INFORMATION ON BOOTH DESIGN FOR FELTMAKERS

NOTICE

This file is a collection of various messages having the common theme of using a sander to aid in the making of felt.  The information is primarily from the feltmaker's list. I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, most of the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter. The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors. Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the orignator(s).
Pat Spark, Manager of the Feltmaker's List.
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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS POSTED TO THE FELTMAKERS' LIST ABOUT BOOTH DESIGN

*Linda Wright, Tue, 7 Oct 2003. I was wondering if anyone out there would share their advice on a booth or table design/setup/hints/etc.  I am doing an inside craft show next month and am trying to figure out the best way to display. I need something more vertical.  I have soft sculptured Santaís and some tree ornaments, angels, pincushions.....

*Ruth Walker, Tue, 7 Oct 2003. Probably the most efficient vertical design is some sort of gridwall with its accessories. You do not need to purchase the things that can hold the gridwall pieces next to each other: just use cable ties (which I call zip ties).  You may know someone from whom you can borrow the gridwall to see if you like it. Go to www.google.com and do a search on gridwall; lots of companies will pop up.
        Make sure you put everything UP. Donít make people look down at a table top! It should all be from elbow height up -- eye level is best, for the obvious reason that it is at eye level.
* Trine Schioldan, Tue, 7 Oct 2003. Re: Linda's question about tips/design strategies for an indoor craft show, the one thing I recommend is to bring your own extra lighting. Don't count on the overhead light provided inside the building. Make sure there is bright light shining on your Santas, and to show off the colours of your pincushions, etc. Colour will attract customers to your booth, but they have to be able to see it! Good luck at your craft fair - I hope it goes really well for you.
*Nicole Chazaud, Tue, 7 Oct 2003. Ruth's comment about eye level is very important, it is a proven successful sales location. I have seen tables used for craft, and if you have a lot of pieces which require to bet set on a table take a hint from jewelers, which I see at shows all the time.  A regular folding table, narrower is better, and put PVC pipe extensions on the legs so the table is about 4 feet tall or almost counter height, or use a lower table and a taller one right behind the shorter one, giving the idea of pedestals.  I use collapsible pedestals.The best suggestion I can give is creating a unique shopping environment for your customer.  When they step into your 8x10 or 10x10 area, keep them there, meaning if they are in your booth and can look at your neighbors' objects at the same time they loose focus.
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Ann McElroy, Tue, 7 Oct 2003. The best suggestion I can give is creating a unique shopping environment for your customer.  When they step into your 8x10 or 10x10 area, keep them there, meaning if they are in your booth and can look at your neighbors' objects at the same time they loose focus. I agree with this. You need to grab peoples attention. One thing that always seems to draw people is a basket of bright colored roving, tied up with raffia. I don't know why but people can't resist it.  I use a stepped display for part of my table. It stops one piece blocking the view of others.
*Sandra Duvall, Tue, 7 Oct 2003. I have helped set up exhibits and booths in several different mediums.  I do know that everyone likes to "touch" the items. I suggest that for felt and hand-woven item that you have a " touch basket" with items inside for people to touch that include felt ball, flat felt, needled flat and 3-D needle felt, prefelt and hard.   It certainly saves from having display damage.
*Rebecca Lavell, Wed. 8 Oct 2003.
I use wooden shelving units from IKEA....easy to take down and put up although a bit heavy for constant dragging around.  I have clip on lights that I can put wherever necessary...I like the shelving units because you can adjust them to each venue....high or low sides or whatever.  I set them up around the outside leaving room for customers to come in and browse.
        There is a wonderful used store fixture place in the Okanogan that I visit twice a year and always find something I canít live without....like acrylic risers and torsos, bamboo hangers and wooden wind chime display that works great for felted jewelry.  I like to have many different levels in my display and lots of colour.  Having a mirror is important and something to sit on....I donít like low chairs in a booth. I think a bar stool type seat is better...keeps you at eye level and makes you more approachable. If I am demo-ing the felting machines I like to have seats for people to watch....if prospective clients can sit down they will stay and chat longer.  I am thinking about doing a kind of modular felt rug that can be adjusted for different size booths.....just havenít figured out how to work around the tripping aspect. 
        I find music in a booth irritating....especially if it is from the booth next door.....after a 5 day fair with one of the participants playing plinky Peruvian music (the same CD for the entire time) I was ready for the loony bin...ditto for repeating videos....I did a local home show and was next to a private school who had their intro video playing all day every day and by the end of 3 days had it memorized.....took me days to get it out of my head!
        Always take lots of sheets or fabric to cover your stuff when you arenít there.  Probably the coolest thing I have seen over many events is this rope of tape my girlfriend has....she and her husband are both grips in the movie industry and when I forgot my duct tape she produced this rope about 4 ft long tied in a loop with every conceivable type of tape imaginable on the loop...when it runs out she just replaces it....very, very cool. 
        I have a setup box that is strictly for shows...with ratchets, wrenches, pins, scissors, tape, zap straps, etc. I think the most important thing I have learned is to have organized take down.....I think people are offended sometimes when they offer to help and I refuse it.  If you pack everything up with thoughts of the next show then you donít have to repack when you get home.  I put and inventory list on the inside of each Rubbermaid so I know what I have to replace at home and I tag the outside of the Rubbermaids so I donít have to keep opening them to see whatís inside. If you keep all your Rubbermaids the same size (not too big) then they stack well for storage and fit better in the van. My life philosophy at the moment is you can never have too much fibre or too many Rubbermaids.
*Allison Pitt, Wed 8 Oct, 2003. Rubbermaids?
*Rebecca Lavell, Wed 8 Oct, 2003.
A maid in dressed in rubber to help you set up your booth.....no seriously, they are plastic bins with lids...they come in lots of sizes are very sturdy and perfect for storage......I thought they were universal...obviously not.
*Anna Salvesen, Wed 8 Oct, 2003.
Hi Allison, Oh dear, I can only imagine what you were thinking! Rubbermaid is a brand of plastic products commonly available in the US at every K-Mart, Target, grocery store, etc.  In fact, the products are so common that they have become a household name for plastic containers, similar to Xerox (for photocopy), Kleenex (for disposable paper handkerchief), and Tupperware (another popular plastic container company and big competitor to Rubbermaid). Rubbermaid makes reasonably priced, big, stacking, robust storage tubs with a very good moisture-tight and air-tight seal (I think one or two felt list members who were flooded can attest to this!). They are perfect for securely lugging stuff around from place to place. I, of course, am a huge fan of Rubbermaid products, but have no affiliation, etc.
*Donna, Wed 8 Oct, 2003.
I buy Wall Mart clear (to almost clear) plastic boxes with snap lids.  They stack very nicely and cheaper than Rubbermaids.
*Helen Swartz, Wed 8 Oct, 2003.I like Rubbermaid tubs, but I buy the Dollar Store (a chain here in Mid-Missouri) clear tubs because the store is in town and I don't have to drive out of town and they work just fine.  I am sure they are not the quality of Rubbermaid but they work and are much less expensive.  I can see through them and that helps me with my stacks of tubs.  I can't take them everywhere.  Some festivals will only let you take wooden boxes.  I have some of those also and have to repack sometimes because I don't leave anything in the wooden boxes to store.  To each his own!!!
*Ruth Walker, Thu 9 Oct, 2003. These containers are made by Sterilite (and can also be found at Target). The lids do snap into place and they do stack nicely as long as you have a few made the same year. I have three different lid designs and have to determine my stacking accordingly! They are definitely less expensive than Rubbermaid, and have white lids, which I find less distracting than the colored lids.
*Betty Kirk, Sun 12 Oct, 2003. I have had several of the Sterilite brand containers crack with the rough handling of showing, Rubbermaid may cost a bit more, but havenít had one of them crack yet.

