We totally understand that with every show comes a lot of questions, even if you’ve done shows for years, and especially if this is your first show ever! We try to be as helpful to everyone as we can, so here are some of our most commonly asked questions:
We do ask that all of our artists at a minimum have a back booth wall. The reasons for this is that:
- It looks a lot more professional than an “open” show
- It allows customers to focus on you, when they are in your booth and not get distracted by your neighbors.
So what does this mean?
5×10 Booths: Even though 5×10 booths are all up against a wall, you will still need a backdrop. However, there are still advantages to having one. For example, you cannot hang anything on the facility walls –at all–. (This is in our permit.) So if you have a back wall, you will have a much easier time hanging things that need to be hung.
10×10 Booths: Some 10×10’s are against a wall, but most are not. So if you have an 10×10 booth, plan on bringing “walls.” There are a number of good solutions for this:
Use your 10×10 tent. Yes, using a 10×10 straight-legged tent frame is a perfectly good solution. Use the frame as the structure, and then hang drapes. The most cost-effective drapes at the right size can be found here: https://www.onlineeei.com/shop_drapes.cfm. Keep in mind that you will need 3-4 panels per 10ft.
In a pinch, you can use the vinyl sides that you would for an outdoor show would also work. It’s not recommended because it can make your booth hot and uncomfortable. If you do choose to go with this option, then I strongly recommend getting the vinyl as clean as possible. You don’t want muddy walls!
Note: ALL tent tops must be removed as this is a fire hazard!
Purchase a pipe and drape kit. If you plan on doing more than a couple of indoor shows a year, especially a show that requires booth walls (and may even have a more strict policy than we do), then you may want to look into buying a pipe and drape kit. The best resource known to us at this time is: https://www.onlineeei.com/portable_backdrop_kit.cfm
To get a 3-walled booth, you would purchase 2 Kits, and then an extra horizontal extension rod and additional drape panels.That added benefit, is that you can jury-rig this set up into a smaller (like a 5×10) booth. You would use the uprights as-is, but instead of the horizontal rods that come with the kit, you can purchase standard extendable curtain rods at a home improvement store (the ones with the “L bend” in them) and place the bend on the hollow top end of the vertical uprights. You would just use as many of the curtains in your kit as necessary to complete the look.
While upfront it is an extra expense, you will save a ton on rentals if you plan on doing high-end indoor shows! (And you can have a color other than black!)
Room Dividers/Privacy Screens. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. As long as your display looks clean and professional, you are good to go! So you can always do a search for Privacy Screens on Amazon (or shopping site of your choice) as an option for creating booth walls. Aim for something no shorter than 6ft tall.
Propanels/Other Professional Displays. Depending on your medium, you may want to consider investing in a professional display system like ProPanels (https://www.propanels.com/) While it is definitely an expense, it is a solid investment, especially if you are planning on doing more high-end shows. Don’t forget that you can purchase them second-hand as sites like the Artist’s Garage Sale Group on Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/304583956319136)
A “Professional Display” generally means:
- Tables are covered from all visible sides to the floor. (The exception would be in some display systems where the tables are designed to not have cloths on them. These same tables have absolutely nothing underneath of them.)
- No boxes, bags or packaging are visible to the customers.
- Displays are neat and well-organized. It should not look like something you would see at a garage sale or flea market.
- Your purses, lunchbags, garbage bags and personal items are tucked away out of sight.
A note about repurposing: Sometimes repurposing an object and turning it into a display works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Keep in mind that overall you want your work to take center stage. If your repurposed display makes your work look cheap, and/or distracts from the work itself, reconsider using that as a display piece. Keep in mind, that just because you can get something for cheap, and it will hold your work, does not necessarily mean that it will serve you well as a display piece. Also keep in mind, when our jurors view your booth photo, if they are distracted by a repurposed display piece, it will almost always not work in your favor!
A “Floor Jury” is when 2-3 members of our standard committee stops by each booth and checks to make sure that everyone is in compliance. What they will look for is:
- Are you displaying the category that you applied and got in for? Example: So if you applied as a glass artist, are you displaying glasswork in your booth? If the answer is yes, then great! However, if the glass artist is also displaying 2D works of art that are not made of glass, or jewelry, and they did not jury in to those categories, then the Floor Jury members will ask you to remove those items from your display.
- Are you displaying anything that is prohibited? The best example of this is any copyrighted character, logos or trademarked designs. If we see something in your booth like this, then we will ask you to not display or sell it at our show. We do have our restrictions listed on our show application, and if you have any questions about your specific work, feel free to contact us.
The good news is that we do not charge extra for electricity! We’ve also done every thing we can to make plugging your lights in as convenient and safe as possible. We have powerstations/power strips placed strategically around the floor so that everyone is within reasonable reach of a plug. When you receive your show packet, you will actually also see approximately how close you are to the nearest plug. On average that would be 30-35ft depending on the show layout. You will not need to string your electrical cord across a walkway. The space we are in is also very well-lit, so it is not hard to light up your space.
That said, to maintain both sanity and safety, we do also have a few rules about plugging in:
- No Artists may plug in to the CREC walls. ALL Artists must plug in to the nearest powerstation/power strip.
