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Setting up a booth at any given show can be a tedious project. Venues differ in layout, location (inside or out), accessibility, season, security, set-up times or scheduling, restrictions, etc. Then it's your turn to figure out how your kit will fit within those constraints.

There are several tasks when going to a show. Load car, unload car, set up, and then reverse all those. Before loading and after unloading, the goods have to be transported to the car and location, respectively. Until it is a major PITA you may never figure out the best way to do it, i.e. no dolly is a match for a foot of snow.

Typical booth sizes start at a 4ft frontage. Most tend to be at least 6ft with 10ft being a popular choice as that is the normal pop-up tent size. Most booths are arranged side-by-side or something that shields at least a few walls from public access.

How many people are needed for a given display? As a seller, if I have a 10x10ft tent with vendors on both sides and the back then I could easily be outside of the tent and watch all that is happening inside of it if need be. I could man it alone in some situations.

It would be vastly different with a free-standing tent with 360deg access in, around, and through. Three or more people would be needed. At a high-volume show consider no less than four with defined work objectives to ensure maximum presence and coverage.

It's not possible to condense a large display into a small one without shedding some products.
Most vendors adjust their kits according to the real estate they have. It's not possible to condense a large display into a small one without shedding some products. There can only be so much product density before it becomes claustrophobic. Likewise, an "airy" display is quite different than a desert.

Any given show could be an incredible opportunity. I've not done enough, not by a long shot; my aha moments are frequent. However, I'm past the general rules so it's trial by error to fit my specific needs.

Last minute surprises can undo the best plans. I had to devise a layout on-the-fly without the tent - tents weren't allowed. My show neighbor and I set up our spots so only the fronts and one side of each were accessible.

Being forced into a weird setup isn't always a bad thing. It gave me insight into a more efficient layout. And further zeroing in on the best way to set up and tear down, because that is a lot of time and stress.

Posted by M: April 13, 2022

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