November 4, 2008

Market: Anatomy of a Booth

This is my first post following International Quilt Market after the flurry of business and finishing up all the orders to ship as of late last week. It was a wonderful show and we were blessed to be busy the whole time showing off all of the new stuff! I think I will spread out the events of market over several posts, starting with the set-up. It is interesting to see the whole process, as we vendors run around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything organized and displayed just so for all of the attendees to see. It never seems like it will all come together in time! Really, if you could see the amount of trash and such in the aisles before the carpet is rolled out, you would be horrified!

We always arrive in Houston for the fall show on the day before, about mid-morning. We have this luxury as we live only 4 hours from there here in the DFW area. That is great because it minimizes the number of nights spent in the hotel room...there is nothing like your own bed! Anyway, we bring an array of dollies and ladders and such to get things moved in and around in the booth. As I begin hanging drapes and lighting, Keith gets the clothing stands put together. Here I am in the middle of that lovely process!

Things always go pretty quickly at this point and we somehow think that "this time" we will be finished early.....but it never happens! It seems that once the suitcase that holds the samples gets opened and the iron comes out, things grind to a screeching halt!! Of course, I have already laid out the booth at home and know where each sample will go, but it usually changes just a tiny bit when you see it mocked up for all that ironing keeps things at a snail's pace!

All in all, it takes about 6 hours to get it all together and boy are we ready for food when that is done! Really, the booth set-up isn't so bad if you stay organized. I usually spend the entire week before a show getting everything together that I can think of we would possibly ever need....better to be safe than sorry! After 10 market shows now, I think I have it least I hope I do! As a result, we experience a smooth interaction with customers and appear to be well informed, mostly!

Here is the booth all finished up. I will post more photos of close-ups on different samples in the next post. Hope you are having a wonderful start to November....Thanksgiving is just around the corner!