*Elizabeth Harkin, Wed 8 Oct, 2003.
I also use the PVC pipes to bring the table height up.  It makes a big difference in the look of the booth.  I also agree that if they can see the booths next to you their eyes and attention will wander.  I have quilt display poles and I hang a quilt at the back of my booth to define my space, even though I am selling my jewelry.  It is tall and it gets their attention.  I use a wooden folding room divider on the sides; anything with height to cut the view of my neighbors.  I want to create a vignette that has its own mood or style to set me apart from everyone else. I also like to do something so that if a customer wants to come back she can find something about my booth that will set it apart from the others so she can make her way back to mine and make that purchase. Can you tell I have been doing shows a long time?
*Linda Wright, Wed 8 Oct, 2003. What great suggestions.  I have to agree with you on the organized take down. My husband has been doing craft shows for several years and has always been very particular with how his pieces are stored.  His effort pays off because he always knows what is where.  I have often been scolded for using the incorrect piece of unmarked, unlabeled, bubble wrap to pack something in and I dread helping him pack and unpack. Great ideas from everyone. Lighting, vertical display, color.  I think I am going to set up a test booth in my basement and work out the details.
*Dawn Nicholson, Thu 9 Oct, 2003. To add to all those other wonderful ideas posted, I would decorate a Christmas tree with some of the Santas and ornaments, even a small tree on the counter would be an appropriate and vertical display.
*Rebecca Lavell, Thu 9 Oct, 2003. PVC pipes are great! and light....I am thinking about incorporating them in my booth too.  When I did a show this summer there were two booths incorporating PVC,  They had the whole outside in PVC, forming a ladder type ends connected with long pieces down the sides and then sat wicker baskets on all the way along for shelves......kind of hard to explain but it looked good. I was impressed with how quickly they set up.  So many things come into play.....the space your display takes for transport and the weight and how much help you have lugging things about and the rules for each venue.  I find each show I do I see something I like and I keep changing and altering my displays all the time.....keeps people interested and it keeps me focused too.
*Karoliina Arvilommi, Fri 10 Oct, 2003. Well, we have a large collection of old rigid suitcases, easy to carry, easy to stack, lots of different sizes for different things... and they look really great. Lets all use up our old stuff before we buy new??  Please...
*Trisa Rasku, Sat 11 Oct, 2003. I have an assortment of the plastic containers plus some old cardboard boxes and shelving and I agree that it is good to recycle. By the way, I was able to see Karoliina's wonderful felts in person in Helsinki in September.  I was sorry not to make a connection with the real person, but next time.  I had a great time in Finland and it certainly seems as if felt is very popular.
*Linda Walker, Sat 11 Oct, 2003. I was just wondering if anyone had any photos of their booths that I could look at.  I am more of a visual tactile person than anything else. So far I have the material to cover the table, wooden crates, one of those folding book cases, a 4 foot Christmas tree to hang the ornaments on. My spinning wheel is ready to go, except I am not selling anything I have used it for... Much more stuff and I will not be able to get it into my car, even with the roof rack... Itís a small indoor show, and they will provide a table. I need to go back and re-read all those good ideas...

 Page Updated: 10/12/2003