It only takes a few seconds for a consumer to decide whether or not they are going to buy something from a shop, according to Helen Goodwin managing director of Made You Look.

The Visual Display & Window Dresser took to the stage to advise how a good first impression with a window display is crucial for travel agents and how they can tailor their designs to stand out from the crowd.

Touching on the demise of the high street and why so many shops are going out of business, Goodwin commented: “If a shop looks dull, grey and tired then people will assume that there's not much going on inside - if you don't have much of a shop front are customers going to stop or even notice it? First impressions are critical. Colourful shop window displays will have consumers stop, explore and stay for a while and its smart businesses which are luring in these customers.”

Although tempting to fill a window with everything that is available, this will more often than not lessen the impact effectively meaning that passers-by will see nothing. In tandem with the adage that ‘Less is more’ agents should also consider how the space feels. Goodwin added: “With display we are selling the lifestyle so think about what you can do to catch the idea. Get ideas from Pinterest or from social media, open your eyes and look all around you for something simple and eye catching that says we are dealing with travel.”

Digging deeper, there are some useful steps that agents can take to attain more recognition:

- Think about your message: a display needs to let people know who you are, what you're about, what your promotions are and what you are selling.

- Know your customers: different demographics will have different dreams and wants from their holidays so try and get inside their heads to create the opportunity to tell them what the best deal is for them.

- A lot of good displays are based on pyramids: This is where the focal point is in the middle at eye level, such as a poster, with props and lifestyling around it that flow down to the products on sale.

- Space is also important in a display as it leads a consumer’s eye in and down fairly quickly. Keep it simple keep it focused.

- If you have room, create a display that has a backdrop, middle ground and fore ground with height at the back working forwards and outwards. You can use blocks, furniture, boxes and travel related props to bring excitement into a window and to get height. DON’T stick things on the glass!

Goodwin concluded: “If you have a wow window people will take notice. They may not buy holidays every day but they need to know that you are there so that when they do they will come to you.”

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