Downtown districts are places of shared memory where the entire community still comes together to live, work and play. A vibrant, decorated downtown can attract customers by making the area more enjoyable and inviting. Window displays and other decorations provide an economically efficient way to attract customers, as decorations are generally inexpensive.
To celebrate Williamston’s unique, historic downtown, awards will be given to businesses in the downtown area annually for the best Christmas window displays. Two awards will be given out. The first place award will be in the amount of $100 while the second place award will be in the amount of $50. Both winners will also receive a certificate to display. After winning an award, a business will not be eligible to win again the next year (but will be eligible the following year). This will allow multiple businesses the opportunity to win an award.
Guidelines for Downtown Businesses
Some general guidelines include making sure the window display is visible from the street, the decorations match the Christmas / winter theme, and there are no derogatory remarks or pictures. An example would be a display that includes snowflakes, lights, a skater silhouette and a Christmas tree. Historical photographs of the business and its customers which commemorate past holidays can also be a nice touch if they are large enough.
One option depending on the amount of space available is to mix window displays with both merchandise and decorations. Customers can then enjoy the decorations while seeing what your business has to offer. Another consideration is making sure that the lighting compliments the window display. Perhaps there are some key lights that you can leave on to make the display visible in the evening (display lights can be put on a timer so they don’t stay on all night).
Try stepping into your customer’s shoes and viewing the storefront from 15-20 feet away, and from the sidewalk directly in front of the window. Consider the perspective of people driving by, and also people that are walking. The window display should have well-coordinated focal points and not appear cluttered. It is important to keep some empty space around the focal points so they stand out from their surroundings. The display should portray a positive image and hold the attention of potential customers for at least a few seconds. Remember that emotional appeals are often followed by a purchase, so make sure that the window display gives your customers that warm feeling.
The contest runs annually from the Monday after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve. The 2016 contest is happening now. Winners are determined by citizen votes! Vote for your two favorites by clicking here or stop by Town Hall and fill out a paper voting form. You can also vote at many participating retail businesses. Come downtown; do some holiday shopping, grab a bit to eat, enjoy the decorations, and vote for your favorites!Past Winners
The Martin County Arts Council at 124 Washington Street won first place in the 2015 Christmas Window Display Contest! Pictured here are Judy Wobbleton (left) and Corey Baker (right) accepting the award.
The New Beginning's Beauty Salon at 123 W Main Street won second place in the 2015 Christmas Window Display Contest! Pictured here are Maggie Williams (left), Shelià Wilson (center), and Sherry Whitaker (right) accepting the award.
Rob's Auto & Diesel Repair (312 Washington Street) was the first place winner of the 2014 Christmas/Winter Downtown Window Display Contest!
Mannington Floors: The Carpet Shop (405 Washington Street) was the second place winner of the 2014 Christmas/Winter Downtown Window Display Contest!