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PlutoniumX

Tips, Tricks and Advice on doing shows?

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So I have been making things for a while. I sell what I make mainly online, in person, or very occasionally like a small get together and people will browse.

I always felt I never had enough items in stock to do a live show. Plus I'm not mister craft faire guy. At any given time I'll usually have been 120 and 200 items available. I've read the other threads, but here are some other questions.

I also have a small section at the local comic shop that sells the things I make. Well that town decided to start doing an event every Fourth Friday of the month. Local businesses pair up with featured artists, musicians, performers, whatever. The comic shop asked me to be their featured artist (yay). But this first one was very last minute. I had about a week to prepare for it. (Boo) There really wasn't time for advertising and even word of mouth would only go so far. We also had a Sever Thunderstorm Warning that Friday. I set up and died in the blazing heat, as soon as I sit down, BOOM, 20 min of monsoon. Rode it out, and there was a band right next to me, so that was good but it was really not a great time. Not much foot traffic at all. This was also the week after school had let out, a notoriously dead time according to the comic book guy.

The one in July and August will be much better, with more events and more people and more advertising and hopefully more sales.

Packing up, setting up, trying to get everything laid out nicely was really rough. I got rained out a second time and that's when I decided to pack up. Right now everything is spread out in my living room drying out.

I sell mainly jewelry but also wallet chains, dice bags, etc.

What are YOUR tips and tricks for ease of packing and set up? Even storage of your items when not at a show. I had used the individual zip log bag with the price written on it. This worked great for selling online and one on one sales. Not so much for this and now everything is out.

Any displays you love and can recommend? Links or pictures of something custom if you don't mind sharing. How bout tables? I've got access to a few decent sized fold out tables, but I'll buy something better if it is awesome.

Do any of you use an awning, canopy, or a tent? I have a decent bit of room. All the storefront in front of the comic shop over to the next door. Since I'm doing this for at least 2 or 3 more times to give it a (craft) fair shake, I figured I might actually look into actually going to a show or two and maybe getting an outside stand down at the local flea market once or twice. To me this sounds like a job for some sort of modular setup. Add to small setup to make your medium setup, add to that to make the large one, depending on venue.

I've got a bunch of plans and ideas, and now that I have 5 weeks notice it will be easier.

tl;dr - Help me with suggestions to setup up, display and manage items before during and after a show.

Thanks gang!

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For my storage at home I have a make up storage box that opens up then has 3 tiers of trays that fold out, and there's storage in the bottom of the box as well. It has a handle ontop that makes it easy to carry. If I have larger itmes that do not fit in this I use a large container (the snap lid kind). As for table set up I use small boxes and necklace boards and a few hand made bracelet holders, I kind of go random on the set up, whatever makes it look nice. (Sorry not much help on the setup side)

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fourthfriday.jpg

Yup, I have read those, but most of them are a little older (but still great info) and people tend to cycle in and out around here. :) Thought I'd see any new stuff. Here's a picture of my bootleg setup heh. Up until like the Monday before the Friday of the event we had no idea if it was actually going to happen, Had no time to get a sign printed, so I had to make one myself. Same thing with displays. Plus I had to jam about 50 hours of work into 4 days so I could take off Friday. Most of the physical displays I had were actually in the comic shop behind me. I had a few left over for taking pictures. The other displays were made from things I found around.

Edited by PlutoniumX

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The cheap LED lights helped.

That's a rack I made for wallet chains on the right out of a flag holder. It got a little top heavy so it had to be positioned like it was, with a clip attached to table and a brick on the base to counter weight it. I had wanted it to be more out in the open to the right.

More earrings around the back. I had a bunch of stuff in the store too.

comicshop1b.jpg

Inside the store. Space is limited, but it's not a huge store. About 10 dice bags and some dinky little pendant necklaces are to the left out of frame, right in front of register. Excuse the pic, lighting was bad.

And here is a close up of something that was just fun. Capture Superman with your chainmaille, if you sell at a comic shop. It attracts a lot of attention!

superman.jpg

And here is the view, after roasting in the super hot sun and jungle like humidity.

umbrella.jpg

Yes, I'm under my umbrella. We had 20 min of monsoon like rain and thunder and lightning which pretty much kept everyone away. Ruined a bunch of the cheap necklace and bracelet displays. Trashed about 200 business cards (PUT THEM IN A WATER TIGHT ZIPLOCK BAG FOLKS!!! #TIP!!!!!)

Definitely will do a bigger table next time. I'll have better signage. I'm thinking about having a small "History of Chainmail" write-up. I'm combining the two bracelet holders into a tiered one, just to hold stretchy half Persians. Impulse buy.

Edited by PlutoniumX

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It's amazing what you can do with jugs and jars. Drape fabric or tablecloth over them for wonderful necklace and bracelet holders. Also, if you bring things in small boxes, put the small boxes under the table cloth to give a variety of heights to your display. (I did that all the time when I was selling candles.)

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fourthfriday.jpg

Yup, I have read those, but most of them are a little older (but still great info) and people tend to cycle in and out around here. :) Thought I'd see any new stuff. Here's a picture of my bootleg setup heh. Up until like the Monday before the Friday of the event we had no idea if it was actually going to happen, Had no time to get a sign printed, so I had to make one myself. Same thing with displays. Plus I had to jam about 50 hours of work into 4 days so I could take off Friday. Most of the physical displays I had were actually in the comic shop behind me. I had a few left over for taking pictures. The other displays were made from things I found around.