- All powercords that plug into a power strip or power station MUST be a heavy-duty 3-prong power cord or surge protector.
- One powerstation/powerstrip plug-in per booth. Please bring a surge protector of your own for multiple plugs.
- You may only use the electricity to plug in LED lights. No space heaters, vacuum cleaners, fans, work lights or other high power draw (halogen) lights or appliances are permitted. With the exception of space heaters, if you need to use those appliances you may bring battery operated.
- Everything must be turned off or unplugged in your booth before you leave the show floor for the day.
Any artist who does not comply with these rules will be unplugged and denied access to electricity for the remainder of the show.
Yes! WiFi is available and assistance will be provided to help you set up on Saturday morning. While WiFi is available, it has a history of getting overloaded. (So please no streaming videos or any sports game that might be happening at the time.) We are recommending that those who can use their cellular data, please do so. The WiFi password and information will be included with your check-in packet.
The CREC provides 24-hour security but does not assume responsibility for any theft. However, it is also important to note that the room will be completely locked and closed to the general public at the end of each day. So far, we have not had any issues.
We do recommend that you remove any valuable items, cash, etc. If you choose to remove items they will need to be carted to your vehicle. Anything left overnight is at your own risk.
If it’s too much to drive back and forth and you need a place to stay, there are a couple of options in the area. Unfortunately, we are not yet at a point where it makes sense to reserve blocks of hotel rooms. Here are some options (as of June 2023):
We typically will have pre-packaged snacks and bottles of water available for the artists this year. You may have food and drink in your booth, however, the facility has asked us to be extra mindful of waste and spills.
We will have booth sitters available and artists may also take a break outside on the CREC’s terrace.
There is no onsite catering or food trucks, so we strongly recommend that you pack a lunch. However, if you need someone to make a food run for you (sorry … our booth sitters and volunteers will not be able to go offsite for you, it would have to be your own helper) there are a few places you could go:
- Starbucks: 2200 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA 19008
- McDonalds: 2601 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA 19008
- The Original Thunderbird Steakhouse and Catering: 2323 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA 19008
- Avalon Bistro: 818 Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
- Havertown Grille: 2409 W Darby Rd, Havertown, PA 19083
- Herosame Japanese Restaurant: 2371 Haverford Rd, Ardmore, PA 19003
- Chung Sing Restaurant: 210 Lancaster Ave, Ardmore, PA 19003
- Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant: 60 Greenfield Ave, Ardmore, PA 19003
- Zoës Kitchen: 761 W Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
- Antonella’s Italian Kitchen: 841 Conestoga Rd, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
We are a volunteer-run, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We ask our members, friends, neighbors –and, yes – participating artists to help out! Volunteers help us keep booth fees down, and helps everyone have a good show experience.
This is important because our show budget is based off of our approximate show costs against an approximate number of artists we think might participate in the show. HGC does not make any money off booth fees. Booth fees pay the costs of the show, including venue, advertising, etc. Our only fundraising is done through entrance fees and raffle tickets, so we intentionally keep our booth fees as low as possible.
That said, we also want to say thank you for helping us out!
We understand that it’s already a lot of hard work just to prepare, set up your booth and sell at a show. So for any participating artist who signs up to volunteer on our SignUp Genius, we will also give them an extra advertising boost in our show program at no additional charge. We will include a photo of your work, your name, email, website and booth number. We hand these programs out to every person who walks through the door! For more information and a link to our SignUp Genius, check out the Volunteering link on our Show Page.
No, we do not ask our artists to donate anything. Our raffle prize is a gift certificate that can only be redeemed at the show. Here’s how it works:
- Drawings are held on the hour
- The winner must be present to win
- The gift certificate can be used with any artist at the show.
- Certificates may not be redeemed for cash
If a person approaches you during the show with gift certificate in hand, please honor it. Fill out the information on the back, and then hand it in to our treasurer or show coordinator. We will make sure that you are reimbursed for the gift certificate.
A number of years ago, we did do a traditional raffle where artists would donate work and people would put their tickets in little bags next to the work. There was an unexpected benefit to that raffle – people would “pre-shop” at the gallery table and make a point to go find the artists who had something displayed on that table that they liked.
When we discontinued that raffle in favor of the gift certificate raffle, the “pre-shopping” aspect was brought up and we decided to keep a table – just not raffle artists work off of it.
Here’s how the Gallery Table works:
- Artists will need to sign a waiver. We’ve never had a problem, and the table is manned, but we do still require a waiver for everyone’s protection.
- Everything on the table is for sale. If someone wishes to purchase off of the table, a helper or volunteer will connect the customer with the artist to complete the transaction. The artist may then choose another piece to place on the table.
- Every item should also labeled with the artist’s name and booth location. This way people can find you when they pre-shop!
Here is a recommended strategy for the Gallery Table: To be completely honest, most of the time, people do not purchase off of the table. So don’t think of the table as a place to make great sales. Think of the table as a way to entice people to visit to your booth.
When you choose an item to go on the table, choose something that is intriguing, unique or especially appealing. It should be something that would draw people in to your booth to see more of what you have. Don’t think of the table as a sales tool – think of it as a marketing tool. If you make a sale directly off of the table –great! It’s also a win if people come looking for your booth specifically because of what they saw of yours there, too.