Eleven CRAZY Days in October- The Setup


seems like we’ve done nothing but get ready for, and then recover from Road trips and shows this year.

It’s been fun, exciting, exhausting and we’ve REALLY enjoyed mixing & mingling with our customers! But you know what else? It turns out that doing two big retail shows in advance of the International Quilt Market & Festival provided us with the perfect warm-up. I didn’t anticipate this benefit, but it was great feeling so comfortable with our booth layout going into the two biggest shows of the year!

So in a recent post we showed you our intended layout for the Houston shows and the adjustments we had in mind…

and here’s how it went!

The picture at left is how our pallet of supplies looked when we arrived in Houston late on Thursday afternoon!

Did everything survive the trip unscathed? Well… no, as usual. There was some damage on a few of the containers as you can see. As a matter of fact, one of the plastic crates on the interior of this pile was pretty much broken beyond repair, but the good news is, nothing on the interior was damaged.   🙂

And here’s where we stood when we broke for supper that evening. The flooring was down, the curtains and posters were up, the tables were placed and the lighting was connected. We left feeling pretty good about our progress.
That is until I woke up in the middle of the night realizing that I had set the booth up BACKWARDS! By that I mean that what was on the left should’ve been on the right, and what was on the right should’ve been on the left. But was this really such a big deal? Well… the hubster didn’t think so, but I felt it was important for me to and the focal area of our booth to face the front of the hall. As people walked that front walkway, I wanted them to be able to not only SEE our booth but be able to recognize it as OURS!
SO… we spent the first hour of our Friday morning “flopping” our booth. (To his credit, the hubster helped without complaint!) And by the way, you may have noticed that we’re “back to black” since I just can’t deal with the white curtains routinely supplied by the convention center.
By midday our tables were dressed, the shelves were assembled and covered and the bag stands were placed.
And in this picture you might notice that we swapped out a couple of our bag samples this time. (I like to change up each show just a little.) I also added a little miniature shelf area in the purse insert area so that they can all be seen a little better from multiple angles.
And if I can EVER get the notions and zipper area of our booth set up in less than a WHOLE afternoon I’ll be thrilled. Now you might remember that I reduced the notions table size from 6ft. to 4ft. even though we were ADDING a new zipper display. It seemed to me that I could make it work based on my garage floor test and I was pleased to see that everything did in fact fit on the table. Another BIG plus for this smaller area was that with the exception of the long zipper display, ALL of our items were within our reach, which meant that not only could we restock from WITHIN the booth, it also meant that we could assist our customers better as they selected the supplies they need.
So… it STILL ended taking me till suppertime to finish (even though I thought i got such a good start on Thursday evening), but here’s our booth all wrapped up in tulle and ready for the opening bell of the International Quilt Market on Saturday morning.

And speaking of Saturday morning... when we walked in there was a little note from the management asking us to removed the little logo banners we normally hang from the top of our 10ft poles. The reasoning?…. we were not to have anything hanging out beyond our 10ft X 10ft booth area which is a little strange, since we all know we’ve used these banners for 4+ years without incident and what’s more, I saw other booths in other areas of the convention center who actually had items completely out on the red rug area in front of their booth (which is a definite no-no!)

So we had a choice… (don’t we always?) Do we start our week off with by making a big deal about this, or do we choose to comply? Long story short… we let it go. We decided it just wasn’t worth it to kick off this important week with a negative campaign. The hubster suggested that we hang them from the table skirts so that they face the other “thoroughfare” leading up to our booth and I liked this idea as you can see in this picture above, taken just moments after the Quilt Market doors opened!  🙂

And now… it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about our Quilt Market “look” and what about our being asked to take down our logo banners? Do you think we should’ve taken issue with that by citing other violations we saw in other areas of the floor? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the space provided below!


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