If you've never done market prep before, it's hard to imagine that setting up an 8x8 booth would involve so much work. We did our first market, Porter Flea holiday, December of 2021 and let me tell you...it was no picnic. The fact that Chris and I walked away from it still liking each other felt like a miracle.
Thankfully, our story doesn't end there. Let's just say that at Porter Flea holiday 2022, we were nearly dancing at our booth, completely overwhelmed with how well setup went. And tear down? A breeze.
I want to help you get there too. Whether you're a seasoned vendor who hasn't found a routine that works for you or you're a newbie desperate to survive your first market, I've got you.
Disclaimer: Chris and I both deal with anxiety and one BIG reason we've pursued thinking smarter is to help manage that anxiety better.
The Week Before the Market
Demo your booth setup At least a week before your market, demo your booth setup We do this in our living room with a measuring tape and painter's tape to mark off the our booth footprint. Does this take a few hours? Absolutely. Will you sweat and wish you had napped instead? Of course. Still, I cannot tell you how much stress this takes off my shoulders on the day of. If you plan to pack it all in your car and don't plan on taking multiple trips, this is a game changer. When you know that everything you're bringing fits, it's one less stressor you'll need to confront on an already long day.
Unpack product and take photos of your setup
During the booth setup, I play with product layout until I'm happy with how it looks. Once it's where I want it, I take photos of where everything is and use it for reference on the day of setup. This will make your booth setup on market day go so fast! I did this for every market in 2022 and don't think I'll never not do it. It's a gamechanger.
The Week of the Market
Collect your supplies You'll want to bring bags, tissue paper if you want it, business cards and anything else that you'll use to present your product to your customer. We store everything in a basket for easy transportation.
Announce your market on social media and via email blast Your customers will want to shop from you in person! Share BTS of your booth prep, show what you're brining, etc. HYPE YOURSELF UP!
Figure out your signage A good sign can help make sure you connect with your customers post market. Some options are a email sign up sheet, a social media QR code sign up, etc.
The Day Before the Market
Charge your card reader Easy to forget but so important to include since not every booth comes with electricity access. You'll usually need to pay more to have this.
Pack up your moving truck or vehicle Do not, I repeat, do not, wait to do this until the day of your event. Market days are sooooo long so the longer you can sleep in or be available for things that will come up or go wrong. The only things we wait to pack on the day of is our retail basket aka card reader and charger, personal chargers, business cards, etc. I will share everything we bring to our markets in a future blog post!
The Day of the Market
Demo Your Booth Setup At least a week before your market, demo your booth setup. Does this take a few hours? Absolutely. Will you sweat and wish you had napped instead? No doubt. Still, I cannot tell you how much stress this takes off my shoulders on the day of. If you plan to pack it all in your car and don't plan on taking multiple trips, this is a game changer. When you know that everything you're bringing fits, it's one less stressor you'll need to confront on an already long day.