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Thread: Booth Furnishing Ideas?

  1. #1
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    Booth Furnishing Ideas?

    As I mentioned in this thread, I'm gearing up to start doing art shows, and I'm looking for ideas for furnishing a 10' x 10' booth canopy with three walls. I need to display hollow forms, bowls, and smaller turned and flatwork products, preferably in an artful manner. So far, I've got two ugly folding tables, about 72" long and 28" to 30" deep that I figure will get covered with long tablecloths. I'm looking for other ground-level display ideas (like nesting pedestals or knock-down shelves) as well as table-top ideas. like smaller shelves or cases. As a bonus, I'd like it to break down and fit in a Lexus RX300 SUV. (If not that, I do have a Ranger pickup, but I'd have to take the toolbox out of the bed.)

    As I mentioned in the Off Topic forum, I'd like it to look upscale, and I'm leaning toward a fairly minimalist, modern approach. I'm also thinking of using primarily black and white, to accentuate the colors and variations in the wood pieces themselves. Any suggestions for affordable and attractive knock-down shelves and display pedestals will be appreciated.

    Here's just one of a bunch of possible approaches:

    Attachment 8540 Attachment 8541

    I'm open to all ideas at this point.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  2. #2
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    Vaughn,
    At first glance, my thought is that you might want to work up an egg-crate design out of lightweight mdf or mdo, either will accept paint well, allowing you to go with the black and whilte theme. Another idea is to build a few cubes to hold up some of the items, build visual interest in the booth by varying the display height. Sounds like the market you're targeting would find that appealing. Less is more sometimes. I'm sure you'll get loads more advice, good luck with the venture! I'll sleep on it and chime in when more ideas percolate (see what waking up at 4:46 does for one's vocabulary?)
    -Ned

  3. #3
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    vaughn i am sure you have already been to art shows looking for ideas but here's a differnt take on it. go to a art show and look for the first one that catches your eye, not the contents the booth period. then stand back if you have time and ask your self which one is the busyest. people streamin in and out. then go ask those folk or look at there way of displaying there wares. also the location of the booth in the whole show is the key. if they have you back in the midst of the crowd and you dont get seen then it doesnt matter what you are doing for the displays, but if your next to the beer tent now you got the hottest spot going if its hot that day,, you will be surprized at what the folk in the show can tell you even the booth folk will tell you what they feel a good way of settin up a booth is they have made some of the mistakes and have then learned what to do and what not to do..good luck my friend oh be sure to stuff your hair up under your hat )
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Vaughn

    I think Larry nailed it.

    That being said, I also think you're wasting space with your "check out counter" in the front. Most of the art shows I have attended the artists sit off to the side or the back in a director's chair and the space devoted to the credit card machine (wireless these days of course) and cash box is very small.

    Personally, I shy away from booths where the artist is hovering in front seemingly desperate to make a sale.

    You might consider how to incorporate some new age type music as well, did I say iPod?

    I found this link that might be helpful

    http://www.craftsreport.com/august03/sb.html


    Good luck on the venture!

    Jay

  5. #5
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    I like those cylindrical stands. But they do take up a fair bit of space to display just one or two items. However, if built right, they can nest inside each other for storage and transport. Hmm, but if the bottom is hollow, then you can't put a weight in them, so they might fall over. Errr.

    Larry's advice is good.

    I'm surprised at the walls and canopy. Is this an outdoor event? I've only been to indoor events, and a booth like that could feel rather claustrophobic inside.

    Make sure you have lots of business cards to hand out.

  6. #6
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    Hi Vaughn,
    Some good input so far.
    melomine, 1/4" mdf core 4x8 sheets come in different colors. I have used white and black at times over the years, they would offer some advantages I can think of, as shelves. Add a series of 1/4" horizontal slots for sliding the shelves into at different heights (maybe every 2", they don't all need shelves) to accomodate different sized pieces, half round the front edge of the shelves to mirror your turnings and mirror the back to reflect your work. leave the top shelf off and do a half round curved top on the back(unmirrorred at that point) with some inset round fu fu turning set into the back wall like medallions. With a set of these different height, width and depth you could attach even the small standing display racks in a pleasant design that would not tip easily. Several cases for small items could be suspended between larger cases allowing for a creative display there below them.
    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Shaz
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Bulken View Post
    Vaughn,
    At first glance, my thought is that you might want to work up an egg-crate design out of lightweight mdf or mdo, either will accept paint well, allowing you to go with the black and whilte theme. Another idea is to build a few cubes to hold up some of the items, build visual interest in the booth by varying the display height. ...
    By "egg crate", do you mean something like a grid of small shelves or cubbyholes? (Like a wine rack.) I can think of several possibilities along those lines.

