Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Organize yourself - my festival checklist

I don’t know why I got out of the habit of my daily “to do” list, but I did. There was something incredibly satisfying about crossing off things I accomplished each day. I can’t say exactly when or why I stopped this organizational habit but I recall it to be around the time I started doing art festivals full time.

You would think that I would use a checklist. With the importance of NOT forgetting something necessary to your booth setup or some other essential items for your show, I should have from it crucial to use, but for whatever reason, I just got out of the habit.

I am rather anal when it comes to my “mental checklist” though and that got me by somehow. But with experience comes age and with age comes brain farts so for 2008 I decided to go old school and start using a written checklist again. From experience I can tell you how big a bummer it is to be hundreds of miles from home and realize that you forgot something. When I use to use table cloths to cover my print bin tables, I was unpacking at a festival and realized I didn’t take the washed table cloths out of the dyer and pack them in my truck

Scrambling to “jerry rig” your booth set up right before the show opens is no fun and put a definite “doubt” in my mind for the entire 3 days of the show. It worked out fine and I don’t think anyone but me knew how amateurish I thought my both looked but I still had that mishap in the back of my mind the whole show. Not very conducive to a strong positive sales outlook.

With that in mid, I wrote this list. Of course you’ll have to adapt it to fit your art media. I’m a 2 D print artist and this checklist is written for that. There will be some basic items that every type of artist will need for a show, which you find here. You’ll just need to modify this list to better fit your needs.

This list is for show essentials only. In later posts I’ll cover things you’ll need for safe and comfortable traveling to and from shows.

Booth Display

Tent or canopy sides & roof
Metal poles/legs
Display walls; ProPanels, Mesh walls, grid walls
Hooks to hangs art from
Rolling print bins (3)
Back stock bin
Tables & table coverings
Canopy weights
Stakes (for use on lawns)
Zip ties
Shims (for uneven ground)
Artist chair
Pedestal desk
Extra frames and framing supplies
Glass cleaning supplies
Fan – summer
Heater -winter
Battery power supply
Greeting card spinner rack
Floor covering (inside shows)
Lights (inside shows)
Ice chest
Water container
Booth banner
Artist statement/bio
Price list

Art – Inventory – matted & framed

1 of each image plus at least 1 backup (these sizes)
5 x7
8 x 10
11 x 14
16 x 20
12 x 12
24 x 24
Greeting cards
My book (Fractals…Artwork for your imagination)


Tools – hammer, knife, screwdrivers, tape measure, pliers
Guest book – e-mail newsletter sign up
Price tags
Credit card machine w/extra receipt rolls
Cell phone interface cord for Credit card machine
Fanny pack – cash
Business cards (4x6 art cads)
Plastic bags
Protective foam corners – frames
9 x 12” manila envelops
Paper towels

PS To Linda, my wife, happy birthday sweetheart!

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