Setting up a Booth at a Trade Show

In my last post I gave you a list of necessary items you should pack for your jewelry booth if you want a professional result and good jewelry sales. If I didn’t mention a small ladder you better add that along with a hand truck!  This week we set up Pam Older Designs booth at the New York International Gift Fair with the help of a tall young man who helped us hang our signage and jewelry displays. It was a good thing because we forgot ladder, but at least we didn’t forget our jewelry (yes it has happened I am ashamed to admit!). Another thing you can do pre-show is to order electricity for your booth and extra lighting if it is not provided.  The booth is all about lighting! This time we got lucky and had great light due to the placement of our booth- but most times I need to order a track to supplement my table top lamps. I would advise bringing lots of your own lighting and if possible wait till set-up time to see if you need to pay for extra lights. Ikea is a great place to go for your lighting.

Unless you have all your both furnishings and supplies shipped to your booth (something to consider if you are doing the show alone),  you will probably have to hand carry all of your equipment from your vehicle to your booth and then make beauty out of chaos!  This is what all exhibitors go through for a booth that will only be in existence 3-5 days!  For this phase of set up it’s important to make sure you have a vehicle large enough to move everything including your helpers in one trip. I use a rooftop carrier to give my CRV the extra room I need. I have my moving help meet me there and pay them for travel time and about two hrs of move-in (and break down) time.  If  possible have them provide a hand truck. You may have to walk long distances to your booth.  Some shows will allow you to unload on pallets that they then bring to your booth.  Depending on your time constraints this can be a better option. The downside is that getting your things back on the pallets when you are leaving may take many hours. Some venues make it easy like the Boston Convention Center and others have stricter rules for what you can and cannot do. Loading areas are restrictive and sometimes someone needs to stay with the vehicle, other times you can unload and then have to move and park somewhere else. Talk to people who have done the shows at specific venues so you have a plan of action. Experience has taught me to avoid setting up at the busiest times and avoid travelling during rush hour.  Try to have assistant who have done this before and know how you like to set up and display your jewelry. Here is a video of our Pam Older Designs team setting up our jewelry booth to dispay our handmade jewelry.


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