I wanted to make sure you weren't missing those threads as they contain lots of useful information.

I love the Superman idea. You could probably do the same for Hulk with a link about to let go.

Umbrellas are even better for sun than they are for rain.

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I don't think I have ever set up the same way twice, could be because I always have different sized spaces, different tables, different stuff and the kind of show will also have an affect on what goes on display ( the nursing home craft shows don't do well with the bikini tops so I leave those out for those,lol) looking at your picture I might suggest another box(I use the boxes I transport the jewelry in) or something under the green draped on the side table...so you have 3 distinct levels and I would probably put the rods with the hanging chains on the top level , then the necklace(velvet ones) on the middle one and the bracelet display where it is ..just notice you have two of those, so you could put one on the cent level and one on the bottom or at least turn the one( if you could raise it up and the white necklace display that would help too and put it behind the slanted displays you have in the front, I have found I don't really like those kind of bracelet display much anymore since people tend to glance at them and go for the stuff I have laid out of the table...that they can pick up and touch and try on with out fighting with them. The signs are really nice but the thing around them is a little distracting. at least in the picture, is it a chain?

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The signs are really nice but the thing around them is a little distracting. at least in the picture, is it a chain?

Cheap string LEDs. The wire pretty much fades into the background once you kick them on. Surprisingly bright.

lights.jpg.jpg

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I am a bit late to reply to this, but the local dollar store here sells these rectangle like food storage trays. They are about 5 inches by 4 inches and are about two inches deep. I have 16 of them that I use to store my jewelry... each tray is labelled with the weave and price, so I know what goes where. Setting up takes a little bit of time, but teardown takes five minutes (That includes taking down two tables, six different displays, a tent and two chairs). I have been fortunate enough not to get rained on yet.

(Edited update) The containers are $2 for 8

Edited by Dice bag maker

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Yeah, so that was my first shot. I've changed my setup around a bit. Thought I would post a follow up. Little better now. :)

175704_473354749361623_1137360644_o.jpg

Edited by PlutoniumX

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This has given me some good ideas. Thanks!

I have some photos of my (sadly lacking) new set up. once I get the photos transferred, i'll load them up. I know there are some good ideas in my set up... But it's missing a few things (still not sure what they are though) lol.

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http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/530101_772850758787_1036685868_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/268771_772850738827_114014733_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/562905_772850723857_340607583_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/385506_772850768767_1302604617_n.jpg

Here are photos of my booth setup from a crazy successful show that I did this summer. I usually have a canopy, but this was State Fair, so we were in a garage-type enclosure which had electricity and was rain-proof.

I'm quite earring-centric. All the earrings on the walls are "business cards" printed from Vistaprint with my contact info with plastic hooks from Rings and Things on the back. These are hooked on wire rack shelves and customers can take them off, but they are fairly secure on the wall.

Spinning rack in the corner is DIY. Two wood discs, stained all pretty and drilled so the white wire shelves fit in there nicely. Ball bearings on the bottom so it spins, and it was the most amazing small earring impulse display ever.

The most useful thing I can recommend for you is the trays on the tables. They hold all my bracelets (would be good for wallet chains, too) and for set up, I just take them out of the case. At the end of the day, I put them back in the case. Easy. I waited for sales on Fetpak and FMG to get all that I have, and I'll probably get a few more. The case I have holds 15 trays, and the black boards on the wire earring walls hold pendants and also go in these trays.

https://www.fetpak.com/index.php/jewelry-displays-jewelry-cases-countertop-displays-showcases-jewelry-cases-jewelry-trays-jewelry-tray-inserts-gemstone-trays-jars-c-99_111

http://www.firemountaingems.com/shopping.asp?skw=KWCTDISPLAYTRAYFULL

Also of note in display coolness - the back tables and the front wheeled display have boxed jewelry, some pendants, some earrings, but for some reason the customers at this show really gravitated towards the boxed jewelry. It wasn't even the extra allure of a box, many handed the box back to me because it was hard to fit in their day bag. And the boxes that sold were off the back tables, not necessarily the front rack. All those racks were Borders closeouts. They're gift card holders. Boxes are 2x3ish from Uline. Perfect fit.

And I fully support the lights around the sign. :)

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@WJ

That looks great! LOVE LOVE LOVE the scalemaille as an attention grabber! .

Tray Idea is really neat too. I've just gotten a new retail location, with a locking case so I'll be working on that this week (more pics to follow).

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That is an amazing lot of stuff! heh So pretty, though, I love it! I would be lost at your table for a long time, that's for sure!

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I've done a few small shows, and have been having issues with pricing things. Not how much to charge, but how to let customers know how much each item costs. What methods work well, and if you use a tag, do you put any other info on it? I'm mostly asking about bracelets and necklaces, since earrings can be put on cards.

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the little barbel tags work OK for chains but offer to cut them off when they take the piece sometimes they are really hard to tear off and most people just do that instead of cutting them. if you can group things by price and make signs that seems to work well for some shows I have done, but some want every item tagged, so sometimes it helps to ask when applying for the show.

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