Author: Lisa McGrimmon | Published: April 15, 2010 | Modified: August 5, 2019
Create craft displays designed for easy transportation. Ensure low stress travel and setup at art shows with these 7 tips.
When planning craft displays, you think about the look you're creating, display furniture you can use, and the way people will interact with your booth, but you also need to consider ease of transport and assembly.
You'll be setting up and moving your booth from your home to your vehicle to your booth space many times. The easier and more efficient you can make that task, the happier you will be.
According to CERF+, booth setup and teardown are prime times for thieves at craft shows. They take advantage of the chaos of these times and make their move. So in addition to making your day run more smoothly, an orderly, quick booth setup can help you keep a better eye on your items and reduce the risk of theft.
Here are 7 simple planning strategies you can use to ensure that transporting everything to and from shows is efficient and as easy as possible.
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How to design an efficient portable booth for craft shows:
Before you buy tables, gridwall panels, pedestals, a craft tent, or any other major craft show display furniture, measure the interior storage space of the vehicle you will be driving to shows.
Check the longest and widest dimensions that will fit in your vehicle. Keep those dimensions in mind when you purchase or build the larger elements of your craft display.
I made the mistake of choosing inexpensive over light-weight when I bought the table top material for the custom tables I made for my booth. Every time I packed up for a show, I would struggle to move my tables. I wish I had put just a little more money into a lighter table top material.
Some portable display furniture can be heavy, so check the weight of display items before you buy. If you choose to use heavier display furniture, make sure you you have a plan to transport them from your car to your booth space.
You won't be able to drive up to your space at every outdoor show, and carrying one of those canopies for a distance can be challenging if you haven't been spending a lot of time at the gym.
A wheeled bag makes a portable canopy so much easier to manage. When you buy a craft tent, make sure it comes with a wheeled bag for easy transportation.
Dollies or hand trucks are normally not provided by show organizers, and you never know how far you may need to transport your items. Dollies are affordable and can make booth setup so much easier.
A dolly will help you transport heavier items. It can also help you reduce the number of trips you need to make from your vehicle to your booth space. Fewer trips back and forth mean less time for your booth to be unattended (especially if you're alone) and that means less opportunity for a thief to grab something.
Ensure your dolly or hand cart is one of the last things you pack in your vehicle because it will be one of the first things you will need when you start to unpack your vehicle. A dolly isn't going to do you much good if it is packed underneath all of your stock and display furniture.
Bonus Tip: Becky from Stonehouse Collections wrote in to share that she finds a folding wagon is extremely helpful for hauling things that don't fit well on a cart.
When you're setting up, you'll need your dolly and your craft tent before you need your display furniture, and the last thing you'll need is your stock.
Pack your stock first, followed by your display furniture, and finally your tent and your dolly. This strategy will save you the irritation unpacking half of your vehicle to get to what you need. It will help keep everything you're transporting organized and contained.
Although your craft tent will probably be the last thing you pack, it will take up a lot of room. Take that into account as you arrange items in your vehicle.
A checklist will help ensure you have packed all of your craft displays, stock, and other supplies that you'll need for the duration of the craft show.