed to be. Yeah, really."

harrumph said...

Do some admin own "Fact & Fancy" in Brooklyn? They're in all the pics and they sell almost exclusively Etsy seller items.

No, not a craft show booth, but, clearly a lot of effort went into the presentation of that B&M shop, very cute. But, maybe it's only worth giving a crap it when it's your OWN store, and not Etsy at large.

If admin, don't own it, then my bad, I apologize. It must be the ever hilarious mustaches that had me thinking that. ...

But, if they do, it shows they CAN put effort into making something presentable if they want:
http://factandfancy.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/factandfancy/page2/

Elizabeth said...

I'm going to back the poster who says that Etsy shouldn't look like every other corporate booth.

That doesn't mean that I think the current efforts cut it, but there have to be ways to creatively buy HANDMADE products from their CUSTOMERS (hand-screened Etsy - yes, w/logo - tablecloths, for example) that keep the handmade vibe and values going, without looking like someone woke up in the morning and remembered, "oh shit! we've got a fair today!"

I am SO the boss of you! said...

Elizabeth,
you're backing the poster that said Etsy shouldn't be corporate but what was that booth style that they were going for? Corporate is FAR better than that crap.

I think ANY style is better than the booth that they had at Renegade. Glad to see our collective $ hard going towards something.

AliciaMae said...

Well, I think corporate and nice handmade are two different things. And they're both different from what is in those pictures. Anyone supporting the handmade movement would appreciate handmade, just nice handmade. And what is with all those fish on their tablecloth?

Elizabeth said...

What AliciaMae said.

TheSneakyOne said...

Anon at 103am. Please read the rules before posting. No anon comments allowed. Thanks!

gagging on ugly said...

Ugh, the homeless guys in the park across the street have shopping carts that look more appealing than that. I would never stop at that booth, let alone think it represented a huge site. Sad.

new england said...

It looks like a clown threw up there.

A sad, drunk clown.

The Disgruntled One said...

But sad, drunk clowns are so hip.

Wende said...

I'm shocked really. Because if this is their idea of marketing we're all in trouble.

Even my 11 year old knows, when he starts a business the first thing he does is create a logo. And then he builds a working website. I KID YOU NOT. He's 11.

Maybe I should have him submit a resume to etsy?

Do you think they'd know what that is?

Oh, and for the record... I'm just bitter because the "search" everyone "loves" killed my store. Ahem. :D

The Cranky One said...

I wasn't suggesting they go ALL corporate with shiny flash and gleaming metal, they can have some have some real stuff out there too, but damn it, POLISH THAT TURD! The space needs to be a representation of the site itself, clean, organized, and enticing. I should look like the site in real life. Visitors to the sire shouldn't be surprised when it's not what they saw at the fair. They should have a "Ah yeah I saw these guys!" moment.

Branding is everything. When you are an internet site, you sort of have to act like it. That means a site as big and diverse as etsy is needs to have some graphical representation to show the kinds of things that you can get there. Have cards from shops, have feature sheets of the best selling this or thats (purses, clothing etc) ready for the taking, make it a "oh I have to go in there" experience, not a "oooh move along past these creepy hippies" experience.

I'm not saying they have have to sell completely out, hand pretty stuff up with the professional stuff, but have the professional stuff up too. Look like you are worth visiting, and not some fly by night joint powered on koolaid and weed.

They need a team to outwardly walk the fair, visiting with artisans, handing out cards, discussing opportunities, and greeting people who wander by with sincere enthusiasm offering cards and swag, not tired disdain and ignoring them. Go getters. Every fair is a opportunity to find both customers and buyers and they squander it looking like a bunch of gypsies.

But more importantly make sure search works so when these new people visit, they will see the listings they are looking for.

They have the money to present a very cool outward appearance, and they are squandering it.

eclipse said...

sorry the links didn't work on that one
Etsy at Brooklyn Flea
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/2451301226/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/2450475711/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/2450474035/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/2411966816/

It's hard to tell but this looks like various merchandise for sale, pretty diverse merch like jewelry and sewn items made by different makers. (not promotional merch)
Do the etsy staff also sell their own wares from the Etsy booth at these craft fairs? Like Etsy pays for the booth space and it's supposed to be promoting Etsy, but actually they are selling their own stuff for their own profit?

