I really enjoyed doing the Chicago ACC show. In fact, that venue
was the very first craft show I ever did. If an inexperienced
first-timer can make it through and not curse then you should have
Load in is pretty easy. If you can roll your things to your booth
yourself then the union guys won’t bother you. As well, if you can
put your booth together by yourself with no mechanized tools the
union people won’t care. But don’t pull out a hammer or battery
powered screwdriver unless you want the union all over you.
Additionally, the electricians checked every booth once they were
set up. Anything without a three prong, grounded electrical cord,
other than low voltage things, they will not let you plug in. No
exceptions. So switch your electrical cords before you go.
However, they won’t bother you while you set up unless you are doing
wiring there at the show.
The customers there are quite varied. Most of them are people who
are at the pier for fun and happen on the show. But a few serious
collectors did show up and some pretty well to do shoppers. Nearly
half the people I sold to were from out of town, really out of town,
like NY and NJ.
The isles are wide and generous. Make sure you have posters so
people can see what you have, otherwise they may just walk by.