I'm planning for some shows and I would appreciate some tips and
advice on how to secure my booth overnight for multiple day shows.
I'm interested in advice for both indoor and outdoor shows.
I did a show last year that had all the vendors set up in large
circus tents which were closed up at night. There were security
doing foot patrols around the fair grounds at intervals all night.
Mine was one of the first booths inside the tent entrance. When I
arrived the next morning, the tent had already been opened up by the
organizers, and sitting on my table was a motion detector.
After I had left (taking my jewelry and cash drawer but leaving the
rest of the setup and displays covered), the security guards set up
portable battery operated motion detector alarms around the inside
perimeters of all the tents just before the tents were closed up. If
anyone had entered the tents during the night, the alarms would have
gone off and flashed bright lights. Apparently they all went off at
once when the organizers showed up in the morning and opened the
These alarms are available commercially and they're not terribly
expensive, maybe $25-$30.
Here's one similar to the one that was on my table at that show:
I plan to get one before I do any multiple-day outdoor shows this
Other things I do are to cover my tables with large plastic
painters' tarps and clip them to the table legs with metal clamps.
Then I throw dark colored bed sheets over everything and put a
couple more clamps on those too. That way nothing is easily visible,
and if someone decides they really want to see what's under the
sheets, they have to fight their way through both the clamped sheets
and the plastic tarps to get to anything. I also hang a few cowbells
on the clamps that hold the plastic tarps to the tables. If someone
is determined enough to move those tarps, assuming that they're
trying to work in the dark, they'll make more noise than they
expected to. It's not true "security" when compared to locks, walls
and safes, but I assume that thieves are trying to work fast and
quietly. If they can't grab something and run, they're less likely to
stick around long enough to figure out the puzzle of the clamps and
covers, and if they ring the cowbells, that alone might be enough to
make them run.
If I'm using my own tent at an outdoor show, I zip the sides down
but I don't use wire ties to 'lock' the zippers.
I'd rather have someone open the tent the normal way rather than cut
their way through the expensive sides. I take all the valuables with
me when I leave, so there's nothing left behind that's more expensive
than the tent itself.
Feathered Gems Jewelry