Etsy in Austin
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/2329738363/


Etsy at Artists & Fleas
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/2048420900/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/2047630011/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/2047556973/

Etsy at Centerville Pumpkin Festival
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/1712316623/

Etsy at Renegade Chicago
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/1403203991/

Etsy at the philly folk fest.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/1285878429/

Etsy at the Spring Bada Bing
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etsylabs/470197887/

nitpicker said...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stellaloella/1560014160/sizes/o/

What's up with the fake Chick tracts here? I mean, I find Chick tracts as funny as the next atheist, but they are a hipster in-joke, not a marketing tool.

"...there have to be ways to creatively buy HANDMADE products from their CUSTOMERS...that keep the handmade vibe and values going..."

Uh, yeah. HellO, ALCHEMY!!

"Do the etsy staff also sell their own wares from the Etsy booth at these craft fairs?"

Good question! They probably should display *something*, but EtsyLabs selling things... ok. Staff selling... conflict of interest.

Smarty Pants said...

Wow...that's disappointing. Sad that etsy isn't putting any of the profits back into the business. That's gotta be in the first chapter of running a business for dummies-- someone over there should try reading. (anything at all, just fucking read something, people!)
--to the bitches--
I was starting to think that maybe you gals should as much time on your business as you do bitching. After reading today's post, I am thinking you should be developing a website to compete with Esty. And, for christ sake, please come up with a name that doesn't sound like a baby sucking it's thumb. Yek.

Stephanie said...

They're probably doing it in such an ugly, ridiculous way to seem more "indie".

get it together please said...

When did being a site for handmade goods ever mean that it has to look like a three year old put together their marketing plan? Their seller's booths look so much more professional - etsy's looks so trashy I would have been embarrassed to go up to it.

get it together please said...

Ok, after thinking a bit on this one, it seems they may have though that it would be a good idea to come up with a grunge "liberation" type theme for the show, since it is called Renegade.

That really is not how you do business though. You create an image - one specific image - that sticks out in people's minds, and you put it out there as often as you can. Make it your banner so people will go, "Hey, there's Etsy!" and new customers will recognize you online.

Branding is everything and confused jumbles of stuff that are not easily recognizable will not stick in people's minds for more than a moment or two.

Mama V said...

I saw the Etsy booth first hand at Bust Spring Fling. Sorry I didn't take pics.

I'm still not sure who was manning the booth. There were items for sale, but I wasn't sure which items.

Adam Selene said...

Unprofessional appearance aside, Etsy needs to figure out *what* they are selling when they go to a craft fair. If they are representing the site and trying to entice new buyers and new sellers, the push should be about the site. Cranky One's suggestion about feature sheets to hand out is excellent. One of those backdrops covered with a zillion pictures (think Front Page x 100) would be eyecatching and interest buyers. I think that selling some promotional merchandise featuring the official Etsy logo is okay (current sellers who are not yet jaded would probably buy some), but most of the stuff should be handouts directed at bringing buyers to the site.

If, however, they are selling handmade merchandise in general, it should be under the EtsyLabs banner, not under Etsy.com. There should be a second booth for EtsyLabs with information about it and items for sale. *There* they can use the handmade banner and the weird wacky indie hip appearance. And they could sell the promotional material that is non-branded, like the "design your face off" finalists.

The two should be clearly defined - Etsy the professional corporate site where you can buy and sell handmade stuff, and EtsyLabs where they like to make weird stuff and be creative.

lessa said...

Adam,

I agree with you there.

The two should not mix. What I don't understand is the print promos are very nice. Remember the original poster sketch contest. They were clean and eyecatching. Highlighted some amazing things despite the multiple representations of certain sellers.

This booth makes Etsy look like it is a place to sell church bazaar and flea market stuff.

impetuous said...

iamsotheboss said
"How in the world did they secure the funds from investors? "
______

I would love to answer that for you.

When investors saw how Etsy has managed to get people to advertise for them, monitor their site for them, idolize them, buy into the idea that Etsy can somehow lead to idependence, all while getting the artisan hooked into perpetual and cronic listing in order for the site to make the artist a small buck and Etsy itself, millions, they literally came in their pants.

The check book came out after a brief pause, a little clean up and a victory smoke.

Rokali calls this, Operation Grass Roots.

