Category: Shows

How to Prepare for Shows

Q: I’m a newbie to the world of shows, and I feel like I’m prepared as far as what to bring for supplies, but are there instances that come up unexpectedly that I may not be ready for?
 
I assume you have a comprehensive checklist of supplies to bring to a show. It can be helpful to organize this by their function; this will assure you have the tools you need. But alas, you know what they say about the best-made plans. Before you leave home, go online and Goggle hardware stores, copy centers and any other supplier you think you’ll need in the ZIP code or location of the show. You could also contact the presenters and ask for names and addresses of businesses—they should have this readily available and you won’t be the first to ask. Also remember your network: no doubt you will have friends at the show who may be able to assist with an unexpected need.
You will also want to talk to the promoter about the rules and regulations of the venue housing the show, and find out if it is in a union venue. Union policies, which will vary from venue to venue, may be more troublesome for you. These policies may prohibit you from painting your booth on site, draping a table, installing your own lights (seldom are you allowed to plug them in, if it is in a union hall) and moving your freight from the dock to your booth. There may be personnel from the venue to help move your freight, but be absolutely sure of the costs for these services before shipping to or arriving at the show. Some venues charge per box for delivering shipped-in freight, and you need to know these costs before you decide to ship with a commercial carrier. There are a number of art movers who will pick up your booth and materials at your studio and deliver them to your space at the venue; they deal with the unions and all that entails.

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Q: I’m a newbie to the world of shows, and I feel like I’m prepared as far as what to bring for supplies, but are there instances that come up unexpectedly that I may not be ready for?

A: I assume you have a comprehensive checklist of supplies to bring to a show. It can be helpful to organize this by their function; this will assure you have the tools you need. 

 

 

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Show Dress Code

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Q: I’m a clay artist and I try to demonstrate my work when I exhibit at shows because it seems to create interest in my work and it draws people into my booth. Another exhibitor pulled me aside recently and told me my appearance with clay on my hands and clothes was a turnoff to potential clientele. I don’t wear my best outfits because I feel jeans and a plain shirt are appropriate for my work. Do you think I should skip the demonstrating so I can dress nicer?

A: How about doing both? I think demonstrating can be a good thing and that messy usually isn’t good.

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From the Floor Up

 

show-business-october-2008-2Flooring can make or break your entire display. Its potential to attract customers into your booth and keep them there cannot be underrated. When I do booth evaluations at both outdoor and indoor shows, I frequently see someone who has meticulously crafted their work and gone to great efforts to build a fantastic display, but has omitted a floor covering. Usually when I tell someone during an evaluation that they need a floor covering, they say, “I have one, I just didn’t bring it.” This is a terrible error and no place to cut corners if you want to make the most out of a merchandising opportunity. The floor is so important that it should not be an afterthought or an element to be overlooked altogether.

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