Biz Tuesdays: The Booth!


Even though participating in markets, fairs, festivals or shows is a whole lot of work, it's also really fun because for most folks, it's the closest you come to having your own little shop! You get to be as expressive and creative as you'd like, and set up your "shop" anyway you like it (within the parameters you're given, of course).

Your booth display--how you design it, prepare for it, and execute it--it so very important for your success at a market. Make sure you plan sufficiently to ensure efficiency and less stress the day of the market. A key recommendation from seasoned vendors: PRACTICE. Practice setting up your booth space about two weeks before the market, show, fair or festival. You don't necessarily have to set up your tent, just duct tape off a 10X10 space in your garage, basement or where ever you have room. You will have so much more confidence going into the market if you have some practice!

Here's a basic checklist to start you off:
-10X10 tent or canopy (find them at Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes, etc. You can buy very high quality tents at Flourish and display walls at Armstrong Products.
-tent weights--you can buy them with your tent, or make your own here, or some ideas here
-tables and tablecloths for display-make sure tablecloth goes all the way to the ground
-mirror if you're selling clothing, jewelry or accessories
-make sure all your items are clearly priced--batch similarly priced items together and make a sign for all ("all scarves on this display are $30")
-business cards--have lots on hand!
-special tax permits/copies of them
-paper and pens
-snacks and water
-small box with office supplies (stapler, tape, push pins, scissors, duct tape)
-headache medicine, antacids, gum
-special notebook for customers who want something you don't have on hand
-extra box of items to re-stock table when something sells
-receipt book
-plastic bags
-paper grocery sacks ("garbage bag" for your booth)
-guest book
-lots of change--don't expect customers to have exact change!
-credit card machine if you have one
-arrange for an assistant--you definitely should have a friend or an assistant at your booth with you
-inventory list
-large suitcase on wheels or other dolly-like contraption

Here is a list of great links for various booth resources!
-Etsy shop help: 10 tips for a craft show booth
-Etsy thread on craft show display ideas

-Awesome Flickr Group: Show me your booth!
-Great blog that's all about craft show design

-Lots of Renegade pictures here
-Great article on cluttered booths
-Display ideas

We'd love to hear your tips, tricks and questions! Did we leave out anything? Want to show us your booth display? Please leave a comment, question or a link!
Have a great week!


  1. great post! this will be my first craft fair and I need all the help I can get!
    Do most vendors have "walls" for the sides and back of their booths? Will the booths be in single rows or will there be a booth behind me?

  2. Some vendors have walls--but you can also make your own walls. Any vendors out there make their own walls? I've seen peg board, and other materials used. I think vendors who are selling hanging art have walls-but not everyone needs them. Booths will basically be in rows, and no one will be right behind you. As we get closer, I'll be sending vendors more info on the parking lot space. Hope this helps and so excited about your participation :)

  3. I like walls! :) Our walls came with our canopy (Costco has AWESOME Caravan Canopies for $250 delivered and includes 4 walls) and we really like to use them. Personally I think it helps your shoppers to stay focused on what is in your shop and keeps their eyes from wandering to other nearby booths. We also use ours to hang our banners and signs. The white tarp-like walls that came with our canopy work just fine, but someday we'd like to make some custom ones. See you at the show!

  4. I woke up last night thinking about this! I have only done one fair that was indoors. My question is how close will we be able to pull up our vehicle for unloading. As I am a vintage seller my stuff has some size and weight to it! At the previous fair I was next to a gal who sold the greatest hair pins and all her supplies fit in one rubbermaid! It was a much different set up process for her! I was envious, I must say!

  5. Don't you just love the middle-of-the night worries that pop up?! We will be staggering set up times for vendors based on booth placement, and you will be able to get pretty close to your booth spot. We'll be sending you detailed set-up info in an email in the coming weeks!

  6. Thanks for the great info! It'll be amazing!

  7. Thanks for the great info and being so organized. Looking forward to my first Horseshoe market as a vendor .