?Boutiques have a lot of creative freedom when it comes to creating a showcase in their store. Mannequins make wonderful additions to a unique boutique's displays and can be used to encourage customers to participate in networking for your business. You can use them in so many ways that the possibilities are truly endless. Here are a few creative ideas for you to make the most of the showcase mannequins in your boutique while encouraging customers to network with you and other people on social web sites. A showcase display that uses mannequins is more of an attention-grabbing focal point than just a way to show how clothing looks when it is worn. To showcase something, you need to consider location, lighting and other creative elements. Many stores and boutiques create this kind of display in their entrance or in their window displays. But, you can use them all over your store to grab attention and keep it. This can be useful for drawing customers into areas of the boutique that get less traffic. One idea is to have mannequins lounging around the store wearing your merchandise. If you have the space, you can place couches, chairs, tables or other furniture in different areas. Position mannequins on the couches, as if they're just hanging out there. You can have female mannequins on the phone or powdering their noses, sitting on the couch. People will stop and look in surprise because they will initially think that they are real people. This kind of positioning will get more attention than a mannequin simply standing in front of a garment rack! Another couch idea is to have the mannequin sitting and smiling with one arm on the back of the couch. When you see customers laughing at the cheesy grin on the mannequin's face, you can ask them if they would like for you to take their picture posing with the mannequin. You can get the e-mail addresses of the customers and send them the funny pictures with your logo on the photo. The customer will then, most likely, post the photos to social networking sites and give you good exposure and free advertising. Another idea is to use your mannequins as decorations. Dress forms (or dress mannequins) are sometimes produced in a vintage style. These are a lot like human shaped cages. You can use them to display clothing, but you can also use them in more creative ways. You can stuff the hollow inside with flowers, colored paper, packing peanuts, whatever you think is interesting. We saw an idea at blisstree.com for using a dress mannequin as a place card holder at a dinner party. You could do something similar, encouraging your customers to place their business cards on the dress mannequin for a chance to win something. Coming up with interesting ways to create a showcase or to network with your customers will keep them interested in coming back to your store. People want to be inspired when they shop in boutiques, so make sure that you do not disappoint! About the Author: Ron Maier is the Vice President of S & L Store Fixtures, a leading online resource for retail displays, including mannequins mannequins, dress mannequin forms, female mannequins, gridwall and slatwall store fixtures. For more information, please visit .