My journey with Craft Shows #2: What does it take?

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Blog entry by Dusty2004 posted 06-19-2012 05:12 PM 1778 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Craft Shows #1 Part 2 of My journey with Craft Shows series Part 3: My first Major Craft Show »

In this blog I want to address this issue of “Who will man the booth”.

So I have identified 10 Craft Shows that I want to go and walk around to see what it is all about and learn more. I have intentionally selected larger Craft Shows – most of which are Juried – on purpose. Some are 2 day shows and some are 3 day shows. The only down side to all of this is 3 of them are on the same weekend. I should be able to see all 3 in one day but it will be some traveling.

So this made me do some thinking. Who will man the booth? I thought of a 2 day show. Most start about 9-10 am and go until 5-9 pm on day 1. Day 2 usually starts about 10 am and ends at 5pm. If I try and do the show alone then I have the issue of what do I do when I have to “take a walk”? Who will man the booth? Do I quickly “Shut the booth down” – go do my walk and then “Open the booth back up”? Will I get really tired and really struggle to make it through the second day?

So I am talking with some family to see what interest there is with any of them to see if they want to sell some of what they make and in return help to man the booth and pay a portion of the costs involved. So – if others are reading this and have done shows (or have heard comments from others) what do you do about “Who will man the booth”?

Just to let you know (as if anyone really cares – but this is good for me to put down on paper what I am finding out) I have the first show I am thinking of going to this weekend. It is about 2 hours away from me in area I have not been to so I am interested in seeing the area and the show. That should be my next post.


8 comments so far

View jcsterling's profile


462 posts in 3758 days

#1 posted 06-19-2012 06:15 PM

most shows have a booth sitter available for when you have to “take a walk” or you can ask your neighbor to watch your stuff while you are out…

most juried shows will not allow anybody elses work to be exhibited other than the jury accepted person. Yes , they do check.

-- John , Central PA , on facebook:!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

View MT_Stringer's profile


3181 posts in 3404 days

#2 posted 06-19-2012 10:48 PM

Dusty, will you be selling on site at the show or taking orders? You haven’t made that clear that I can see. My ex-wife and I did several big shows back in the 80’s where we had our items on display for dealers to order for their shops. These were manufacturer shows where shop owners come to shop for inventory and place orders for Christmas, etc.

Going to big shows that are held in convention centers, etc.? Those required us to use their union people to move your stuff from the dock to your booth.

Booth? The type I am talking about only had a curtain for the rear and a table or two. Expensive for a 10×10 or 10×12 area. It is up to you to display your stuff and take it down and pack it for them to move to the dock.

Hope this helps.

Note: At the mfg show held in the World Trade Center in Atlanta in 1983, we stumbled upon a booth with two pretty nurses hawking some ugly stuffed dolls (w/birth certificates). It turns out those were the original Cabbage Patch Dolls! :-) Should have bought one somehow. :-(

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 3057 days

#3 posted 06-19-2012 11:01 PM

Sometimes I have had a booth person next to me watch to booth for a few minutes. Mainly to watch the merchandise and to tell customers I will be back in 5 minutes. Has worked at some shows.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3481 days

#4 posted 06-20-2012 12:57 AM

My wife always comes to the shows with me and it is a big and enjoyable help. However, most quality shows have booth sitters available to watch your booth while you take a break. Any good show will not allow someone else in your booth selling work that has not been juried in and they will most certainly need to have their own booth if juried in. Just get a booth sitter or bring a friend to hang out. I have never seen anyone just close their booth to take a break. I think the people putting on the show would not like it…They want your booth open during the entire show hours.

View rkoorman's profile


381 posts in 2997 days

#5 posted 06-20-2012 05:26 AM

I would take a friend with me. Don’t close the booth, it doesn’t sound like a good idea.


View Dusty2004's profile


22 posts in 2348 days

#6 posted 06-20-2012 04:03 PM

@JC Sterling: I did not know that they had booth sitters. Nice to know and it gives me something to ask the organizers.

@MT_Stringer: My plan at this point would be to sell at the show and take orders for any special requests.

@ Jerrells: Thanks – So most people selling at a craft show are willing to work and help their neighbors?

@Greg and rkoorman: Thanks for the information. The help I am receiving from these posts will help make my journey more beneficial. I hope this process helps others as well.


View MT_Stringer's profile


3181 posts in 3404 days

#7 posted 06-20-2012 07:32 PM

@ Dusty – Do you have a credit card reader set up? I use Square ( and haven’t had any problem. They provide the reader free, no chg for account setup, just a single charge for each transaction. I use it for softball tournaments when taking orders.

Note: You can swipe their card on location at time of sale, or take phone orders and punch in their info (transaction charge is a little higher when you key in the data).

Hope this helps.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Dusty2004's profile


22 posts in 2348 days

#8 posted 06-22-2012 06:28 PM

@MT – I do not have one yet however that is one of the things on my list if I decide to move forward with Arts and Crafts Shows. Starting to get a little excited as this weekend is the first of the shows I want to go to.

Thanks all for joining and guiding me on this voyage. I may not ever have to buy a GPS with this many people helping me… 8>)


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