Craft show equipment - tents - cases

This is responding to the questions about tent and cases.

I’d suggest the following decision process: How much money do you want
to spend to see if the show process works for you? Then try to find
used equipment or affordable rentals or borrow some or be creative
and make something up.

My experience is the following - we bought a sams tent and 4 walls
for about $300. You need the 4 walls so you can bundle up your stuff

  • not jewelry- and leave it overnight, 3 walls just make a parachute
    in the wind. You also need weights - we made them of 4" PVC pipe
    stopped on one end with duct tape, filled with easy mix concrete,
    with an eye bolt and nut in the top for anchoring to the top
    section. You need 8 heavy spring clamps to tie the frame to the
    walls and top in the wind. The tent lasted 4 years until unusable -
    from the wind, and just wear. The weights need to be tied to the
    tent roof with straps, not bungee cords, and be anchored to the tent
    legs with duct tape so they don’t swing. the big downside to the
    Sams tent is that the walls are fastened to the frame with velcro -
    not zippers. Wind gets thru, and everything flaps.

Our replacement tent is a “Showoff” from New Venture Products in
Florida. with awnings, vents, extra door, roof
spreader, came to about $1000. Everything zips to everything else.
That was 3 years ago and it will outlast me. Still using the
original weights.

For cases we started with homemade. We found some “dump cases” when
a local fabric store closed out for $10 each, and glass from the same
place. We made angles of the glass, sides of plywood and lined the
cases in blue linen. We covered the bases with the blue fabric too.
First basic lesson here - loose fabric blows around and makes
customers nervous, bad idea. Blue wasn’t very good either.

Second set of cases were the Allstate knockdown cases, #350 - 4 of
them. They are very tall, but otherwise useable - but not the kind
of luxury people associate with nice jewelry.

What we have now is knockdown cases from Display technology, 4321
Edwards St, Boise ID 83703, phone 208-342-7837. They are oak and
safety glass, 22 x 29 x 13. They fold down into a drawer about 1
3/4" high, x 30 x 29. You can set the case on the travel box. They
are held together with black nylon straps that look like classy
racing stripes. They are a bit of a nuisance to set up, easy to tear
down, are compact and fairly heavy.

The support for these boxes is made of plywood covered in black
indoor outdoor carpet - that fold up flat. Genius husband figured
that out.

All this stuff 5 cases, bases, jewelry, table, 2 director chairs,
tent top and sides, weights, and miscellaneous fit inside my VW
station wagon. Tent poles go on top.

If you are set on Allstate looking cases, the #450 knock down would
be my choice. It goes together with fiddly nylon screws that are
hard on your fingers. Buy the transport case to go with it, the
boxes come apart.

Another good looking case set up I’ve seen is from Dynamic Display
Systems - This system comes with
skeleton legs that greatly reduce weight and packing space.

Remember - How you display your work - tent, cases and how you dress,
all contribute or detract from your product. Your success will be
determined by your choices.

Since this is rather lonely work, I love doing the craft shows -
people to talk to, you get to see what they love (and ignore) and you
can make really good money for all your hard work.

Judy Hoch