Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
40 minute Secure, Weather-proof EZ-UP Tent Booth Set-up Process by Karole S. Bowlds
(I use an old chip/dip dish- the center fits perfect over the top of my pole)
Scissor framework on all sides, clamp in place if necessary. This is your water shield.
NO tent is completely waterproof, and I prefer prevention, rather than damage control.
Forming an X on each side and back wall.
This prevents wind from blowing the sidewalls in, which will damage your displays and product.
If not allowed, skip this step.
When attached to the stakes, this prevents tent from rocking and moving, eliminating the need for weights. Ratchet til taught.
If attached to the stay bars, it will prevent rocking, but you will need to use weights on staybars. I use cinder construction blocks on the rare occasions when I need to use weights, I just put one or two near each leg, and run my stay bar through the holes in blocks, before attaching staybar.
IF using Armstrong panels or gridwall panels, Install now.
Extend legs to desired height, ratchet tie downs taught, plug surge suppressor into main electrical supply, and set up cash box, electronics, personal care stuff (lunch, wipes, tissues, etc) Set up any product you packed/stored. OPEN front wall/door- you are once again ready for business.
When packing up after show, take your time and store all items appropriately, with care. This keeps your equipment and goods in good condition, making it easier for unloading, and all will be ready for next show, saving you time later.
I am 46 y/0, 5 feet tall and weigh about 100 lbs, and do this set-up ALONE, every show. My product is jewelry.
Please note: I MOVE when doing my setups, I tend to be very energetic!
My Tent is an EZ-up Encore II, purchased on line in 2008. I have been using this set-up for three years,
My outdoor season is April to October, here on the coast of Maine. I do shows in: heat, cold, wind, rain, sleet, hail, thunderstorms, lightening storms, on the beach, in parking lots, on farms, street fairs, parks, Festivals and Agricultural Fairs. I do one day, to week-long events. My tent has never blown over, walked, jigged or danced. It has leaked in severe rain, for the first time this year, (2011). During winter, I pack it away after cleaning, and waterproofing. I rarely use weights, UNLESS the show requires them. I carry a gym duffle to store the sidewalls, banner, stakes, ratcheting tie downs, bungies, clamps, etcetera, and plastic sheet.
I do not use Armstrong panels or grid wall- if I did I would install them between steps 17/18.
I do not use flooring- that is my purchase for this coming winter.
Every spring, I practice my tent set-up procedure til I can do it in 30 o 40 minutes or less.
Every time I add a new display element- I practice and rehearse in my yard.
All my purchases have been sales items and purchase during winter, when prices are lower.
I use checklists for packing- display totes, sales totes, and vehicle packing list.
My sales desk is a 3 drawer wheeled cart. This holds all my boxes, bags, office necessities, electrical, lighting, and small clamp fan. I never unpack this, just inventory and restock it. It can be stored under my worktable, or used separately.
I plan my space layouts in advance on graph paper. However, weather and ground terrains require flexibility.
I have an EMERGENCY milk crate, with hammer, screw drivers, wrenches, spare plastic sheeting, duct tape, wooden blocks (for shimming table legs), S hooks, etc.
I ALWAYS load my car the day before a show. My electronics, and lunch/personal bag goes with me the morning of the show. If allowed to set up the night or day before, I do. This makes for a less hectic show, and allows me to dress more professionally, without having to change!
With planning, and preparation, common sense and care your booth can be safe, inviting, and secure environment, without stress, major financial investment and hassle for you.