There are a few packaging, display and transport items that I use in my art shows that help me protect my items and also serve as great storage for them. So today I’m sharing with you my 10 art show must haves!
Now these items are ones that work for me and my creations, which are canvases, prints, note cards and journals. I wanted items that would protect my creations in transportation to a show, but then (in some cases) also allow customers to view the piece and hold it in their hands without damaging it. Most of these items I purchase through Amazon and use my Prime membership for the free shipping. I am an Amazon affiliate.
- Protective clear bags 8-15/16″ x 11-1/4″ with flap – I use these clear bags for my 8″ x 10″ prints and also mounted prints. They are crystal clear and don’t distort the image at all. They also have a flap sealant so no dust will get inside and they won’t fall out. Best of all, they’re protected from being handled by customers. I use the same type of bag for my 11″ x 14″ prints and also for my note cards a 5″ x 7″ size.
EcoSwift 8.5×11 Chipboard Cardboard – I use these chip boards as backing for my 8″ x 10″ prints. This gives them sturdiness and also serves as a backing when placed in a frame. These are also available in 11″ x 14″ size.
Avery Marking Tags, White, 1-3/4″ x 1-3/32″ – I use these tags for my original canvases that are displayed on grid racks. They are taped on the string to the back of the canvas and hang down so they can easily be seen by customers.
- Avery Self-adhesive round labels – These round labels are used to price my prints, journals and note cards. Although, I do have small signs indicating the prices for these items, it helps to have your items individually priced. These labels also are easily removed if you want to change the price.
- Dick Blick’s Matte 3 in 1 display system – I discovered this wonderful display system recently that makes matting your prints so easy! They offer in one packaging the matte, backing board and cellophane sleeve that seals. All you have to do is place your print in it and seal it. It makes for a great display of your prints already matted.
- Black Canvas Prints Rack – This is a great way to display my matted and un-matted prints. It frees up space on your table and it can hold many prints. They also have adjustable legs, so if you want to place it on your table, you can.
- Grid Display Rack and Hooks – I have 2 of these racks and they are so useful! They have bases that you can leave on during transportation and not have to hassle with putting them on before a show. With the two I simply nestle them together and carry them together. The hooks are perfect for displaying my original canvases that have wiring on the back and also my canvas prints with the key hole hook can also fit on them.
- 10′ x 10′ Pop up Canopy – This was my biggest investment, but my best one too. A patio umbrella really won’t cut it when you’re doing art shows and you want to look more professional. Now, I have used umbrella’s before when I had only a small space and the canopy would not fit, but using the canopy is much easier. It also really protects your items from the sun, wind and even rain. You want to make sure you get a canopy that has a case with wheels, this will save your back for sure!
- Hand Dolly – Many times the unloading area will not necessarily be close to your designated space. So, hand carrying all of your stock and displays can be quite a chore. This dolly will reduce the number of trips and save your back!
- Powered by MailChimp – Even if I don’t have as many sales as I wanted from a show, if I have collected some email addresses, I consider it a success. These are potential customers that have shown interest in you items and want to hear from you again! How great is that?! Start a newsletter that goes out at least monthly and stay in contact with them, offer special discounts, let them know where you will be next. I have one list, but I segment out my local customers and send them one monthly newsletter especially for them. I use Mailchimp as my provider, but there are others; constant contact, Aweber, mad mini.
These are some of the “must haves” that I use in my art business and I hope it gives you some suggestions or inspiration for your business.
Bonus tip: If you’re like me, I don’t like paying for shipping at all! For the last 3 years I’ve taken advantage of my Amazon Prime membership and pay no shipping when I order qualified items on this program! To make it even easier they offer a free 30 day trial free period so you can see if you really love the program as much as I do.
I have more booth display inspiration on my Pinterest board that you can check out here. If you have some tips or suggestions, please share them with us in the comments.
Stay tuned for more posts for my Art Business Resources series.