How Do You Transport Everything?
I am asked a number of questions at art fairs.
Some ask about my printing process. Others are inquisitive about my equipment.
Occasionally, I get asked how I transport my prints, bins, tent, chair and everything I take to an art fair.
That’s a very important question especially for those considering entering art fairs.
All-too-often, transportation becomes the limiting factor. You may want to display more product, just don’t have the room to transport it!
What Vehicle Do You Use?
I personally use a Dodge Caravan minivan.
With the middle and back seats removed, and with the use of an exterior hitch carrier, everything I need for the show is comfortably, safely, and strategically transported.
As my booth display has changed throughout the past years, so has my storage utilization within the minivan itself. Initially everything, including a small 4 foot wagon, fit within the closed van.
Adding the Pro Panel display panels (2014), I now use the exterior hitch carrier for Pro Panel cart, foregoing the wagon all-together.
All matted prints and smaller Dura Plaq prints are stored in a number of plastic stackable bins. These print bins are located in the front right.
The canopy and walls reside in their own plastic Sterlite bin.
The Pro Panel print bins are transported individually, (ie. not in a box), “tied” together with a long velcro strap across the top. This keeps the bins collectively together. They are free-standing, resting against the Pro Panels.
Nine, 7-foot long Pro Panel display panels slide nicely on their side down the middle of the minivan.
The folding director’s chair, step ladder, four tent pole bags, and Pro Panel support bar bag occupy a small space adjacent to the Pro Panel display panels..
Adding the tent weights last completely fills the minivan. My small cooler fits snugly between the front seats.
To make sure I don’t walk into the hitch carrier (which holds the Pro Panel U-haul-it cart) in my haste to set up or tear down, I’ve spray painted the carrier orange. While black was less obtrusive, orange stands out.
Besides helping me, it also helps others who may be walking around the parked cars at the fair. At first I didn’t think I needed to do spray it. I can attest, it has saved me from sore shins a few times.
How Does It All Fit?
Very carefully. I’ve found I needed to draw out a packing scheme for reference. Without this diagram, it is easy to forget how things are stowed for transportation.
Re-arranging things in the vehicle multiple times on a nice, sunny, summer afternoon is never a problem (other than wasting time)!
The problems arise when I’m in a hurry or it is raining. Pouring rain is not the time to wonder how the jig saw puzzle fits together.
I just want to get on the road. Having the packing plan drawn out and laminated has paid dividends in these situations.
Everyone Has A System
With a little thought and careful planning, transportation of your product and display materials can be accomplished safely and securely.
To see this in action for yourself, simply remain after a fair and watch how the different artists accomplish this task. Everyone has their own system.
It’s a great way to get ideas for your own system.