The problem when putting everything together before doing the first show is that there are too many choices and price variations. For example, it took a while to decide on my booth layout. This drove how many and what size tables to buy. Once that was done I focused on table covers. I know I went through at least one bottle of Jack trying to figure this out. There are fitted table covers, skirted table covers, spandex table covers, table runners, etc. Again, the list goes on and on. The price for these options swings all over the place. The one thing that was certain, table covers are expensive! I looked at buying bed sheets from Wal-Mart, but this was just too cheesy.
I finally decided on fitted table covers figuring that because of the way they fit, they would be less susceptible to wind. It was a good decision. The next thing that drove me crazy was the color. There are at least 75 different colors to choose from and of course, being the anal person that I am, I agonized over this for at least a week. I finally chose brown. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it spoke to me. However, this also was a good decision because when doing grass shows when it has been, or is raining, mud will get on the bottom of the table cloths. You will step on them and customers will step on them. Mud doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb on brown covers. I spent $180 for four fitted table cloths. I have two 72×30 and two 48×24 tables. These were the least expensive table cloths I could find. They are polyester based and machine washable which is good because I have to wash them after at least every other show.
I bought tables at HD. The 72” ones have plastic tops and fold in the middle with a handle for carrying. The 48” ones don’t fold and are a little heavier because they have a metal frame, but they work well. This was another $180. I was concerned about their load capacity, but I load them up with a lot of heavy cutting boards and they hold the weight very well. The good thing about the 72” tables is the legs are situated so that I have room to slide my transport boxes under the tables so that they are out of the way and out of site.
Now I don’t consider myself a stupid person, I just do stupid things sometimes. I got this bright idea to buy this huge Rubbermaid container. This thing was about four feet long. The problem was when I filled it up with all the cutting boards, it weighed about 2000 pounds. I do the shows by myself so this wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t work if I had four strong men and a mule. So I found these really neat boxes at Lowes, They are called Tuff Boxes, are black and come with a bright yellow top. These things are really tuff. They can handle about six 12×16 boards along with a mix of smaller boards. Fully loaded, they weigh about 90 pounds, which are manageable. I wouldn’t want to carry them up a flight a steps, but they work well with a hand truck or dolly. I have been fortunate to have done all shows that I could park at or very close to my booth to unload. I carry four boxes and I can store two under each 72” table. So it works well. It’s amazing that I spent so much time finding the right transport box, but this is the way everything goes when setting up to do shows. Two steps forward and one step back until you find what works.
It’s just like my booth setup. Someone here at the jocks posted pictures on a stepped, knock down, display holder for their cutting boards. It was an excellent idea, so I made a bunch of them up using different sizes for different size boards. Each one holds three boards and the widths vary depending on the size of the boards. I put them all together in the shop and they worked. At my first show, I was setting up the display stands, and I drew a blank and couldn’t remember how the stands matched up. I spent about 45 minutes playing a shell game until I got them finally matched up and where they went on the table. After the show, I set my entire booth up in the shop, got everything where it was suppose to be and numbered all the display parts on the bottom with a permanent marker. At the next show, it took about 5 minutes to assemble the displays. This is one example of many processes I have had to change to speed setup.
-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com