    I agree on the varied height displays. Either cubes or cylinders, but I'm pretty sure they'll be incorporated into the setup. The advantage of cubes is they can also offer storage space if the backs are open.

    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    ...go to a art show and look for the first one that catches your eye, not the contents the booth period. then stand back if you have time and ask your self which one is the busyest. people streamin in and out. then go ask those folk or look at there way of displaying there wares. also the location of the booth in the whole show is the key. if they have you back in the midst of the crowd and you dont get seen then it doesnt matter what you are doing for the displays, but if your next to the beer tent now you got the hottest spot going if its hot that day,, you will be surprized at what the folk in the show can tell you even the booth folk will tell you what they feel a good way of settin up a booth is they have made some of the mistakes and have then learned what to do and what not to do..good luck my friend oh be sure to stuff your hair up under your hat )
    We're thinking along the same lines, Larry. LOML and I will be doing what you've suggested next weekend. I plan to see what displays are pulling the most people. I also know about the "location, location, location" aspect. I've worked a lot of trade shows over the years for my job, and have seen the impact of a good booth location.

    Oh, and hadn't you heard? All the arteests these days have the long hair goin' on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Knoll View Post
    ...I also think you're wasting space with your "check out counter" in the front. Most of the art shows I have attended the artists sit off to the side or the back in a director's chair and the space devoted to the credit card machine (wireless these days of course) and cash box is very small.

    Personally, I shy away from booths where the artist is hovering in front seemingly desperate to make a sale.

    You might consider how to incorporate some new age type music as well, did I say iPod?

    I found this link that might be helpful

    http://www.craftsreport.com/august03/sb.html...
    Good point, Jay. I noticed the same thing about the "check out counter" a couple weekends ago (after I had done this sketch). I think I'll end up with the paperwork stuff in a back corner. Based on my past trade show experience, I doubt I'll be sitting quietly in the back, though. I tend to engage people in conversation, not necessarily to sell to them, but just to chat.

    I'll need to check into the music idea and see if there are any restrictions on it.

    And thanks for the link. It was indeed helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    I like those cylindrical stands. But they do take up a fair bit of space to display just one or two items. However, if built right, they can nest inside each other for storage and transport. Hmm, but if the bottom is hollow, then you can't put a weight in them, so they might fall over. Errr.

    Larry's advice is good.

    I'm surprised at the walls and canopy. Is this an outdoor event? I've only been to indoor events, and a booth like that could feel rather claustrophobic inside.

    Make sure you have lots of business cards to hand out.
    I was thinking the cylinders could be made of Sonotube (cardboard), and if they were joined into clusters of three or four (hidden bolts and wingnuts through the walls), they'd be stable. Then simply unbolt them and nest them inside each other for transport. Like you say though, they might not be very space efficient for the number of pieces they'll display. Maybe a few smaller tabletop versions would be workable. (Made of PVC and painted MDF or plywood.)

    All the events I'm looking at are outdoors, so three walls and a canopy top are standard fare. (With the fourth wall available for buttoning it up overnight.) I agree that the canopy would be claustrophobic at an indoor show.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Schaubhut View Post
    Hi Vaughn,
    Some good input so far.
    melomine, 1/4" mdf core 4x8 sheets come in different colors. I have used white and black at times over the years, they would offer some advantages I can think of, as shelves. Add a series of 1/4" horizontal slots for sliding the shelves into at different heights (maybe every 2", they don't all need shelves) to accomodate different sized pieces, half round the front edge of the shelves to mirror your turnings and mirror the back to reflect your work. leave the top shelf off and do a half round curved top on the back(unmirrorred at that point) with some inset round fu fu turning set into the back wall like medallions. With a set of these different height, width and depth you could attach even the small standing display racks in a pleasant design that would not tip easily. Several cases for small items could be suspended between larger cases allowing for a creative display there below them.
    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Shaz
    I think I'm tracking with you Shaz. Can you do a sketch so I can be sure? I hadn't seen the 1/4 MDF melamine, but that sounds like it'd be good for knock-down stuff.

    Thanks for the ideas, and keep em' coming...
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    Lightbulb thats why

    i aint no artist then i cant grow it no more like you can, all i can do is show off the roots, the seem to get longer must be lookun for more nourishment
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    I agree on the varied height displays. Either cubes or cylinders, but I'm pretty sure they'll be incorporated into the setup. The advantage of cubes is they can also offer storage space if the backs are open.
    Yeah, cubes are a good idea. you might need to line the interiors, though, to avoid scratches when you nest them?

    I was also thinking of sonotubes for the cylinders, and that bolt-together idea is a good one. The cubes would be heavier, but also sturdier, I think?

  10. #10
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    Hi Vaughn,
    Hope you are well. I am tiring but wanted to send these ideas.
    Attachment 8623
    Attachment 8622Attachment 8624
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