Well, one thing is for sure-while I knew that putting together an art show booth would involve some planning, I think I either underestimated the details, or overestimated my sanity level. Lists, lists, and more lists! And I am oh so sure, given said sanity level that I am bound to forget something important lol. Some interesting things I have discovered during my preparations…
Even though it is fabulous to get a hugely discounted display stand from a Zellers which is selling off its fixtures, it might be an idea to have an engineer on hand to calculate the weight of said behemoth before giddily purchasing. This will prevent significant others and good friendly from glowering at you after they have helped take apart and load said fixture for you. Mind you, unless there are gale force winds, the damn thing is not going to move anywhere.
It might be an idea to finish the edges of your paintings as you go along rather than trying to do it the week before a show. Yes, oil needs time to cure and dry, but using that as an excuse to procrastinate doing the fiddly work will ensure that choice words will be used as you now need to sit for hours staring at edges. Oh, and the same goes for wiring. Those teeny screws do not get any easier to work with after a few thousand or so.
Prepare for any weather! The weather forecast over the past week has changed from HOT, to HOT and RAINY, to HOT, to HOT and Thunder showers, to HOT. Make sure your tent has some kind of walls to protect these pieces which you have spent so much time sweating over and cursing (ok, at least for me at this time, although more over screws and whatnot). I managed to find a couple of battery operated fans in case there is no breeze forthcoming with the heat and humidity. If I had shopped in advance, I would have been able to get the O2 Cool 10″ fan that I wanted, but since it was only available online in Canada, no such luck.
Don’t forget a “float” if there are no on site banking facilities. This helps with change for your customers. Something to put it in that you can hang on to (fanny pack, whatever) is advisable as well.
WATER! Even though there are facilities for exhibitors, I plan on keeping a cooler full of ice and water bottles on hand, both to drink and most likely throw over my head at various points should it be needed. Yes, I am thinking you get the point that overly heated conditions and I do not get along well.
Lists, lists, and more lists…all those things you are likely to forget…chairs, table, mug/cup, receipts, business cards, a camera (you might need shots of your booth for future shows, hangy thingys, float, paintings, fixtures, easels, sign, wrapping paper of some sort, tape, scissors, string, your art work….
And most importantly….bring a great sense of humour and a big smile :o)