I remember when I did my first art walk, it was almost 3 years ago! (Wow, time goes by so quick.) I set up my first artist booth and participated in the Riverside Artswalk located in Downtown Riverside, California. If only this vendor booth checklist was around when I started.
I had no idea of what I all needed for my art walk display. I had never done any sort of art display before, so Google was my best friend. After searching and searching if anyone had wrote an article on what to bring with you for your art walk display… I found very little results! Which was rather frustrating. Therefore, I just decided to wing it for my first one. A “learn as go” mentality.
Since then, I have done quite a few art walks in Southern California (especially in Riverside.) Now I have such a better idea of what every artist should have at their booth whether it’s for an art walk, fair, festival, or farmers market, etc. I wanted to share this article with other creatives who are also unsure since there’s not really much out there. Lucky for you, I’m the list queen! I hope this helps out.
I know a lot of the suggestions are common sense but I sure could have used this list when I first participated in art walks! Keep in mind what I listed below is more of a helpful guide. You don’t “need” everything on this list.
To be honest, I didn’t start with much either for my art booth. I invested a lot of my sales back into my art/brand. My booth eventually progressed over time. Mural of the story: INVEST IN YOURSELF!
Seems like an easy enough item to have, right? Tables are always a must! Whether you want to display your prints, business cards, or whatever else you’re trying to sell, it never hurts to have a table, or two. Heck, even 3!
The plastic folding tables are ideal because you can transport them a lot easier. I use the 6 foot folding tables. They work perfect for most 10′ x 10′ art booth spaces. You can pretty much find them anywhere.
Having a chair is something that is easily forgotten. (Half the time I forget to bring a chair, myself.) Some art walks last a few hours so you’ll end up doing a lot of standing. If you have a chair, you can rest your bum in-between talking to people that come to your art booth.
Bonus Tip: Use a tall chair so that way you’re at eye level with your customers that pop in.
EZ-ups aren’t mandatory by any means. When I first started doing art walks I didn’t have one either. I eventually invested my art sells into getting one. Now that I have one, I can’t imagine going back without my EZ-UP.
I live in the Inland Empire, Riverside, California. (When the summer comes you feel like you’re actually in a desert.) Having an EZ-UP provides a nice shade to your art walk display so that way you’re not frying in the sun. Plus, it just looks more pro!
Cash and Credit Card Reader
The next item on my list of what to have for your booth, and probably the most important. Nine times out of ten, customers that come to your booth are going to be paying with cash. Be sure to have enough cash on hand to give them their change. No cash = no sale.
We also do live in the modern day and age of people wanting to pay with card. Square Credit Card Processing is probably. your best option. PayPal also has card readers that accept major credit cards. You just plug in the device to your phone. Bam! You can start swiping away.
Vendor Booth Sign
Let people know who you are! But most importantly where they can find you. Banners/Signs are perfect for branding YOU and your art. Just make sure to have a call to action. For instance a website, social links, etc. Banners or signs make a huge difference in standing out from all the other local artists that have vendor booths set-up.
I now have a banner and a hand-painted sign that I painted myself. What’s more authentic than that?
Tip: Vista print has some affordable banners.
If you’re doing an art walk in the evenings it’s eventually going to get darker later on in the evening. Depending on the type of art walk or makers market, sometimes they have a generator to use for your booth. In that case you’re golden and you can hook some light ups, no problamo!
Most often they don’t let you bring a generator so you have to find some battery operated ones. Lanterns or string lights work great for that!
Pro Tip: Invest in a portable battery. You’ll thank me later!
Additional Things for Your Art Booth Checklist
If you’re an artist setting up for your craft fair. Your display may require some additional items than the norm.
Art Prints, Stickers, & Other Accessories
It’s important to know that original artworks might not sell as quickly as a print or other small knick knacks. Most people can’t afford original artwork but if you have some prints for sale you have a better chance of selling a few. A couple bucks here, a couple bucks there. By the end of the art walk or fair you realize you did better than you thought. Trust me, they add up!
Grids are more ideal once you’ve been setting up a few art walk displays. I say this because they can get pricey. They’re also a pain to move around, not to mention setting up. Grids give you more space in your booth, since you’ll be able to hang some things and free up some table space. You might not need they right away, but they’re definitely a down-the-road expense. Grid displays are definitely a game changer.
Artist Helping Artists
That sums up my things to bring for your art walk display. You should be all set for your art booth! I hope your booth display stands out and you have a successful art walk! Looking for more art walks to attend to? Visit my Top Art Walks in Southern California article.
Sharing is Caring
Also, feel free to share any of your art walk, craft fair, festival, farmers market, etc adventures! If I forget anything that you feel is a must, please let me know in the comments below. I’m just an artist trying to help other artists succeed. I’d love to hear your suggestions. Happy art selling!
P.S. Don’t forget to shop local art. 😉