Every show is unique – I never know exactly how I’ll be set up until I get to the site! Today, I am setting up in the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha for the Art in Bloom festival. This show is unique in it’s garden setting…I’ll be outside in my 10×10 tent with an 8′ table (provided by the Gardens).
I try to stay organized in between shows, but it always helps to have a checklist to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. Here’s a list of the things I make sure I have for every show:
- Table coverings
- Earring, bracelet, ring and necklace displays
- “Floof” (sometimes a vase with some dried flowers or other interesting items that will bring attention to my booth but not draw away from my jewelry!)
- Business cards and holders
- Guest book
- Signage, including credit card acceptance, return policy, artist statement, etc.,
- Wheeled cart or 2-wheeler to haul boxes to and from my car
Point of Sale (POS) materials
- Cash box and bank (1’s, 5’s, coins to make change)
- Receipt book to write sales in
- Cash register (optional)
- Charge slips (for knuckle buster type credit card sales)
- Knuckle buster
- Credit card swiper
- Clipboard (for customers to use when signing a credit card slip or to write out their checks)
- Bags for items sold (I use small recloseable plastic bags that I pre-stuff with a business card and anti-tarnish strip, and organza bags to put the jewelry and receipt in)
- Notebook (write up custom orders, customer questions, items to replenish before your next show)
- Window cleaner (for displays and mirrors)
- Lint brush
- Paper towels or lint-free cloths
- Trash bags (you’d be surprised how often you are NOT near a trash container!)
- Chapstick or lip balm
- Small, easy to eat (and not messy) snacks
- Baby wipes (nice if you are outside and it’s hot!)
- Chair if not provided by the venue
- Anti-bacterial hand gel
- Spare beading wire, crimps, ear wires, clasps, chain, jump rings, wire…anything you can use to make a quick change or repair. I’ve gained many a sale simply by offering to change a style or ear wire or clasp for a customer, on the spot!
- Tools you will need to perform those quick changes or for projects (see next bullet). Don’t forget a crimper, pliers, cutters as essentials!
- Projects to work on. Rather than reading a magazine or book, I recommend jewelry makers work on easy projects during down time. Not only does it show that your work is handmade and created by YOU, but many times, people are interested enough to cluster around your “demo”…a booth that’s full of people draws more people in! Just be sure you are working on something that you can put down at a moment’s notice if a customer needs help or has a question.
- Work surface and/or beading mat.
If you are outdoors, you’ll also need a tent or canopy (check with the venue to see what is acceptable), weights and/or stakes. Add in sun screen, bug spray and a fan if needed!
And FINALLY….don’t forget your jewelry! I’ve known a couple of people who did a fabulous job of setting up their booth, then realized their product was back home by the back door!