Andy Mathis said...

well said, Adam.

impetuous said...

People. If I may be so bold I would like to point something out.

One cannot brag and gloat about extreme corporate sized success from one side of their mouth and preach grass roots methods to their customers from the other.

All this booth tells us is that Etsy has no fucking clue where to go from here. Maybe that's because their own efforts aren't what got them this far. Maybe it's because they kept pushing their customers to the front line and just hitched on for the ride, building a site to accommodate whatever we brought to their front door...

I would also like to say (not to anyone in particular) that I enjoy EB because it is a brake from the shameless self promotion of the forums, where a discussion is peppered with transparent attempts to get people to look at your shop. Can we try and break that habit and let Etsy Bitch be a Promotion Free Zone? If you want exposure, buy an ad on the front page.

just disgusted! said...

Would it really be that hard for them to put their beloved tag line ("Your place to buy and sell all things handmade") on the banner? How the hell is ANYONE going to know what etsy.com is?

Dani said...

Do you guys remember last year's poster contest? they had everyone crate posters with their poster sketch tool, and the winners were amazing! see here http://flickr.com/groups/388218@N25/pool/page9/
How could they not use that, have it printed and be the "walls" of their booth? how about projectors with slideshows of the cool features of etsy, or those videos they have on the storque?
It's not rocket science!

jodie nicholson said...

You'll notice in those Etsy photos that no one is wearing a tie. Who cares that the set up looks like someone took a multi-coloured dump on a table cloth! No one is wearing a tie. Now that's indie.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

You can be indie, be handmade and still be professional and polished, heck I DO IT EVERY DAY--and I'm just a seller! Ba-dump-dump-chhhh!

One comment tho Etsybitches...no need to make fun of community outreach booths in the name of dissing Etsy...just sayin'...apples and oranges...no need for low blows, I'd rather see Etsy embarrassed in comparison to how great their SELLERS booths looked at Renegade :) !

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Oh, also, very important, I think this post should be locked because the title is misleading. It should read (of course):

How NOT to do a show...

confushush said...

not much to say here that hasn't already been said

kudos to adam, you hit the nail on the head there

however if i may add that the banner seen clearly in eclipses first link make me think of getting my period

nothing says corporate polish like a crappy banner that says -ow that reminds me of cramps and bleeding, where do sign up for more of that action?-

the hubby and i are seriously thinking about closing his store as he is a "serious" artist and that shit is not cool when attached to his name/work/reputation

spittle said...

The etsy crew needs to realize that etsy dot com is a venue, and stop trying to out-cute its sellers. It will end up nothing more than an online flea market if it continues to alienate serious sellers at its current pace.

Their presentation screams carelessness. Handmade should mean a higher level of care, not the opposite.

Old Hippie Bitch said...

Absolutely clueless. Not a hint of a clue there.

Of course, I realized the extent of the cluelessness after watching the Martha Stewart piece. Since then I understand so much more about etsy.

My garage sale last weekend was much more inviting.

Unless we're missing a cleverly calculated strategy to draw in crafters who have the same level of talent as displayed in the creation of those booths? Who will say, "Hey! I can do that, too!" and make shit and re-list it ad infinitum.

Ann said...

and to think there's been suggestions Etsy should 'jury' sellers! they'd be voted off the island in a heartbeat.

old hippie bitch has it dead on - their booth screams flea market/garage sale...certainly not fine art

idyll hands said...

I think you can keep your funky image and still look professional. Table linens that go to the ground to hide table legs goes a LONG way in look put together. Can they do that and still look funky? YES. They can still have a fun handmade sign and incorporate the logo. Their table can also look more full, more put together and still be their funky selves.

If Etsy is going to have a booth representing Etsy, please please please look professional. Now, if Etsy employees are going to have a booth for their own shops, that is a different story. They need to make sure and have defined lines between the two and not let them bleed.

I do fairs with 2 other, very different people than myself. We're able to have a good looking booth and still represent ourselves. And we do that without 27 million buckaroos.

yeah you right said...

i have to agree with the tablecloths, needing to be longer, and the customer service needing be greater.people should never be able to see your junk, either in the booth or in real life. it makes them uncomfortable and hesitant to stick around
i just continue to believe these folks arent paid enough $ and given no direction.
who wants to take a job where everyone thinks you are a bitch,creates blogs about you and then critiques your every move. they arent being paid enough and need guidance. they look miserable and sometimes act it

oh no said...

