While the initial items (for me) are the tent, poles, panels and bins, eventually the product (prints) and “office” items are transported. In between trips, the items located at the booth space remain unattended.
So far, in the times I’ve been doing shows, I have never had anyone steal anything from my booth, during a show or during setup/teardown. Unfortunately, I have heard of others having a different experience.
Prints and Office Materials
After my tent and panels are up and the print bins in place, I’ll get my prints from the car. Unless I have a lot of room around my area (some shows offer more than others), the prints just get in the way. It is more convenient to bring the prints once space opens.
Following placement in the bin or on the wall, the prints become readily available. I’ve never had anyone walk off with one.
A jeweler – who did have items removed – provided the best explanation I’ve heard. My prints are large and can’t be hidden in clothing. While someone could easily take a print, they would be noticed. Much different for the jewelers.
My office items, on the other hand, could easily find a path out of my booth. The Powder Hill Photography “office bin” contains those items for my art fair “office”. Pens, stylus, business cards, etc.
If I lost this, I wouldn’t be out of business, but would be severely hampered. For this reason, the “office” bin is the last item I retrieve from my car during setup , and the first item taken to my car during teardown.
The Showtime Office
During the show, my office is essentially wherever I am.
My ipad, (used to capture newsletter signups), is secured in the locked pedestal stand. This stand is further cable locked to the poles of my tent.
If someone where to grab and run with the ipad, the unit won’t go very far. The cable isn’t very long and the tent isn’t going to move.
My iphone stays with me throughout the show. It is never out of my sight. It is essential for a lot of reasons, not the least of which it is needed sync with my credit card reader.
Prior to this season (2018), I would carry the PayPal card reader in my pocket. This summer, as an experiment, I kept it hidden in my small Pro Panel desk. This worked well, but not necessarily always convenient.
I’m experimenting again, this time using velcro to secure the card reader under my chair. Since it has velcro, I could also stick it to the panel wall, handy, and out of the way. For now, I’ll experiment with it under the chair.
No Cash Box
When I had smaller sized prints, they were priced more for cash. I then used a money waist belt to hold cash, always with me.
I do know of photographers and other artist who use cash boxes. Whatever works is the key, as there is no right way.
Watch your cash
Whether during a show, set up or tear down, don’t loose sight of the money!
We all want to believe no one will steal our money at a show. I want to believe this also – I just don’t want to find out I was wrong!
Cash boxes, money belts, or iphones left unattended during shows are easy targets. They become much easier targets during set up and tear down when our attention is on that activity.
A Short Story
Though I’ve never personally had it happen, I’ll “never say never”.
At a show this past summer (2018) I heard someone had been walking through the fair during set up, visiting booth locations where the artist was still transporting their materials. Some items were at the booth space, while others were still in the car.
As I heard the story, the individual rummage quickly through the booth supplies as artist was away at the car. The individual was only looking for one thing – the cash box/money belt. Not seeing it, the individual moved on to the next unattended booth.
I never heard the rest of the story.
Just be aware
Hopefully, this story – if true – will never happen to you or me. I want to believe everyone is there to enjoy the fair, and the art that is presented.