Today I am writing a special post with 'lessons learned' at my first outdoor show of the year for 2014.
I have been trying hard to finesse my booth and display so I will have a nice photo to submit when applying for higher end art and craft shows. Most of the nicer venues require a booth shot.
Which brings me to my first lesson learned
#1 Photo of booth that you are planning to use for juried applications should NOT have your name prominently displayed. I attached my small burlap banner before raising the tent, not thinking about taking a pic later. Fortunately I was able to do a fair job of cropping it out via PicMonkey
#2 Check with organizers for the direction for the flow of traffic prior to setting up your booth.
I wanted to try a 'Z' formation for the first time and so I set my booth up like this. I assumed I was standing in front of my set up when I took this shot. When the show opened, they opened a fence /gate .... and voila'~ suddenly I am the exact wrong direction. I can't flip the whole thing ~so I quickly swapped the center of the Z so it now faced to the right ...and that helped. It was disappointing to me that I made that error, I wish I had realized which way the traffic was coming but as Tim Gunn would say you have to "Make it Work". Every single show is a learning experience, even if you have done it before.
#3 Get some heavier poles for the bottom of the burlap curtains. I used some pvc pipe I had on hand to add weight and stiffness to my new burlap curtain display. For the most part it worked very well, but a couple of big gusts showed me that more weight would have improved their ability to withstand some breeze.
I did try very, very hard to keep my display clean and not too crowded.
I have a TON of inventory. Because each piece is pretty unique, I always have the fear about not having it all out on display. I feel like I should have it ALL out there because I imagine that the ONE piece I don't put out would have been the perfect one the customer was looking for...but never saw...
I have recently used some OPP clear plastic packaging and have many of my poly sets neatly bundled and out in a unobtrusive rectangle basket. Folks can sift thru it if they have a mind to. I was pleased with the way that worked so I have some more sizes of OPP on it's way to package up some other pieces.
#5 Take along and use your tent awning. See that neat old suitcase where my cuff bracelets are displayed? It worked great, it attracted attention and did it's job featuring my line of up cycled and metal bracelets. However, something about it did NOT work. It was a spectacular sunny day and as the sun beat down on that case throughout the show, the metal bracelets became little branding irons! I had to keep moving them in and out of the shade to cool. I would have left them in the shade, but then no one saw them. So, for next weekends show... I am bringing the EZ up provided awning to shelter the front of the tent.
Although this goes back to entry #2 in a way. I ended up having to put my chair right under my new gigantic banner. I had originally planned on having my seat behind the two front tables, hidden away from view. However, when I realized that the traffic was coming in from the other direction, that was not going to work at all. So, almost every time I stood up [I am 6'3"] I bumped into that banner, and since I don't really like to sit when a client is in my 'shop' that was a lot.
So there you have it. My take aways from last Saturday.
All in all, I can't complain. The things I have posted here are pretty easy fixes and will help me next week when I set up for my biggest show of the year.
Check back mid month when I will do a write up on the Gosport Arts Festival in downtown Portsmouth, VA.
If you have any comments or suggestions from your own experiences I'd love to hear them. Also, if you have any constructive advice for me based on the pics in today's post, I'm all ears.
Have a great weekend,