There are many ways you can set up your craft booth at shows. One of my first suggestions is to attend a couple of shows to see what others are doing. Look beyond the products to see how and what other crafters are doing for their displays. You’ll want to create a booth that works for you. In part 1, canopies and wall are discussed. Here are some ideas you may want to consider.
Canopy: If you are outside, you'll really want to have a canopy to protect you and your products from the weather. The sun will really get to you by the end of the day without shade...even consider one of the umbrellas from a patio set. You don't want you or your products to melt. It will also help protect you from rain (that's a bad word). I suggest a canopy that has straight legs instead of the ones that angle outward. Sam's Club and Costco both sell an EZup style with sides includes for just under $200. Wal-Mart now also has one with straight legs in their sporting goods dept for much less.
Walls: Basically; there are 2 types of walls, one that is just a visual barrier and one that is used to display product. Most crafters will need a wall of some sort to hang their merchandise from. More importantly, it lets customers concentrate on your product instead of looking through your booth into your neighbors. There are many ways to create walls for your booth and I think I have tried just about everything over the years.
· If you are not hanging product on your wall you can create a simple ‘pole and drape’ style wall with PVC pipe and drapes or sheets. Think of it like Tinker toys, you simply connect pieces of pipe together with joints to make a large upside down ‘U’ and add feet to the bottom so it will stand.
· Sheets, fabric, quilts, drapes, etc can be pinned or clipped to the framework of a canopy to create a ‘wall’.
· Large room divider screens can be used as a visual barrier also.
· Pegboard with 1x2’s framed on the edges for stability work great if you need to hang lots of items. I used this system for years. I recommend cutting the pegboard down to a manageable size for you to carry. Mine were 2’x6’ and I screwed the pieces together from the back side through the 1x2 framework.
· Chicken wire on a wood framework also is another great wall. I still recommend backing it with fabric so you can’t see thru it. You can hinge the frames together so it’s free standing. You can hang items using paperclips that have been opened.
· Shutters hinged together make some great walls too. Paperclips, pegboard hooks, and drapery hangers can all be used to hang items from them.
· Lattice panels are another way to display products. I suggest framing the edges and cutting it down to a manage size also. Hinge the panels to create freestanding displays or tie it to the canopy frame for support.
· Gridwall: This is the system I am currently using. I tried not to use this for years. First of all, it’s kinda pricey. Second, it didn’t really lend itself to the country/primitive theme of my product. I will admit though, it’s very versatile and can be configured in many ways. I use zip ties to put mine together, it’s fast to put up and easy to take down. You can use tarps, fabric, sheets, etc. clipped to the back to create a visual barrier. Another benefit, it’s heavy…it has saved my booth from the wind a few times when others were destroyed. I secure it to the framework of my canopy to help weight it down. It will last you forever. I purchased all my gridwall through Craig’s List and saved a ton of money. Gridwall and hooks can be purchased at store display companies and on line.
I hope this information has been useful to you. Watch for part 2 next week. ;o)