Craft fair booth design

Hello, planning to show some of my work (and hopefully sell ;-) ), I'd like to attend at some craft fairs in autumn. For this I'd need a portable booth/canopy (wood and rain ...), and think it should be possible to build one myself. Does anyone know of plans or design tips on the net? TIA Markus
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snipped-for-privacy@t-online.de wrote:

I was shopping for these a few months ago. They run about $200 for ready-built 10' x 10' with canvas top & sides. I didn't buy then, but at that price, I'm not planning to build.
Bill
--
http://nmwoodworks.com/cube


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Bill in Detroit explained :

I bought one of those, it took ages to get together, each join of the poles had to be gaffer taped and a slight gust picked it up and bent bits into useless shapes. Maybe you looked at a better one, but you might want to look carefully at the details before you hand over the money. Of course YMMV :) Mekon
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On Mon, 09 Apr 2007 12:56:08 GMT, Mekon

One gallon plastic buckets filled with concrete with an eye bolt sticking out the top helps keep the tent from flying. Six for a 10'x20', one hung at each pole. I have also seen five gallon buckets full of concrete used as anchors.
Mark (sixoneeight) = 618
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On Mon, 09 Apr 2007 06:30:35 +0200, snipped-for-privacy@t-online.de wrote:

I have two of these, both bought recently as cheap garden furniture. One is 10' x 20' and cheap, the other is 10' square and better quality fabric. Cost me 40 a couple of weeks ago. (under $100). I priced up buying the fabric to make my own and that was pretty much the same price, even without framing it. The steel-tube market stall I was using beforehand cost 80 for a new cheap tarpaulin roof on it. You just can't beat the prices on the Chinese retail garden stuff. Get the stuff with the better fabric (i.e. not the flat string polypropylene weave used for Ikea bags). With infinite time and money I'd weld an aluminium tube frame with better joints. I wouldn't make a wooden one, it's just too heavy and clumsy to put up.
I'd like some sort of awning. This would let me fill the tent space with goods, and not have to worry so much about rain getting in. As it is, I can't use the front corners.
I also camp in these at night. A typical pitch is 10' square shop, with a 10' square "out back" for cooking and living. Most stalls limit your frontage length, but they're generous in how far back you go.
Tables are cheap interior doors on home-made trestles with locating pins added. Don't use pasting tables, they're just not strong enough. I don't know of any commercial tables as good, for under $100 each.
I also have a couple of joiner's toolchests, sundry ex-army carrying cases and a big flat-topped trunk. Some of these have racks inside to carry the flat stained glass. When emptied, the big flat-topped chests have a throw over them and make low display tables in front of my main tables.
Have a big piece (usually a big medieval chair) out in front of the stall as an attention grabber. We've also got a small garden gazebo (wire birdcage) which we can hang shiny glassware and mirrors on.
Other stuff you need:
Three people. It's a sod to do it with two, especially all day or long festivals
Lots of cheap Indian cotton throws, to make plain backdrops on the insides of tents.
A lighting rig. I have 240V mains powered, and also a 12V tiny halogen system I can run off car batteries.
Chairs to sit on. Most folding camping chairs are too low and you can't see over the counter.
The catalogue of someone who supplies market traders with paper bags, fancy string etc. They're cheap, a high st. stationer isn't,
A laminating machine (cheap these days). My signs and promos are now A4 or A5, colour laser-printed and waterproof. I can tape or tie them anywhere on the stall and not worry about rain or loss.
Fliers. Lots and lots of colour-printed A5 fliers, with photos on. They're cheaper to print than business cards and much more likely to generate repeat business. You should also have flier handout boxes made in the style of the work you're doing: I've got Gustav Stickley ones and stained glass ones.
A squillion ziploc bags, with your small stuff pre-packed inside and priced. Saves handling, saves loss in the dark, saves confusion, saves theft.
A vast quantity of marker pens, string, paper bags, bubblewrap, tape, gaffertape, sign-making material. Safety pins to pin up throws. Cheap ribbon to tie as loops over tent poles and pin other stuff to. String, twine and rope. Tarpaulins sufficient to weatherproof you against hurricanes. Numerous fluorescent battery lights. Brightly coloured surveyor's hazard tape to highlight your guyropes.
Fire extinguisher, sufficent to meet the market rules. Spare fire extinguishers to sell to other traders who forgot theirs!
Handwipes and water-free handcleaning gel. You often can't wash your hands in the middle of a field, but you still need to fix the tent, then re-arrange your fabric stock, all while it's raining.
Fairy dust. We sell this in tiny bottles at pocket-money prices to small girls who can't afford one of the $100+ glass or bead tiaras. Best seller yet!
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You can build one, but it is better and cheaper to buy. At the shows I go to there are 4 basic types of booth set up: 1. No tent just a table and take your chances. Not a good set up makes you look cheap and cheapens your work in the customers eye. 2. Lawn/dinning canopies. Cheap set up, hard to set up, no rain protection, makes you look cheap, hard for customers to get in, no sides to protect from wind and rain. 3 E-Z UP Cheap set up, about $200 with sides if you shop carefully, Looks good and are the "standard" for most low to moderate end crafters. Easy to set up by one person, offers fair protection from wind and rain. Offers NO protection from high wind, even with 5 gal buckets of cement these things will fly off and roll down the fairway, staking helps but is not good with the E-Z UP type of tent. They have a tendency to leak in moderate rain storms and allow rain to pool in the top. Even with all that they are a good tent for craft shows and do the job for most crafters very well, and are the most popular type of tent. In 10+ years of doing shows I have seen only a half dozen where a EZ UP would not handle the weather conditions with a little care. 4 Craft Hut and Light Domes. Great Tents, Look Great, easy to set up, do not leak, when staked will not blow away. Good lighting in the tent. Altogether the best choice for a craft tent. Down side they cost about $1000+
You will see other types of tents and set ups at shows from RVs with awnings to period type canvas and pole tents from the Civil War era,, even circus tents and funeral canopies.
Standard booth is 10' x10' so you want your tent to fit in that space, you will find other size spaces at outdoor shows but 10' x 10' is standard,
I have been using a Light Dome for about 10 years now and have had only one problem, a broken awning pole, which was fixed over night by the factory. I set up at one show and watched all the E-Z UPs and one building blow away in a Storm. I have watched it rain so hard that you could not see the tent across for you with out a drop of water in my tent, while other tents were collapsing from the weight of water pooling in the covers. I am sold on the Light Dome, however there are many time when I wished I had an E-Z UP as a second tent and would not hesitate to buy one.
You might want to look in to doing some indoor shows, even outdoor shows often offer spaces indoors or under cover.
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Hello, Thank you very much for your comments and tips, all have been quite helpful. Incidentally, a local Borg had a sale on a canopy (I think it's similar to the E-Z UP, with a scissor mechanism and 4 sides) 10' x10' for 215, and I bought one. Next fairs will be in autumn, so I've got some time to get all the other things together. Thanks again Markus
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