using a tent frame inside

danaohOctober 27, 2008

would that be considered rude? I have the old type canopy frames made of PVC, 8X8, forget how tall. would it be considered rude to put that up inside, then hang drapes on 3 sides to seperate my booth from others? (not using the canopy top, of course) Would the height make it bad because the rest of the show would be blocked from view?

Figured for draping material I could use plastic table coverings that come in a roll, you know what I mean?

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They may have some rules on that, don't know how they do things where you are. Out here you rent a table for given amount & can set things on table,floor & maybe beside the table. I quit going as mostly vendors from companies. Call the organizer of the event & ask.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 2:22AM
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I agree, I'd check with the organizer of the show. But you might want to reconsider. Good luck getting people to come inside! A friend of mine does floral arranging (weddings) and does beautiful work. Last year she went to a show I was also at. She took the framework for her outdoor portable gazebo and used sheer curtains around the sides. It was a very nice beautiful set up, but no one would come inside. It was a 2-day show. She sold nothing the first day, very few people even entered her booth. The second day, she moved her tables out to the edge of the opening where they didn't have to come inside and sold some things. It seemed people were too intimidated to go inside. I find the same thing with my open booth - people won't come in if I arrange the tables differently than in a straight line where they HAVE to walk by them (and something usually catches their eye to stop and look a little closer). I've ended up rearranging my booth part way through a show if I try anything different. People are just lazy! For what it's worth.....


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 8:46AM
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that is really strange - Just seems that the few shows I have done the other booths seemed to intrude into my "perfectly planned" color scheme and arrangement.

luvs2click - so you put your tables at the front of your booth? Not in a U or an L?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 11:53AM
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Yes, I have found that is the best way to get the most people's attention - make them walk right by your stuff. Everytime I try a U or other arrangement I end up being sorry for it and rearranging. It is strange, but people just don't seem to want to "come in"! Unfortunately, this is really limiting. Also it seems there are definitely more "walk-on-by" type people this craft show season. It really has to jump up and bite them to get their attention this year. I'm hoping that improves as the season goes on. Perhaps you will have the type of craft to draw them in - I'm just passing along what I've learned from experience. I know what you mean about all the background clutter from other booths. Makes yours sort of disappear. If you're doing more than one show I guess it would be worth experimenting with different set ups. Good luck with whatever you decide!


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 1:44PM
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Luvs2click is right, I think it may be that if they "come in" pressure may be put on them, I know I've avoided some because of that & I've been on both sides. Our boutiques had tables down both outside walls with room for us to be behind them & rows down the middle with space to walk between the doubled tables-people had to walk in front of your stuff. Also easier to watch if folks can't get behind you or beside you, for several reasons, stealing & noting their interests, so you can see to answer questions. We had long cloths on tables so any extra items we had could be right under area & we could reach down without turning around & digging through a box, etc. Especially important if you are alone. If you have a helper be sure they are professional & mainly watch . Don't engage people in long conversations or customers will wander off thinking you are too busy! Also don't carry on with your helper like there are no customers around, I just walk off when that happens. Best of luck to you on your coming weekend sales! Jan

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 1:59AM
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I use my conopy frame in several shows. I would suggest a sheer siding or netting with perhaps several mini lights intertwined in the top valence that wraps the front of the top of it... It doesn't "close" it in - it dresses it up. I have several items that get hung so the conopy is necessary. I've done it for years so they don't mind. I'm thinking for white netting for the corners (think conopy bed with puffy netting at the corners... with red or green for the valance with the lights showing thru... I put my gag gifts at the back and one side of my booth so it draws people inside the booth. At those shows, I don't even use my chair... I have it to offer people who look like they need to rest...

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:03AM
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How about putting shears on the back of the canopy and for the sides, only go about a 1/4 of the way with the shears. Along with the shears hang the dangley x-mas lights for sparkle. It won't look or feel like a tunnel but it gives a good backdrop for you craft. And like grandma bonnie suggests, put the shears on the front post like a conopy bed. I can just picture it now. Boy, that would really attract people over to your booth.

