I am preparing for my first outdoor show of the 2010 fall season! I will be at the 9th Annual Art Walk and Parade in Wilmington, NC on Saturday, September 11 (10:00am - 5:00pm). If you are in the area, please come by and say "Hi!"
Lots of stress and brainstorming for ideas on how to set up the tent display. Especially when you don't know where your assigned booth location will be or tent orientation. I've done several outdoor and indoor shows and I haven't set up the same for any of them. There is always something to cause a change in setup - perhaps a change in the size of the booth space, location, orientation, etc.
One task I do is to photograph my jewelry on displays to remind me where each item is to be placed. I didn't do this one time, got all of my jewelry set up and found that I had some empty slots. I had a moment of uncertainty - had I left some pieces at home, lost or misplaced some of them, or had I just put more items on a display?
Also I create a grid layout for many possible tent setups, print it and bring along so that I can quickly determine which would fit the situation.
The hardest part of preparing is the physical task of getting everything packed in the car! Start out with an empty car - I took out the 2 back seats to get as much space as possible.
AND .... fit all this stuff in - a tent with canvas, tent weights, 4-5 tables ranging in sizes (6ft, 5ft, 4ft), table risers, a chair, rubber flooring, step stool, table cloths/sheets, banner, bungee cords, jewelry displays, jewelry inventory, and miscellaneous items for actual sales (business cards, inventory list, signage, packaging, receipts, cash, change...). Plus, this time I have beach stuff to pack to since I will be spending a week prior to the show at Sunset Beach - more packing...