Saturday, February 23, 2013

Buyers Market of American Crafts: Booth Setup

So where have I been? Since my last posting during the holidays I have been super busy.
It all started in June 2012 when I decided that I wanted to do the Buyers Market of American Craft Show in Philadelphia. The show was last weekend (Feb 16th-18th) and it has been quite a journey preparing for it. Here is the final picture of my booth at the show,... I truly believe that Rome wasn't built in one day and neither was my booth.
Buyers Market Show Set up (6)
It all started with this basic idea of booth design for a corner booth. Love Sketchup for that. After which came the Chicken and egg problem, along with a long list of questions.
Buyers Market Show Set up (3)
How many pots should I take? What size boxes should I have for the pots? How should I pack the pots? Do I ship boxes separately or in a crate? If I use a crate, what size crate? Should I buy the crate first and plan my booth so it fits in the crate? or should I plan my booth and then buy the crate that would hold everything in it? What should I do for drapes? How should I hang my posters? How do I make pedestals, light weight and collapsible? What do I do about the floor? How many lights should I take? Will black back drop be too dark for my booth?
These questions are only 15% of things that were going in my head for the last 8 months. A big thanks goes out to Pam Corwin from Business of Crafts, Mark Rosenbaum from Rosetree Glass and several other professional artists (now friends) I have met online to help me answer all my questions and worries.
Below are some things that I did and I hope would help others in my situation as well.
Buyers Market Show Set up (2)
This is the general way I packed my pots in these stackable plastic totes. You can get these totes at plant nurseries that import bulbs. Peanuts would be great protection but are a pain when it comes to unpacking and packing again after the show. Some more cardboard on the sides and sponge was added to these crates to make sure nothing moved.
Then came the challenge of packing all the pots, pedestals, display items, lights, step stool, promotional stuff into a shipping crate. But then what size crate? Thanks to Alison Baker Supple to giving me a great tip on this. Tape a squares on the garage floor to the inside dimensions of available shipping crate boxes. Fill up your imaginary crate which would give a good indication on what size will work. I settled on a 48" x 40" x 40" collapsible shipping crate which not only holds everything but also collapses and becomes a pedestal for my booth. It is under the black fabric in the corner.
Below are pictures of the inside contents of my crate and the crate itself. PS: Don't bother with that ridiculous cone on the crate. There were no signs of it when it reached my booth. :)
Buyers Market Show Set up (1)
Buyers Market Show Set up (5)
I am glad after all that stress and planning, it all came together quite well. .Got great feedback from other exhibitors and buyer as well.

What are your tips on Booth Setups?

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Dee said...

Your booth looked great!

Ron said...

Charan, your booth looked amazing! Way to go with figuring it all out and having it shipped! What did you use for the tops of the cardboard pedestals? Brilliant idea to use the shipping crate as part of the display as well. I hope it was a good show and that you got lots of orders.

Charan Sachar said...

Thanks Ron. The top of the pedestals are these plastic sheets I got from my local plastic supply company. Similar to foam board but made of plastic and very sturdy and light weight. It was a good show and a good experience.

Ron said...

Great idea. Thanks for letting me know.

Linda Starr said...

What an amazing job you did with your booth; so much planning to achieve the trip to the buyers market

Unknown said...

Where did you get your pedestal

Charan Sachar said...

Those are just cardboard boxes I got from Uline.

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