Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Birth of a Convention Booth . . .

For years, customers at shows have said "I wish I could see how you put this booth together." So Friday, I took pictures all day long. Here they come, along with time stamps and a little bit of commentary . . .

10:35 a.m. -- This is our booth space, chalk marks on the floor to define our boundaries. If it's a carpeted floor, then it's colored tape. The first time I saw it, I was reminded of Les Nessman on WKRP in Cincinnati and the "walls" in his office.

The truck is backed into place and ready to unload. Our booth weighs six tons (yes, he said tons). We got lucky today -- it's pouring rain outside and we got to back the truck inside the building. Only happens three or four times a year -- most of the time, we wheel everything in from outside on hand trucks.

10:54 a.m. -- The gridwall has made it off the truck, so it's time for me to stop unloading and start building the skeleton of our booth. You'll see lots of faces in these pictures. We have "local help" -- friends we've made over the years in various locations -- and they help us with setup and teardown.

11:18 a.m. -- Gridwall about halfway up.

11:46 a.m. -- Unloading continues. Meanwhile, the gridwall is complete, and up goes the sign.

12:25 p.m. -- Lights up . . . lights on . . .

1:06 p.m. -- Stocking the shelves is underway. We're adding another ten feet of demo space this weekend for Sue Rothamel of USArtQuest, so the booth will look a little different on one end.

1:47 p.m. -- Shelves are filling up (this is the point where I realized that if I pulled the Ten Seconds' tower out a little, I could show the whole booth).

2:25 p.m. -- Sue Rothamel arrives with her husband, Dave, and his sister and brother-in-law and start unpacking in her demo space.

Meanwhile, we're still stocking shelves . . .

3:18 p.m. -- Most everything is in place, and now we're setting up the demo tables and putting in the small stuff. First view from the opposite end of the booth.

4:25 p.m. -- Sue Rothamel's demo space is taking shape . . .

We're about done, too. Karen has time for a conversation with Margaret Myers from Sparkle 'N' Sprinkle.

5:10 p.m. -- Cover up the small stuff for safekeeping. We'll finish in the morning -- we're outta here . . .

Saturday Morning, 9:58 a.m. -- All done, waiting for you to come in the front door. I've decided the pictures really don't tell the story -- it's much more exhausting in real life . . .


  1. Thanks for the insight....if I ever had any thoughts of setting up at shows....I shall quickly erase them! Whew...what a lot of work! but then again, you do get to meet some great people!

  2. I appreciate what you do. My hubby and I did antique shows and set up depression glass. Whew....glad those days are over. You earn everything you make...we know it.

  3. Wow, what a lot of work. I am amazed at your pics. Looking forward to seeing you in Akron!! Need help, give me a call :)

  4. Whew! I'm exhausted just looking at these pictures! Lots of hard work. Wish you much success.

    My godmother was from Allentown, PA. Haven't heard that name in ages!

    Looking forward to more!

  5. We can definitely use a couple of helpers in Akron, but since your comment was anonymous, I don't know who to call! Please send me an e-mail at if you're interested.

  6. I was so exhausted viewing the setup that I had to wait until Monday to comment. Despite all the hard work in setting up, you all always are so cheerful at your booth.

    Thanks for the behind the scenes look at stamp conventions.

  7. I am BLOWN away at the amount of work you do for these conventions. I guess I just assumed, you had a big truckload of items to unload (which is enough toil in it of itself) and display at ALREADY assembled booths; I had no idea you had to set that up too! Incredibly hard work and I am totally impressed. I hope you got tons of business

  8. Great pictures and nice that you got to spend such a good time with your family. We've been to Grand Canyon, but were to chicken to do the trail. Good for you.