Transporting booth

I have my first two festivals coming up in a month and I’m looking for the best way to go about this (aside from buying a new car, which isn’t quite in the budget) I have a Hyundai Elantra. My husband has a Chevy Malibu. Neither have a ton of space and I am going to need to transport a tent (likely an EZ up) and pro panels (probably 6 or 7). How do those of you who don’t have a van or truck transport your stuff?

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  • I remember when we started, everything fit into our GMC Acadia, with 3 adults in it.  LOL  Oh those were the days!  We did not have anything like propanels which are not needed for what we sell.

    We soon moved up to dh's Ford F150 that had a camper shell on it.  We used that for a year or so.  Eventually we sprung for a 6x12 single axle cargo trailer.  It has been a godsend.  We got one that was tall enough for dh to stand up straight.  (He is 5'11".)  The height was worth every extra penny!

    Dh totally rigged the inside with d-rings, shelves, etc. at strategic spots based on how we load it.  He did a great job.  He has had to do little to no remediation on the rigging.

    My advice?  Do what you can at this point and work your way up to bigger and better things.  I agree with leasing a van or a trailer for a week or so.  Get it early enough that you can start packing over 2-3 days to reduce stress of last minute packing.  Now that we own a trailer we can start packing a week before the show if we choose to and really reduce stress and wear/tear on our bodies.

  • Lease a van for the first event. Hauling your stuff tied to the top of your vehicle will make you look like the Beverly Hillbilly's. Plus, if you show up to unload with two vehicles, you will not be popular because you will take up too much space unloading.

    To answer some of your other questions: Don't worry about how you look or what you are doing at your first show. The best thing that could happen is that you fail(relative term) at your first event. My biggest improvement was between show number 1 and number 2. I'm surprised I even made it through my first show without the booth falling apart. I see you are buying a Trimline with Pro Panels so you are ahead of the curve. Get to the first show as early as possible. It's going to take you three times as long to set up your booth the first time at a show as it will after you've done it once or twice. Your most important items in my opinion: proper weights and stabilizer bars. You may have one of those perfect Florida weekends or you may have high winds and rain. I've had both in Florida.

    Make friends with artists whose work you like. Best info is from word of mouth at the show. Watching what they do is better than asking questions. Most people will be too busy to talk to you. You can learn a lot by observing.

    When I started pottery was the biggest category. Now it's photography. There is a lot of competition. Good work is more important than how your booth looks.

    • Great advice!

    • This was incredibly helpful, thank you! I was also looking at Display2Go panels. Do you know if those are any good? 

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