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Here's something I haven't come across personally, but I watched it a few weeks ago.

Two exhibitors had set up on Friday afternoon. They were completely set up before they left so all they had to do on Saturday was unlock their registers. They were friends so they had similar setups, and were separated by one space. On Saturday morning the exhibitor with the space between them shows up. The spaces are 10x10. Well, the two friends had panels that had feet on them. These feet were at a 90 degree angle to the panels and stuck out about a foot in front as well as in back of the panels. These feet were about 8 inches tall and made of tubimg that went into the bottom of the poles on the panels. It seems the girls set up their displays so their 10 foot selling area was inside and the feet stuck out behind the panels beyond the 10 foot limit.

So along comes Saturday Guy and he sees these feet protruding about a foot into his space from each side. His display goes completely to the floor, so the feet are definitely a problem. He can't set up his 10 foot display with these feet there. He politely asked the girls to either move or remove the feet so he could set up. He was told the feet needed to be there or else their displays were going to fall down. In essence, "Too bad."

The promoter came over and told the girls to keep ALL their display pieces inside the 10 foot space. So they went off on him, telling him how he didn't understand how they needed that space behind the panels. So after a lot of haggling, they removed the feet and everybody attached their display panels together. This way Saturday Guy had the 10 feet he paid for. But he had two very unhappy campers on either side of him.

Now I do see a number of exhibitors with these kind of display panels. I usually have little problem if they're next to me as my display is flexible. But I also want to get to the show early so I can set up and if they come later, my display is already set up.

But would you demand your neighbor move the feet so you can set up? And if you have a display panel with feet, do you keep them inside your space? Or do you have the back of them inside your neighbor's space?

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Absolutely. Those feet are totally unnecessary except for a free standing display. I used the same type of panels for over twenty years and connected them with cable ties. There were shows that I set up in the middle of the night and if something was in my space, I would have to move it to fit my booth into it's 10x10 allocated space.

Another issue is the canopies with the built in awning that sticks out almost two feet in front of the booth. I've seen them sticking out over the edge of a curb and get hit by passing trucks and take out neighboring booths.

The real question is why manufacture art show display equipment that doesn't fit in an industry standard 10x10 space.

Another similar discussion could be when your neighbor sets their display up so that people have to stand in your space to look at their work.

Larry Berman
Digital Jury Services
Test Your Jury Images and Presentation
I have not seen this with feet, but definitely with other objects encroaching others spaces. I know I have a 10x10 space and that's it so I change my set up if say we all butt up next to each other. I did a show where the spaces were more like 8x10 and a neighbor was upset that they blocked themselves in and couldn't get in and out of their booth - they used a long line of tables. Of course they look at me and ask, can I get in and out of my space through yours - I said no based on this set up because I set up my space knowing I needed to get in and out myself, and they should try and figure a way to do the same and offered suggestions like putting their tables at angles (like a crescent shape). After some work, we gave up 6 inches where we meet to form a small area to get out from both of our spaces I would be happy to obliged. It worked, they weren't totally happy though complaining that "well, when I do shows they allow you a foot on each side to get in and out. I simply said let me know which shows as I would love to participate in them as the ones I do you are given a 10x10 and that is it. Regardless, that is working together not getting others involved that don't need to be.

However, I am a little worried about this very topic for my last show of the year. It is a juried fine art and craft show held indoors (thank God) and our space sizes are very unusual. The smallest is 6x8, then 6x10 and then 6x12. I decided to do 6x12 just because I felt it might be needed due to the depth of 6ft. Not a whole lot of room. I do see some people not realizing the size of the space is the way it is and could be having issues of feet and lights and check out counters be a problem with neighboring artists.

I am glad you brought up the topic though - it is one that I think many of us have a story or two to share.

By the way, Larry - yes that would be a great discussion - why do people set up their booths so the only way people can view the work is by being in their neighbors booth? It irks me and have been in that position too.

With such limited space one has to demand others make due within their own space. I personally feel show coordinators that cause space limitation need artists to speak up and demand not to set up shows this way to avoid this kind of petty arguing and rigid confinement. I find working as an artist I need space, don't you? I suggest to them to spread out a group at least two feet apart so there is air space for walls. Can't stand feeling like a can of sardines.
The two artists acted like it was their first show. Like the jerk that blocked the loading ramp because all the spaces were taken and no one could dolly out until the police were called. Discussing it on the forum is a waste of time because the people who need to read it won't ever participate. And no matter what happened at the show, they still think that they are in the right

The late promoter Jinx Harris used to walk through a show and kick anything that was over the line back into the booth.

