I made a check list for my show packing list a whole back, for a big show, and it helped me immensely! Of course I was ridiculously over-packed.. but hey.. you live you learn! I have since modified my list greatly! I use this general list to prep for all my shows. It helps me pack what I need, and eliminate what I do not. I find I modify this often to each event, or to specific events with either space restrictions or other needs. When I go through my check list if there is something I know I don't need, good, at least I thought about it. If there IS something I need, even if I do not use it often at shows, I usually keep it on the list as well. That way when I look at the list I remember. I also have been known to attach a sheet with a outline of the booth I have. 10x10 in comparison to say a 6x14 space is a totally different set up! I can pencil in my ideas, and have a starting point when I get to the booth, which is many times an unknown adventure in itself! Please feel free to use any or all of it. If you would like it e-mailed to you please leave a comment, or e-mail me :) I will be happy to e-mail it to you in PDF Word or Open Office format.
I have a large luggage duffel bag with wheels, and a roller bar that I try to put things like the office and srt up small trays and what not in. I use shoe boxes (they are at the $1 store) and stack them. If I fill it I can get 6 boxes in it, and have room for something at the top. I can also pack it on top of the boxes with my table coverings if I plan right! lol
Any way you choose to pack it, make it as easy break down and re-pack as it is to unpack!
A few tips on packing this stuff up & then some:
~Anticipate the size of the crowd. Do you really need all three boxes of business cards and sales slips for a show that only 1000 people are expected? probably not. Yes we all want to say yes.. but 2 boxes is probably more than enough!
~Organize. It looks not so good when you are fumbling for a pair of pliers or a sales receipt or a pen in the middle of a show. Dedicate a box or bag or section of____ to hold XYZ. Label boxes/bags if you can not see into them, or color coat things.. red for sales supplies, blue for business cards.. etc. Make it work for you! When setting up, it will be easy to have what you need right at your fingertips!
~Zip locks are your friend for small stuff
~Signs do not always reflect what you want them to... So make sure you have a back up. Either print out some signs that you can write in the price or have a blank ready for an item you may have missed! When its all out on the table, there is a lot that you see that you did not see in your studio! :)
~ Don;t try to demo if you know you can not. For whatever reason, be it, to many people, and no one to watch your stuff while you demo, the wrong space, safety concerns, just to much work, your show neighbor keeps knocking into things, your really tired, up all night, just not worth packing, you realize its not the crowd to demo to... whatever! ... dont do it. Have pictures, maybe a book, a few rods of glass, and some beads on the mandrel. Just as good! So much less to have to try and juggle.
~Have a buddy if possible. It is nice to be able to walk around and get a sense of the rest of the show. Not to mention the breaks you will need to get a drink and go pee, at the least. If you dont have a buddy, get to know your show neighbors. Chances are they have been in your shoes, or are in your shoes and are more than willing to help you out. Be sure to be polite. Meeting your show buddies can also lead to seeing them at more shows and networking about shows that are good, and which to avoid. 9 times out of 10, you meet great people! But there are some duds out there, so be aware!
~Don't push yourself too much. You wont want to do any shows again!
More in a few days.....