I agree with 'confushush', seeing those pictures makes me want to close my shop and run a million miles away - I'm a painter, I like selling on etsy, but I seriously don't want to be associated with anything as amateur looking as those booths.

just bitchy said...

The really frightening thing is that they think they are qualified to give business advise.

And people listen to them.

*shudder*

They really need to get some qualified help in there. An actual and properly trained customer service rep would be a great start at some damage control.

Do the people they have in their "marketing" department have any idea what they are doing? Do ANY of them have a marketing background or ANY education in the marketing field?

Honestly, this isn't a high school play.

impetuous said...

has the "Suggestions For a New Etsy Booth" admin post started yet???

lesley said...

that is kind of pathetic. etsy has all the resources... they just seem to lack the knowledge and/or motivation to really make this business work.

presentation is everything! why not actually tell people something about etsy, rather than just trying to peddle the random crap you waste time making at the etsy labs?

it seems like laziness is a major problem among etsy admin... they would rather do something useless but "fun" (felt moustaches, anyone?) than do any actual WORK to make etsy a better place.

el-stinko-armpit said...

The etsy booths in these pics have the same vibe as many of the Etsy front page items chosen from the treasuries. Like it or not, Etsy has settled on a 'look' -- a consistent image that appeals to its target market of immature privledged young people who may have some small skill in assembling ugly useless items from supplies manufactured in 3rd world sweatshops. But they have little talent, and next to no aesthetic sensibilities. Not to say there are not thousands of wonderful shops on Etsy, which have very much disappeared into the background after Etsy jumped the shark. Etsy got capital because they are doing a good business in separating kids from dollars, both as buyers and sellers. Etsy has succeeded, doing just what you see in the pics. If that's not to your taste, or doesn't fit in your buxiness plan, then vote with your credit card and, uh, leave? Or, keep paying Etsy, stay and complain.

impetuous said...

Don't get so worked up Rokali.
We love your buxiness plan.

The Cranky One said...

we're complaining because we ARE paying and seeing nothign for it.

Etsy is amazing for what it's built, and the traffic it gets, it's the biggest of the lot of handmade storefronts. BUT we're pissed that the biggest is not the best. And it should be. It should be a no brainer to be on etsy if you craft anything, instead the no brainer seems to be leaving because they don't care.

Bitchy Kitty said...

Don't insult the mentally handicapped and low income by comparing them to this crap.

spetsy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dont taze me bro said...

I must be a low down dirty hippie because I think their site was cute and fun. my bad.

The Righteous One said...

Don't insult hippies...I know some that can run circles around Etsy for setup and professionalism.

radcow said...

It just looks to me like etsy is trying to appeal to its target market here. Hippies/artists/free thinkers/people who color outside of the lines are pretty much etsys bread and butter, so keeping that in mind, I think they did a darned great job creating a display that draws in that type. Im a hippie ...( or at least thats what people have been calling me since elementary school)... and I would be way more attracted to that kind of get up than a "professional" jobbie. Its refreshing.

impetuous said...

refreshingly lame.

jen said...

I don't know, radcow--it must be a matter of personal taste. At every show I've done, there are at least a handful of very edgy, very hippie-ish booths that still look cohesive. Those are the ones that I'm drawn to. I hate to say it, but not having covers that reach the floor is something that I've always mocked as the sign of an amateur seller.

I think some of the suggestions early in the thread are, admittedly, *too* corporate (the printed canopy, the vertical signage...)--I think it should look more handmade. But at least make it well-designed and cohesive. As so many others have said, I would never stop at that sloppy Etsy booth.

Also, I'm confused as to who they are targeting with this booth--it must be sellers, because as a buyer, why would I visit their site? To see more pins and lipbalms? I think every front page treasury looks so much better than this hodgepodge of a booth.

It doesn't especially anger me, but it seems silly, and a waste. I don't get it.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Wait a minute (and I'm gonna say right now that while I am glad a few brave souls have posted dissenting opinions here, I'm just not in agreement with you)...I'm a creative thinker-out-of-the-box-er, with an arts degree no less, but somehow I was unimpressed with their presentation...does that mean I'm not a real artist? Here I go into another existential dilemma...

