Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
As I am preparing for my show season starting in a few weeks, I am nervously jotting down everything I think I will need while at shows. This lead me to the question: What do some of you who do a lot of shows consider essential items to have in a "show survival kit?" I will list some of my essentials and it would be great if some of you could add yours too. Thanks!!
Batteries for battery powered shelf lights
Extension cords and power strips
Furniture polish, glass cleaner and paper towels
Step stool/small ladder
Petty cash for change
Clipboard, pens and e-mail sign up sheet
Fanny pack, Rick Steves money belt
Anything and everything that will fit in your "office" box. One thing that I don't think was mentioned is an extra pair of shoes and socks. If you are one your feet all day, sometimes it just feels great to change your shoes. They also may get wet from dew, rain, or whatever, and dry one's feel great. I also carry a change of clothes, especially if rain is predicted, or it's extremely hot. Usually the clothing items stay in the truck, but sometimes just changing at tear down time helps you get through the next hour or two.
I'm giving a talk on "how to show" next week, and I also thank everyone for their suggested items. At the top of my handout is a link to Art Fair Insiders, too.
A lesson learned from my previous life racing sports cars - After I loaded the car and all the essentials I'd look around the garage to see what else I could fit in the truck. Those were usually the parts I didn't need at the race track, but I have loaned those parts out to many other racers.
Here's my full checklist, FWIW:
Canopy Weights (4)
Spare parts for tents (poles, ells, three-ways, clevis pins, bolts, etc.)
Extra Tarps (6x4, 6x10)
Drapery hooks or other hangers for 2-D art
Business card/postcard holder
Carpet or other flooring, if used
Sun Umbrella (if necessary)
Battery Operated Fan
Fan battery charger
Saran Wrap on a stick
Show location, load-in Info
Sales Tax License for each state you'll be in
Maps of show and hotel area
List of hotels and restaurants in area
GPS and car charger
Credit Card Machine
Extra tape or credit slips
Battery charger for CC machine
Bag of spare change
Waterproof Rain coat
Waterproof Rain Pants
Spare shoes or sandals
Spare batteries for headlamps
Paint kit and brushes for on the spot touch-ups
Pencils and pens
Invoice or Order Pads, or 2 pc carbonless forms
Crescent Wrench, 2 sizes
Concrete Nails 2-3"
Drill and bits, including 1/4" for TapCons
Drill battery and charger
A-Clamps (medium and large size) at least 4 of each size
12' Ratchet tie downs ( at least 4, more if you cross-brace your tent)
Roll of 3' x 50' Plastic
Extension cords, 12'
Long Extension cord, 100'
Standup Battery powered Lantern (D-Cells)
12V Auto Battery
12V Battery Charger
Concrete nails for anchoring Trimline to pavement. Superceded by TapCons, but you need a drill bit and hammer drill for TapCons. Concrete nails and anchoring to pavement in any way are frowned upon in certain venues, also. But sometimes it's necessary to keep the canopy legs from "walking".