When participating in a Trade show or Market Day show, there are lots of creative ways that you can limit some of the money that you have to spend to set up. These are just a few ideas that might help you get started. If you need a tent or tables and do not have them, borrow from a friend. It is expensive to purchase a 10X10 tent for a one or two day show. Unless you intend to enter many shows it is hardly worth the purchase price. Borrow some card tables from friends and family. You might want to cover those tables with some sort of tabel cloth, especially if the tables don't match. Instead of going out to purchase new table cloths borrow some from mom or your neightbor. They don't all have to match. Pick a color scheme and work around that. You can also go to your local party store, hobby store or even local grocery store and pick up a cheap plastic table cloth. You can often find those for a dollar or two. If you tear them or get something on them, then you haven't lost much money. If you need some type of display, don't be afraid to be crafty and make one yourself. If you sell purses, get an old piece of wood, preferrably a couple feet wide, paint it a color of your choice and screw knobs into the side of it. It will be perfect and unique to hang your purses on for display. If you have jewelry, you an make displays out of cardboard. Paint them black, or your desired color, cover them in fabric, hang your necklaces, earrings, bracelets on them. Get pegboard and put it into an old frame to display your earrings. If you have an old wire bird cage around. Spray paint it and us it to hang your jewelry on. You can grab some baking pans out of your kitchen, fill the bottom with beans and place your items on the beans to have a unique background to show off your pieces.
You have to be creative to save money these days and actually, the more creative you are, the more interest you will have in your tent or booth. Grab an old tree branch from your yard and hang the hats you make on it from the side of your tent. If you need a sign, buy a small piece of wood from your local lumber store. They often have some scraps that you can pick up cheap. Get some acrylic paint at the grocery store and paint away. If it will be outside a lot you might want to put some type of clear coat finish on it to preserve your hard work. It doesn't have to be perfect. The great thing about being crafty is that it does not have to look perfect. If you sell a type of object that needs to be displayed at different heights on a table, use a clay plant pot to sit something on. A sturdy shoe box under a table cloth provides some height and interest to your display area. If you have items that hang, some people often will hang them from the sides of the tent.
Don't be afraid to be creative and think outside of the box. Find old things around the house, something in your parents shed, from the barn or from a neighbor. Spray paint and elbow grease are cheap. The more creative your displays, the more interest you will have in your show. This way, all the money your are going to make at the show will be profit, not going to offset your expenses. Blue Raven Creations will be attending three shows this May. Please see our website for details and where you can find us. It would be great to see you there. And remember Be Creative!