Larry Berman
Digital Jury Services
Test Your Jury Images and Presentation
Hi Chris,

Good question, I'm willing to bet many of seen this behavior before. We would absolutely make the" offenders of space" move. The "offenders of space" are either new to this scene or bold as @#$% to infringe on others. We are always surprised that people are that inconsiderate of others. One solution is to get to set-up early. Another plus to getting there early , if there is a problem it can be solved right away, when there isn't the pressure of the show opening. Another offender is the" aisle creeper", the person who always has to have there stuff just a couple inches out pass your display. That turns into an interesting competition. I have several fixes for those people.


Hi Deb!

You mention "aisle creepers". Yeah I love those too. I was at a flower show and the one next to me kept putting her stuff farther and farther out in the aisle, and she was starting to move over into the aisle in front of my booth. So I had some of my handy dandy slatted units and made a wall between hers and my booth out in the aisle. The farther she went out, the longer my wall got.
At one point she accosted me and said "I have to go out three feet into the aisle to get in front of you!" I simply said we paid for a 10x10 space and if she sees a need to encroach on me, I will do what I must to stop it. Then the promoter came over and told both of us to get our stuff out of the aisle and inside our booths.

I agree that if you feel you need more than the advertized space, you simply buy more space. And if you feel a 10x10 space is not adequate, then you pass on that show, that's all. Deb can attest to CFA shows where 10 foot frontage is EXACTLY 120 inches!

I too have come across the exhibitor who feels your space is their entrance and exit. That's why I have walls on either side right out to the line.
I always make sure that every bit of my display falls within whatever the space limits are, be they 10 x 10, etc). Never, ever encroach on someone else's space. After all, we have all paid for that amount of space and are entitled to it.

One problem you can have setting up early is having something unexpected happen once you leave. I had been placed at the end of a row. Great- I have 2 sides to work with! Well, the promoter had a problem and moved someone next to me. The two of us worked it out since the promoter was not even around.

Oh- Something really funny happened at my last Renaissance Festival. Friends of mine buy a 10x30 space each year. There are 2 10x10 tents with a middle section that they canopy over and place more items in. Well when they got back on Friday morning- there was another tent right there in between them! The people set up in the wrong spot. The only reason this is funny is because it was really easy to move them. They were the hair braiders, so there was no merchandise to move. Got a group of people to pick up the tent and move it 40 feet! Easy fix this time.
We ran into a similar problem at a show recently and mind you the show gave us 12'square spaces, not the normal 10'. To be honest I've never seen anyone try to level their tent poles. But the husband/wife duo would call out to each other "hey hon, we're off by 3/16ths over here on this pole". Once they got their tent poles leveled he added wood braces at the bottom of each pole at a - you got it - 90 degree angle. These wood braces then had construction blocks put on them as weights. Thats when I realized that he didn't set up within his 12' space but right on the line so his blocks/wood braces were more than a foot into my space. I put an end to that rather quickly and got my space back but I didn't make a friend out of my neighbor either. I paid for my space - I wanted my space.
I agree ... Absolutely, the ladies (friends) had no right to cross into the paid space of the other artist. It sounds like these ladies had experience doing shows and I am surprised they would feel any anger towards "Saturday Guy" ... They were in the wrong and the Fair Coordinator had to definitely intervene because they were not cordial enough to understand they were intruding in his space.

These ladies should definitely re-think their display setup if they keep going over the standard 10'x10' allowed space. If they do not want to change, then they should buy THREE spaces at every show so they could put their tents side by side OR only do shows that have larger 12'x12' spaces (rare).

There is also a huge issue of liability. What if someone visiting "Saturday Guy's" booth trips over the protruding feet and seriously injures themselves. A Lawyer could argue that Saturday Guy was equally negligent because he was aware of the issue before setting up his canopy. These ladies are ridiculously selfish and uninformed.

Poor Saturday guy.
We DO pay for a 10x10 spot and unfortunatley not all artists comply with that. One problem is that some promoters set up the show with EXACTLY 10x10 dimensions side by side. I think thats a little unrealistic given the many manufactures,weighting techniques and human nature. I'm not saying it's ok to fudge or encroach into your neighbors space but it would be nice to have say 12" between booths. But I suppose there are those that would take advantage of that as well.
In those tight situations I have also had my neighbors fudge with bins, buckets,bags and themselves posted in a chair out front lapping over in front of my booth.
The bottom line is when you feel like your space is being invaded-speak up!
When the show says your space is 10'x10' then that is what you get-----not 10' plus another 8" into the next vendor's area to allow for your display feet. You simply move your display so the feet are within your 10'x10' spot---if this makes your display area to small, then like Paula said---buy 2 spots. I would definitely have made the offenders move their stuff. If I paid for a 10'x10' spot then that 10'x10' is mine--not the person's next to me. Most shows that I do have the promoters going around during set-up and if they see you are outside of your space they make you move it--as they should. I also set my side walls right up to the front line of my space.


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