"Like it or not, Etsy has settled on a 'look' "--Are you kidding me? If they would just settle on a look I'd be delighted. That's the whole point of this thread...they HAVE NO LOOK. Not in the effective self-promotion kind of way anyway. For example, they have one logo on the front page...then they have a bunch of t-shirts that have other logos and looks, depending on which shirt we're talking about...then there's different booth set ups with different logos and looks depending on what market you're at or what city you're in...and stickers that are all different logos and styles...

I would think their various 'looks' were cute if they were attributed to one individual item. The problem is that various looks tend to be less effective when you're trying to promote a business. Honestly, without a consistent look they're likely shooting themselves in the hiney and wasting their money sending ambassadors to fairs to promote them.

The street team booths pictured have one thing in common...THE ETSY LOGO that Etsy themselves don't even use.

But really, I could forgive it all, if I had actually been GREETED by an Etsy staffer in the booth. Maybe they were shy. Maybe they think they're cooler than everyone else. Maybe they just have no social skills. No matter the reason, I was surprised that no effort was made. Combine that with signage that I have to work past all the "cute" ness to even read, and...I guess I'm not as creative as I thought ;)

radcow said...

jen said...

I don't know, radcow--it must be a matter of personal taste. At every show I've done, there are at least a handful of very edgy, very hippie-ish booths that still look cohesive. Those are the ones that I'm drawn to. I hate to say it, but not having covers that reach the floor is something that I've always mocked as the sign of an amateur seller.
-------------------

yeah, thats true jen. I guess youre right, on second thought.

2cents said...

radcow said...

It just looks to me like etsy is trying to appeal to its target market here.


..........
You give Etsy too much credit.
There isn't a true knowlegable Marketing professional among them. Their marketing and branding department is so deficient, they don't even know what a true target market is, nor how to expand it.
They are flying blind.
Obviously blind.

Oh, and another thing.
They don't have a "look", they have Anda. Her hand and design sensibility [I use this word loosely] was just attached to Etsy when they hired her. It wasn't a strategic move or a branding decision, it was just the flavor of the moment.

Like most of Etsy's public face and presentation, it's haphazard and sloppy.

get it together please said...

There is indie, hippie, and grunge - then there is just flat out trashy.

I agree that etsy does not need to be polished, but they do need to be professional. The whole point of branding is to be sure that one image/feeling sticks out in a person's mind when they think about you. With so many different images, it is hard for anyone to not get a confused/mixed impression about etsy. Not only that, but it is very hard to remember a company whose branding is so mixed that you cannot get a true sense of who they are or what they do.

Etsy is an online marketplace. It is not a craft site. They need to presenting what they do so that people can then understand who they serve.

I would have a very difficult time understanding what etsy is or why I should care just by looking at or visiting this booth.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Good point getittogether...about Etsy being a marketplace, not a craft site. That's one of the things I find most baffling, their dedication to spending time on Etsylabs and the Storque, while neglecting the fact that they're an eCommerce site.

As for 'looks'...and Anda...sigh...that pretty much says it all.

spetsy said...
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Ladies Auxilliary said...

I used to do a lot of Etsy promoting in my "free-time"...**slaps self**

But you know...if they could get themselves straightened out, I'd be happy to do it again...just can't back the product right now :(

Paw & Claw Designs said...

wjw, yo.


hell, i got a logo banner for my booth at the local hardware store for like 30 bucks.

not difficult.


i get that etsy wants to be "quirky" and "cute" but that just looks like a fucking 6 year olds lemonade stand.

so very uncool.

spetsy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hostile gal in hostile city said...

you know....i was a member of one of the first street teams on good ol' etsy. not only were the "leaders" ridiculously disorganised, they also couldn't be bothered to show up for meetings a goodly portion of the time.

hey, at least one of those "leaders" is now a full-time etsy employee! hooray!

sheesh. feh.

leah said...

hey I made the banner used in the street team shots! Me and my good friend Mary - they are here in Portland Oregon... although they are no longer being used for Etsy booths at the local PDX Etsy craft shows(because Etsy lawyer does not want the name and logo of Etsy being used in public by the street teams anymore.) so now the banners will go dormant. They rock. They are white paint stencil sponge painted on orange fabric. they rock my socks. there are 2 of them, they got split up.