I have found at shows that you need something to bring them to your booth area. I get more people come when you have something that really stands out. I use it as a conversation piece, get a conversation going and then they feel more confortable to stay and look around. I do different things at different shows. It all depends on the area and what kind of show it is. For example, I did an outdoor show in Sept. I figured that show was going to be the last show for summer things. I had bottle bugs made up, hung them from a garden arbor and front and center of the bottle bugs I hung a bug made from a spark plug. I called him Sparky. When people walked by, the bugs were at eye level and couln't miss them. Then they would see Sparky. He was a hit. I didn't expect to sell him, but he ended up going home with a women that her husband was a mechanic.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 3:14PM
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I don't like to walk in cuz I feel bad when I don't want to buy anything. Sometimes if I look tho with out pressure I may want it next time I see them for a gift for someone I hadn't thought of at the time. This is a good thread for me cuz I'm building up a supply of the things I make to try to sell next spring. (hopefully of the ones I prefer to make outside will survive Christmas lol) I need to think about my own buying and shopping patterns and not expect other people to be different.
I just had a funny thought. If you have a good supply of things out front and put up a little sign that says "no admittance" to your booth, I bet people would ask to come in and look at what you've got (ostensibly to replace things as they are sold). We humans are just that contrary I think, lol.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 12:34PM
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I put my lighted block along the back wall - draws people right in! I also put my gag gifts in the back - most people look for my new gag gifts every year!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 6:39PM
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I'm reading the thread and hearing that people don't come into a "booth" as opposed to a table. I can tell you from experience that if the booth is not well lit, nobody will come in. If you use your canopy frame you should have at LEAST 6 lights attached to the frame. A well lit booth invites customers in, a dark booth drives them away.

Also, where you stand is important. You should have your "checkout" off to one side and in the front. This way you can greet the customers and chat with them as they browse. You have less than 5 seconds to attract your customer. You do this by having a well lit booth and a nice display. But also a good personality and a nicely dressed exhibitor.

Also, don't sit there "making stuff". Unless you're a real "craftsman" making brooms or something like that, don't make inventory at the show. The customer won't want to "bother" you and you'll lose sales. And again, in this economy, you shouldn't be sitting at all unless you have a disability. You need to be at eye level with your customer.

And I was told this by an old sage in 1980 whe I started out doing shows and I remember it to this day.

"There's NOTHING at a craft show anybody NEEDS!"

So it's up to us to make the customer WANT what we sell. And in today's economy, just sitting there and expecting customers to hand you money won't cut it.

Christopher H (aka Old VT Crafter)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 9:01AM
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The one thing that turns me off is the seller chatting with friends, or with other crafters (sellers). I enjoy visiting and I know I talk too long and too much, but a good seller will keep her eyes going and say-whoops I need to go on--or anything to break the chatting. It nevers bothers me and I do feel guilty and will try to apologize and move on.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 6:40PM
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Good advise, Christopher and Marie. Yep, I have to convince my customers they are buying the best, most unique gift ever... I made myself an apron so I keep my money and receipt book handy - I had a fella lurking around my cash box and decided to carry my money with me - best idea ever... I don't have to work my way back to finish a sale - it happens right there! Next week will be an indoor event with power - I'll take pictures and post them in the gallery...

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 9:42PM
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Thanks to all of you - great ideas! Alas! I finally dug out the 8X8 tent, turns out to be 10 1/2 by 10 1/2! So disappointed, especially after all of your help.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 10:02AM
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I can't imagine there would be anything wrong with using it. Sounds cute to me...and I like the netting with lights inside of it wrapped around the pvc.

Several booths I've seen have screens made of lattice board sitting behind them...they are usually 8 foot and if anything was going to block vision it would be those. But they are used by a lot of people.

I wish I would have thought of pvc back when I was selling. Would have made a lot of hanging space without being heavy to cart in and out.

Sometimes I really miss those days. It was so exciting to set up ....It just got to be unexciting for me to set it up , have poor sales and then have to cart it home

I did it for 22 years. During the prime time.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 12:21PM
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