Thursday, September 8, 2011

Booth Upgrade, Step 2: A New Display Canopy!

So.. I published step one of my booth upgrade last April with the intentions of moving on with step two the following week. That was about 5 months ago. Pathetic, I know.. but, hey! I've been busy; what can I say? But I do know how to stick with a topic, no matter how long it takes. So, without further ado...

Art Booth Upgrade- Step Two: A New Display Canopy!

When I started doing art shows in 2009, I needed a tent to use. After shopping around, I purchased one of the nicer EZ-Up tents. Not the kind with the colored top and the legs that sprawl outward from the top, but a white one with zippered walls that you can roll up and fasten at the top when you're not using them. I was so pleased with it. It even had an awning that stuck out above the front entrance.

Here's a photo of the tent in action, at my very first show.

Not too shabby, eh? So it wasn't the best setup ever, but it was a start. And I continued to use that tent very happily for the next two years. The only real complaint I had about it was that the roof would puddle and sag when it rained very much, and it could cause the water to drip through. But this could be fixed by using some pool noodles to prop it up at the corners.

So why did I need a new tent? I found out last April. I was doing my first outdoor show of the year in Charlotte, NC, and there had been a storm overnight and through the early morning. We set up late because of the nasty weather. My husband, John, and I had just finished placing the last of the merchandise. Then, all of a sudden, a big gust of wind came along. The wind caught the underside of the EZ-Up's roof, and I saw one leg of the tent begin to lift up in the air. I immediately grabbed the leg and held it down to the ground. The gust of wind passed, but it was too late. The tent had knocked into my ProPanel display walls and sent them tumbling to the ground like dominoes. It was a horrific scene. Artwork and panels were lying everywhere, and matted prints and bookmarks were blowing down the sidewalk. Thankfully many of our neighbors came to help (Thank you, neighbors!!), and we were able to pack up and remove our things with very little damage. The Pro Panels are not very heavy, and covered in carpet, and they seemed to cushion the fall for the framed artwork, because none of the glass broke.

However, we did learn a lesson. We didn't trust our EZ-Up anymore. So for the rest of the weekend John researched all the choices available, and we decided to purchase a Trimline Canopy from Flourish. It is a superior canopy to any other that I have seen, and the company was so helpful. They knew we had another show that weekend, and shipped it out right away so that we had it before our next show. Apparently they get a lot of Monday morning calls from artists who have lost their display to bad weather and feeble tents, and are happy to be the ones to the rescue.

Here is a photo of the Trimline in action:

The new canopy does take a lot longer to set up. It comes in pieces that you assemble, rather than a pop-up sort of design, but that 's why it's so strong. It is also made of much thicker, stronger materials, has far better zippers, and the wind/heat vents on the gable ends are really helpful. Even the awning is far better. The old one would sag, especially in the rain, but not the Trimline awning! They have tons of optional accessories, too. We chose the frosty top and awning to let more light in, and added a stay-bar kit to help stabilize the legs. You can also order extra awnings for the sides and back, and lots of other great stuff. It's all on the Flourish website at www.flourish.com.

Questions? Comments? I want to hear them!!

And when you're through, would you mind stopping by my facebook page and "liking" it? www.facebook.com/lposs.art Gracias, Amigos! :D

16 comments:

  1. Hi Laura - I found your blog in May when doing research for my own first show. :) Thanks for sharing so much great info - your new setup looks beautiful! Q: were the legs on your EZUp tent weighed down when it blew away? I am using 40 lb sandbags and that *still* makes me nervous! Also, where do you make room for a desk/table for payment and such? I have ProPanels as well and purchased the desk, but have trouble placing it so it's not in the way of the art.

