Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Every year it seems my EZUP booth gets smaller and smaller. Or do other Artist's booths just get larger and larger?
For awhile now, I've been considering the bump from an EZUP to a Trimline. As we all know, it's cheaper to expand upward over outward. I have reached that point where my body of work is bigger than my EZ setup can accommodate. Moving to the Trimline would allow me to use my Propanel extenders and display a number of more pieces at outdoor shows. I use the extenders at indoors shows and sales always seem to reflect an increase with more work on display, but its hard to determine if it is the taller booth or is it just the show.
I'm curious if other Artists saw an increase in sales upon upgrading their outdoor booths? With certainty, I know that it will increase my visibility at outdoor shows which should lead to more foot traffic. And it will improve protection from the weather. But I'd love to hear from others about the financial aspect.
Photo is my current display.
Maybe not so much in sales depending on your work, but it will enable you to apply to and possibly get into better shows that don't allow pop up tents.
I have wondered about that. For the shows that disregard artists with EZUPs, do they ever disclose that they won't allow EZUP booths into the show?
Columbus and Des Moines do and I heard artists were rejected from one of the west coast shows but I forgot which show it was. It's the shows that don't tell you but reject you that are more of a problem.
The biggest problem with an EZ up canopy is the stress that I felt every time a strong wind or storm came through, thinking that it would blow the tent over. A couple of times I was inside my booth holding on a praying. Once I got out of bed and ran down to the show to see if my tent was still standing. I never had a problem probably because I was always properly weighted. I only had one for 2 years in between having a old craft hut and a new craft hut. It's a tank, especially with weights and stabilizer bars. My life at the shows are stress free and I sleep well knowing that me booth will be there in the morning.
Yes. The EZ is a gamble in bad weather. Fortunately I never had any issues, with proper weights and also hooking my entire propanel setup to the tent, it was pretty stable. I got hit pretty hard with bad weather in Omaha one year, to my delight the tent held its ground as gusts of wind battered it. The biggest problem was the saturated top that dripped nonstop onto my work. Being from AZ, I have had to deal with very few weather issues during most of my local shows, which has probably added to my delay in getting a "real" show tent.
You cant go wrong with a Trimline. I have personally gone in the opposite direction. I retired Light Dome after some 25 years and got an EZ UP ( EuroMax). I'm now doing shows my self after 35 years. It is way to difficult and time consuming to set up a Light Dome alone. With a EuroMax in 15 minutes its all up including the sides. I'm sure it cant withstand severe weather, rain, and wind like the old reliable Light Dome, but for $200 I'll throw it in the dumpster and buy another one. If I cant get into some shows with a EZ up so be it. My work is not rain sensitive. I would stick with the best you can buy if I was showing photography or clothes. I now have my van packed and I'm on the way home while my neighbors are undoing the Light Domes.
I agree with what has been said here.
I have multiple tents and types.
My "EZup" Style is an "Undercover." I have the R-2 & R-3 professional. It is great. It has been in shows where the weather became brutal. 5 tents went down. Yet mine stayed great with zero leakage. It felt unstable, had me scared but never failed.
Perhaps this is due to the better build quality. Perhaps because I always weighed it well. Like Barry said, it is great being able to set up and breakdown the tent, by myself in about 15 minutes. Packs small in the truck. I have a couple of these. I've set them up as double booths, at times. They have a reflective extra coating that keeps them substantially cooler in the hot weather. A big difference. The walls zipper at the center and pull back / tie back to the corners. This way if it is wet you do not have to worry about drying them prior to opening up. No awnings available but I created my own, works fine.
I also have a Trimeline. It is, of course, much more substantial. It takes a very long time (Too long) to set up and breakdown, by myself. It is so much heavier. I know it will hold up in the weather much better. In morning openings you might have to wipe down the walls prior to opening so it can be rolled up. I like it's sturdiness, the added height (8' instead of 7'), the feel of strength. It lets a lot more light in.
I HATE it's weight, the time to assemble / setup, the breakdown, the storage space for all those parts.
I use the Flourish mesh walls - Black. They work for all the setups without modification so it is just the tent that gets changed out.
For me the single biggest advantage of the Trimeline.... the added height for display.
Although, even though it has not affected me yet (sound of knocking on wood) the weather / wind proofing is likely the other big difference.
Now the final difference - - COST. The undercover is a fraction of the cost.
I would say besides the expense of a new tent, laziness is another factor in why I have kept the EZ for so long. It is quick to setup and tear down. I do all my shows solo, so the hassle of setting up a Trimline is a consideration, but I'm also okay with investing more time into setup/teardown if sales were to increase. Hence this post.
Nevertheless, I will keep my EZ for the lesser shows that won't pay off with a bigger tent. Thanks for the input.
I've never talked about this. Part of me believes that we sell better with a Trimline or a Craft Hut because there is a psychological advantage to having a tent that sets up higher, especially with the curved dome top. I think subconsciously the higher ceiling is a more pleasing, more inviting space which leads to better sales. Just my opinion. Pipedream or reality?
That is why I started this discussion. I do believe the ambience of a Trimline can boost sales. I just don't have any hard data to backup the claim.
I was in Tallahassee for Chain of Parks the year a tornado passed just south of town at 5:15. That was 15 minutes after the show had closed on Saturday night just before the artist reception. I was still in my Easy Up tent with some other folks who jumped in our booth to dodge the torrential rain. Aside from having to push a little water to keep the top from sagging too much, we were fine. Just about that time the booth three booths down from us launched and the fellows art scattered and shattered everywhere. His tent was a Craft Hut. He had already run to Gadsden Art Center to get the jump on the dinner and reception. We informed them as soon as we got there about the situation. 30 minutes later it was announced that we won Best of Show. $2,500. In an Easy Up.
It's mostly the beginner who doesn't consider properly weighting down a tent. I don't think he was a total newbie, either.
2007 was a banner year for me in my Easy Up. I won awards in nearly every show I did and really sold well, too. Won at places like Brookside in Kansas City and Dogwood Festival in Atlanta. Did $8,000 at Ann Arbor Original, but didn't win an award there. A few years later we won Best of Show $2,200 in a small Florida venue and as the reception was closing I bought a used Craft Hut from a 75 year old who was quitting. It hasn't necessarily helped my sales, but the roof doesn't sag very much in big rain since it doesn't hold as much water since it's tighter.
I think sales improve by having better art, price points, and savvy. I think you probably already possess these characteristics judging from a quick peek of your booth. The Trimline might boost you a little, and any boost is a good thing. Barry Bernstein is right about being able to raise the roof beam higher in these type tents. It opens the space. I like that. But my Easy Up wasn't one like yours. It didn't have the network of metal bars under it. It was a cheaper version with an opened up top inside, and one that I liked much better than those with the low metal network like yours.