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Setting up a banging merch table at your next show

Having a great merch table is an aspect of the merchandise game that a whole lot of bands overlook and don’t pay a lot of attention to. Awesome merchandise for your band is only the first step in making a direct sale at a gig.

However, I do understand that not all venues are kitted out for setting up a kick-ass merch stall, but if you get a little creative. You can make that merch table stand out and look professional with minimal effort!

I’ve compiled my top tips for setting up a decent merch stall at your next show – let’s jump right into it.

Dress to impress

A minute little detail indeed, but makes all the difference in the world – slap a black table cloth on your stall’s table. This doesn’t only look professional, but the overhang from the tablecloth works wonders for stashing all your clutter like extra stock, backpacks and so on.

You want all the attention to be drawn to your merchandise and not be surrounded by clutter. If you have stage banners, make use of them at your table. Setting them up behind your table draws fans straight to you, especially if you played an amazing show.

The crowd will come over and say what’s up and this is where they’ll be greeted by your beautiful merch line.

Another huge part of assembling your merch stall. Fold your garments neatly and separate all the different products you have to offer. It just makes your product looks more presentable and makes it seem that you care for your business. Have one design grouped with all the different garments you have it printed on. It looks neat and consistent. A big one here – don’t bombard your table with CD’s, especially if you’ve just released your first EP. Place one album on the table for display purposes and that’s it.

Keep all your albums stocked up nicely underneath your table and just grab one when a fan is looking to make a purchase.

Highlight your table

This might be the most challenging part of setting up your stall, especially if you’re in a venue that has poor lighting conditions. Which to be fair, is 80% of all venues.

The best way to get around this is to carry an external light with you to accent your merch booth and make it pop nicely in the venue. The last thing you want is fans cooping up your table with their cell phone lights to see what you have to offer. Having a decent light with you will just make your life easier, counting cash, checking for stock and seeing your fans will all add up to a much better experience.

Bundle it up

If you’re looking to add some value for your fans, put together a nice and versatile little merch bundle. Design up a flyer that you can place on the table with two to three different bundles. It creates a sense of professionality and it adds that little x-factor to your merch stall.

Always have cash on hand

To avoid a sticky situation – always have cash flow! I’m sure if you’re in a band and you’ve had a merch stall up. You’ve experienced this one before and it’s not a great one. Spare yourself the embarrassment and have your cash box stocked with some change. Check out our top tips for setting up a great merch stall.

Ending it off, I hope these points will be of help. Try to implement them at your next show if you don’t already. Play around with the idea of your merch stall literally being a little retail store that you’re running at the venue. Be as professional about it as you possibly can and make it stand out as much as you can. You’ll be surprised by the difference these small little details can make.


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