Crafts Shows R Us #4: Don't forget the chewing gum

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Blog entry by closetguy posted 10-30-2008 03:17 AM 1566 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Getting it together Part 4 of Crafts Shows R Us series Part 5: It's In The Bag »

Like I mentioned in a previous blog, you don’t know what you need at a show until you need it. I thought I threw everything except the kitchen sink in my boxes, but at the first couple of shows, I needed things that I didn’t have. Simple things like band aids, aspirin, and a garbage bag were never considered. I carry a crescent wrench. I don’t know why. There is not one nut on my canopy or show package to use it on, but the first time I cut my finger, I was wandering around the booth with a paper towel wrapped around my finger comfortable in the knowledge that I have a wrench, just in case. Now, why would I need a hammer? I didn’t think I did, so I didn’t initially carry one. My first few shows were on pavement. Then I did a show on grass. The ground was wet and I just pushed the stakes into the ground with my foot, no problem. At the end of the show, the ground had dried and I couldn’t get the stakes out of the ground. What I needed was the claw on my hammer which was at home. So how did I get them out? I used my crescent wrench to pry them out….

I have an administrative box that holds all my paper stuff. It holds my knuckle buster, blank credit card receipts, notepads, product bags, pens, price tag holders, etc. It smells like blueberries. I keep blueberry chewing gum in it and the smell is wonderful each time I remove the lid. There are also pretzels and other snacks for when the munchies hit. I have found that every time I pop something in my mouth, someone walks into the booth and asks a question. The snacks are my secret weapon. When it appears to get slow, I start snacking, and traffic increases immediately.

One of the things I have found is you can never have too many bungee cords. I carry every size known to man. I bought a couple different sizes at first, and of course when I needed one, I never had the right one. I also carry a variety of cargo straps. Most of the straps and cords are kept in my truck. I figure if I really need one I can walk down the street and retrieve it from my truck. Ones that I use regularly are kept in one of my boxes. I have found that the bungee cords with the ball are a waste of money. The ball slips off too easy and things go tumbling too often. I prefer the hooks or velcro.

I went to my first show with everything in plastic bags and cardboard boxes. This ended up being a fiasco. Besides having too many boxes to have to search though for my products, cardboard just doesn’t hold up. At the next show, I had nice, new Rubbermaid boxes. These plastic boxes are just too thin. They want to bend and warp out of shape so the lids won’t stay on. Then I found the Super Boxes at Lowes. These are absolutely wonderful. They are well built, sturdy, and the lids always stay on. They also can be used as a step stool.

This is a picture of my show package, ready to travel, minus the canopy.

The black boxes with yellow tops contain all my products. These are the Super Boxes that I got from Lowes. The small black box on the right carries my knock-down display holders, cargo straps for my canopy weights, and my table cloths. The clear one on top is the administrative box. Also on the right are my 30×72 folding tables and director chair. The tables on the left are 24×48. I also carry a small cooler with bottles of water and Gator Aid. All this, plus the canopy fits in my short bed pickup and I can still close the tonneau cover.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

4 comments so far

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 3745 days

#1 posted 10-30-2008 05:05 AM

looks like you just about have this down to a science.
thanks for sharing your experiences with us, and please keep them coming!

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3186 days

#2 posted 10-30-2008 05:46 AM

Thanks for the blog, I appreciate it.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 3372 days

#3 posted 10-30-2008 06:30 AM

Man you are a WEALTH of information. Greg3g and I just did our first show and man o man what an experience. I wish you had done this 3 weeks ago.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3580 days

#4 posted 10-30-2008 06:45 PM

this is great.
Anyone considering setting up at a show should read this and learn the lessons before they even leave their home!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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