    Christina

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  2. Hi Christina, thanks for tuning in!
    Yes I did have weight bags on. I had a 50-lb sand bag at each corner. It wasn't enough! And I've heard tons of similar stories from other artists/crafters over the past few months since it happened to me.
    As far as my desk goes, I know what you mean about it being a space-hogger. I work with different setup designs, depending on the show's weather and what type of space I have. (How many sides I have open) This photo shows one way that I do my desk, but it's not my favorite, because you are kind of hidden if you are sitting behind it.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150193898014353&set=a.148498544352.108317.57757589352&type=1

    There are lots of other photos in that album that show different possibilities that I have tried, but none where you can really see the way I usually set up now in a non- corner. I'll see if I have one to upload to my fb page.. thanks for the "like", btw! :)

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  3. Ugh, I was so not wanting to hear that! I was hoping the sand bags were enough, and probably have had a false sense of security too. Now I'm seriously thinking about how I can increase the weight...I have a show coming up very soon! Thanks for sharing the pic. I can see it's a bit of trial & error for the desk...wherever it can fit without being the least attractive option. ;)

    Glad I found you. Your art work is beautiful. :)

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  4. Christina,
    Sorry to give you the bad news about the weight bags. I did, however, find you another pic of my booth. It's not one of the lovlier photos I have, but it shows a way I do my booth a lot. It's open in the back behind the desk, so you get more air flow and access to storage, and the extra wall perpendicular to the desk gives added wall space and stability to the overall setup.

    Here is the photo: Laura's booth photo

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  5. Laura - thanks for sharing! During my first show I had the panels set up in the typical U-shape and it was stifling...no air flow whatsoever. So I can see the benefits of having an opening and the extra room for moving around the desk. I do like that setup. Your booth looks cozy. :)

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  6. Hi! Laura. Your posting is awesome. Your display canopy tent
    can easily attract anyone. I am looking further for this type nice sharing.
    display canopy tent

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    1. I'm a little late.. but thanks so much for your comment! Good luck with your display. :)

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  7. I have been reading several of your articles and I thought I will leave a Short Reply: Thanks =)

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    1. Thanks so much for letting me know! I should really add some new articles. It's been too long! I appreciate you giving me some motivation. ;)

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  8. Hello, I just came across your post while looking for ideas for my first booth setup. I know this is an old post but still so relevant! I was wondering if you would reveal where you acquired your walls and the baskets that you have attached to your walls. Thank you!

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    1. Hi! Thanks for your comments! Yes, it is an old post, but I'm thrilled that it is still helping other artists. The walls that I use are called Pro Panels. The company sells the walls and many accessories. You can find them at www.propanels.com. Interestingly enough, they have recently added a photo of my booth to the front page of their website (with my permission).

      Good luck with your first show!

      Laura

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  9. Hi Laura! Hope you are still monitoring this site! I am currently writing an article on preparing your art booth for bad weather, and would like to use some of your own experiences with preparation. Have you had any other issues? Do you have any further tips you can share about preparing for heat, rain, wind? Here's my direct e-mail: papermosaic@gmail.com. Thank you in advance and I'm looking forward cohering from you!

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  10. Laura, Thanks for all the great info! I am in the market for a new Tent and was hoping to find one I can put up by myself if I need to. Can you set up your trimline alone? Thanks

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    1. Hi Dawn, You're welcome!
      I could technically set the tent up by myself; I've seen it done in the Trimline's instructional video. However, the woman in the video used an extra pole to help. The only part that a second person is kind of required (unless you have the special pole) is while hoisting the canopy off the ground. One person lifts while the other inserts the legs. The lifting job is easy, and if anyone is around at all, you could probably grab an extra pair of hands for 1 minute. If you are using your canopy for art shows, then I would say that you can definitely have a quick hand to help, especially since so many people have Trimlines.
      I encourage you to contact Flourish, the company that makes Trimlines, with any concerns you have. They are extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful, and I know that they would be happy to discuss their products with you. Their number is 800-296-0049, and website is www.flourish.com.
      (I have no affiliation with Flourish, by the way. I'm just a very happy customer!)
      Thanks for reading!
      Laura

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  11. I have gotten tired of bent legs and wind issues with my pop-up (I could write a book about wind & weather issues!), making the move to a Trimline.

    I saw that you purchased the all frosty top. Have you noticed any heat issues? I do pottery and need as much light as I can get. The nice folks at Flourish cautioned me on the heat but since I usually open 3 sides we figured not much of an issue.

    Thanks, glad I found your post.

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    1. Hi. I'm not sure if the frosty top creates more heat or not. I suppose it might, but it's worth it for the extra light, in my opinion. I have two frosty awning and one opaque awning, and there is a huge difference in the amount of light that is able to shine through each.

      If three sides are open on your display most of the time, I wouldn't worry about the (possible) extra heat caused by letting some light in through the top.

      Thanks for reading!

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