Thursday, August 18, 2011

Show Booth

Whether you are taking your wares to sell at a one day street fair or a week long art festival, the question you always ask yourself is "what will I need while I'm there?".   I've seen this question come up over and over online, so I thought I would share my list.

First things first ~ I start making my list 3-5 days before the event.  And yes, I do make a new list every time because I can never seem to find the old one.  Assuming you're more organized than I am, you will only need to do this step once. :)

This is my list, in no particular order:

Tent Stakes
Weight for Each Tent  Leg - in case you are on concrete or not allowed to drive stakes
   ~ This could be 5 gallon jugs of water, concrete cylinders, sand bags or anything heavy you can transport
~ These first few may seem obvious, but I've learned the hard way - Everything goes on the list!
Table cloths
Table skirts and clips
Any Required License or Proof of Insurance
Display items - for me this includes a driftwood tree, bowls, boxes, shadow boxes, busts, etc.
Signs - I have 2 that hang on the booth and a stand up one on the table
Camera - You will want pictures, some shows actually require them before they accept you.
Extra batteries/memory card for camera
Clamps - I use these to hold down my table cloths if it's windy
Cash Box
Business Cards
Basic Tool Kit - I don't know how many times I've found a need for a hammer or a screwdriver
Candy and Dish - you will be surprised how many people stop and look just so they can have a candy!
Duct Tape - Every time I have set up a booth I've found a use for it
Receipt Book
Square (or whatever method you use for accepting credit cards)
Price Tags - they invariably fall off of something
Scotch Tape
String - Believe me, you'll find a use for it
Card Stock - You always think of one more sign you wish you had made
Baling Wire - I've hung signs and displays with it as well as attached weight to my tent legs
Jewelry Tools and a cloth measuring tape - for resizing or an on the spot special order
Lint Roller - for the table cloths as well as your own clothes
Hand Sanitizer
Note Pad - for email sign-ups or just notes to yourself about what you forgot
Scissors - for removing tags
Mirror - for customers to see how that great piece will look on them
Wagon - really helpful if you can bring one, you never know how far from your booth you will have to park
Packaging - bags or boxes to send your customers' treasures home with them

And of course ~
Beads and Jewelry!

Leave the list where you can see it for a few days as you will invariably think of things to add.

2 days before your event - start staging.  Gather everything on your list in one place because even with the list you are likely to forget something if it's not all together.

The day before the event - load the vehicle.  Pack all the items from your list and then take a walk around your house and/or studio to see if anything else comes to mind.

Event Day - Set up your booth.  Pat yourself on the back for remembering everything (see, you did need that duct tape!)

Take pictures of your booth - even if you don't need them to get in to the next event, you will want to know what worked and what didn't for next time.

Here's a picture of the booth I did last weekend.  I now know to put the tent SIDES on my list, and the extra memory card was also added to the list because of this booth!

Hey ~ it just occurred to me: I now have a permanent copy of my list!

1 comment:

Maybeads said...

Thank you for sharing this!!! I'm doing my first real show (as in not at my kids' school) in Chicago in December and I'm already nervous about it. It's indoors (in a bar, actually), so I don't have to worry about the tent. But there's still a lot of preparing and I'm going to keep your list handy. Thank you, Jessica! I love your setup!

Post a Comment