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booth info and shows (long)

updated mon 31 mar 97


Don Jones on sat 29 mar 97

Dear group,

I seldom post long missives but I thought it might be useful for some.
I sell primarily through wholesale shows and I ship all my stuff to the
East coast mainly. This has made me think of lightweight yet functional
ways to display my sculptural ceramic ware (you can see it at my page:

The First thing I did was try to construct a pedestal that could be
assembled on the show floor. I came up with a plastic *L* shaped channel
(through Outwater Plastics, 1-800 526-0462) that would hold 1/8" fome core
into a four sided unit. The channel has hole in the corner to place a
screw to hold the top piece. I made 6 -30" high and 6 - 35" high
pedestals that could be assembled by sliding each side into the channel and
the top and bottom pieces screwed into the corner holes. This system is
tedious to put together but is lighweight , classy looking and 12 sturdy
pedestals can be shipped in a crate measuring 43" long x 19"wide x 19"
deep. this system has lasted almost 5 years and many shows. When I redo
these pedestals I will change to a channel system that is hinged so that it
will take less time to assemble.

Lights were initially a problem. I was at first jealous of all those
people who drove to these venues and carted everything in in large systems.
I would drive but I live in New Mexico and it is a 3-4 day drive to the
East Coast. When you ship it's a little different. I chose a halo system
of track lighting using 2 - 4 foot tracks and eight units. I did not want
to use the cross beams that can be rented from the hall so I assembled 2,
3-section aluminum units that can span over eight feet with adjustable
length being obtained by using bed frame clamps to hold the 3 *L* shaped
units together. All the lights, spanning units, hardware , electricals and
business supplies can be put into another crate measuring 52" long x 16"
wide x 16" deep. I either rent a chair at the floor or use the one
provided. a simple clipboard is my desk. I store bags and such behind the
pedestals out of the sightline of the front. If it is also a retail show,
extra work can be stored inside the pedestals.

Backdrops are usually whatever color I choose for the drapes. I have seen
people have plaster board delivered at the booth and assemble some really
cool corner units using only a matte knife and tape. When finished it is
simply left as garbage. Carpet has to be shipped. They used to sell a
lightweight grey carpet at Standard Brands but I haven't found it recently.

Shipping the work itself was a learning experience. I was told to box
everything up real good and palletize it at the shipper. This did not work
since any damage occurred when the forlklift operator smashed the pallete
into a wall or whatever. I have since double boxed everything individually
and told the shipper not to palletize it. He is then forced to either load
each box seperately or put them on a pallete and carefully balance the
load. When he runs into something, the load merely shifts and boxes may
fall but nothing is smashed.

I hope this is useful for some. It is only for indoor shows though.
Outdoor canopy events are much different and I confess I have avoided

Don Jones