So this is where I, and my sister Jane (who flew in from California to help me, the peach), spent May 16th thru the 21st. Arrived in NYC in the 16th, set up that day and the 17th. Show was the 18th, 19th, and 20th. Broke down the booth after the show was over on the 20th (in a record two hours -- it's amazing what the fear of missing the FedEx Ground Shipment deadline can do to spur you along). Came back home on the 21st.
Above, the red arrow points to MY press packets in the SURTEX® area of the Press Room.
My sister picked a primo piece of real estate to place them.
Above: Pix of my booth, you can click on them to see them larger. We were not allowed to take photos of anyone else's booth (with good reason), hence the sorta tight shots. With glass windows as a roof, we had ample light where we were in the River Pavilion. (There was one more stool in front of the booth; I musta dragged it out of the way to take these photos.)
- My Booth Sign: In reading blogs after last year's show, it seemed that some exhibitors wished that they had customized their booth signs, since the as-is signs are kinda boring: white background, with your company's name and booth number in black, and the flag of your country of residence. When I had called to ask about creating a custom sign, I was told that I could create an "applique". Knowing what an applique is in SEWING, but necessarily in SIGN COVERINGUPPAGE, I did my usual, "???", and was told, "Like a sticker". I thought they meant, "Cover up the sign with a giant sticker", and since I had no idea how to create an 11x17" sticker, that's when I decided to make two color print-outs and have them laminated, to protect them from being ripped or poked. Well, looking at other people's customized signs, a "sticker applique" is really more along the lines of a sort of bumper sticker-y addition. But you know what? No harm done. My sign stood out against the sea of white ones. And I've never been a fan of "do-what-everyone-else-does" anyway. I'm a renegade, I tells ya!
- Prints of Pug calendar pages were spray-mounted to two 20x30" pieces of foam core. Since I didn't know that the metal bars in between the white panels were RAISED (by like 3/4"), and I had some posters that were supposed to span two panels, which would then "sag" (looking like a open book, kinda), it became necessary to create some little blocks that could be attached to the middle of the backs of the foam core to make up for the gap. This was the first time that my inner MEGyver had to take over, and a magazine holder (made of corrugated cardboard) that I had with me sacrificed its life in order to be cannibalized for this effort.
- The laminated foam core posters that you see in my booth were created at Staples. Done for $10 a piece, down from $20 from like the week before I got them made. Who's blessed? I'm blessed. (Oh, yeah, two rolls of 72 dots' worth of velcro to hold up all the posters was a goodly amount.)
- Hung up the faked-out gift bags with those 3M white hooks, the ones where you pull down on the tape to release the goo when you're cleaning up. Package of three hooks; three bags. I love it when a plan comes together.
Stuff I had on the counter top:
- Binder of Illustrations -- Pug calendar, Work I've done For Clients, Altered Book/Graphic Novel Project, Sketchbook Drawings
- Finger Puppet Binder -- Had this divided into Animals/Creatures, Humans/Occupations, Freaky Fingers Side Show, Freaky Love & Every Day, (Various Characters), Halloween, Seasonal/Holiday/Christmas, then had a puppet catalog of all the various puppets that I've made, in case anyone was interested in seeing what I have done/can do, with an eye to manufacturing
- Pillow Binder -- This included Doll Pillows (made with vintage doll clothes as the inspiration), Character Pillows, Couched Cushions/Patterns, and Tea & Egg Cozies
- Home Dec Photo Album -- I decided to put together this little album showcasing pix of my house, knowing that some home dec book publishers have been in attendance at past shows
- Pug Business Cards -- Made with my booth # on them, just in case anyone needed to find their way back to me
- Couched Cushion Business Cards -- For people who were interested in the fiber end of things
- Queen of Hearts Promotional Post Card -- For a reminder re: my finger puppets
- Couched Cushion Bookmarks -- Made as a "giveaway"
Above, four arrows point out: "Hey, Megan, how about adjusting the lights AFTER you're done putting up the posters?"
Above, pointing to Arms' stand: Realized that there needed to be "another level" to showcase Arms, so went into MEGyver mode again, folding a piece of white tissue paper in half and wrapping it around a roll of duct tape. Perfection.
I decided after getting the bulk of the set-up done to rent a shelf for the three days ($80 and change, which included the installation/taking down). Wasn't sure if it would be a "good investment" or not, but having some architecture on the wall looked good, and it was a good idea to have a place to stash the puppets while eating the likes of which can only be described as the bionic cousin of the gyro.
This gastronomic oddity was my sister's good idea of what to get for lunch the first day of the show, after my solicited suggestion of "I don't know... a cheeseburger?" was dismissed summarily with a "Oh, you don't want a CHEESEBURGER!" Yes, but apparently? What I do want? Is a SLEEPING BAG full of LOTION.
She delivered it to me with the cowed expression of one who is about to be beaten, and who knows they deserve it. "Don't kill me", she pre-empted. At first I thought she meant because it had taken her awhile to fetch it, but who cares, wasn't hungry yet anyway. She tried to distract from the ooey-gooey, impossible-to-eat factor by telling me that she had asked them to leave off the onions.
What she told me later, after this thing had been consumed and the Threat of Death had long since passed, was that she had ordered "extra sauce".
During this lunch, which Jane was smart enough to eat at the provided tables away from the booth (while I mouthed to her with big exaggerated lip movements, "Why did you get this?!?"), one of my "carefully anchored" chains holding two pillows and a tea cozy decided to come crashing down. Thank heavens I stopped making pillows out of blown glass years ago.
Since I had like NO materials left in my box o' trix/tools/potential weapons, I had to call on my MEGyvery skills yet again, and so bade my lovely assistant fetch me some coffee stirrers, and those, combined with packing tape, duct tape, wood shavings, and snot, served to form a structure (see first hand above) that I crammed into the metal groove at the top of the booth, which was successful in holding up the soft goods for the remainder of the show. Whew, another crisis averted, thanks to the quick thinking of MEGyver!
The next hand is my sister's, who, to keep herself from falling asleep during the long show hours, played with the puppets that were brought. She put this configuration on her fingers and stated, "Monkey in the Middle". So, naturally, a photo documenting this moment in time was a 'must'.
In other hand news: My porcelain hand, brought to display some guys, had three of its fingers broken off in transit. Gluing them back on became a craft project for the first night at the hotel. We love craft projects!
Also broken: One postcard holder (and another one cracked but serviceable, kinda like me), and two flower pots. Happily, Jane, the Intrepid Researcher, had already sussed out where the nearest Staples store was in relation to the convention center (@ the Port Authority), so we hied there to replace some of the broken bits, and to pick up White-Out (turns out the booth walls weren't exactly free from gouges), and some pop-uppable, wipe-y uppy cloths (turns out the booth wasn't exactly clean, either).
I'll most likely write some more about exhibiting, but want to wrap this post up, so will say that it was fun hanging out with mein schwester (who was a HUGE help), and getting to know our surrounding booth mates:
Louis Vega Trevino Designs
Savannah College of Art and Design
The Peter H. Reynolds Line
... and meeting some other fun SURTEX® exhibitors, too:
M Pierce/ S Beise LLC
It will be interesting to see what business and what types of products result from meeting with the various attendees that I had to the good pleasure to talk with; will keep you posted!
All photos are © Megan E. Jeffery.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.