Saturday, August 28, 2010

New York International Gift Fair - August 2010

Yes, I survived another NY Gift Fair...I would have posted sooner, however, I came home with a terrible cold and guess who got it?...Tess! The little one has been sick for a full week, fever, rash, no appetite, trouble sleeping, crying and so has been a LONG week, let me tell you! (happy to report that she is starting to turn a corner and it seems she is feeling a bit better...phew!)
I actually went into this show not really knowing what to expect. I think that generally, we are all hoping that something magical will happen, that suddenly trade show aisles will fill up with buyers aching to spend huge amounts of money, but so far, unfortunately, this is still not the case. Buyers are still careful, understandably so. There seemed to almost be high fiving going on, lots of "so happy to see you here" comments, lots of buyers stating simply, "well, you are still here and we are still here and that's something!".
We are all trying to weather this storm, come out the other end and still be standing somehow.
I suppose hearing everyone say the same thing in some way is reassuring. It's nice to somehow know that BlueDogz Design is not the only little company struggling. And it was great to see some of our long standing clients. Not necessarily buying HUGE, but buying nonetheless, and every little bit counts!

Arriving at the booth was a bit pallet, which I reported would be sitting quietly in my booth, waiting for my arrival and eager to be set up, was NOT waiting for me in my booth, but rather halfway up the aisle and partially in another nice exhibitor's booth...this was so NOT the plan.Getting that reassuring email from Freeman (the company in charge of drayage at the show) saying that my pallet had been delivered to my booth the day before leaving to drive to the show was apparently a bit of a stretch.
It would not have been so bad if the aisle had been clear enough to get one of the Freeman gentlemen to move my pallet to my booth for me, but our aisle was piled high with crates and bins and booths and junk, there was barely enough room to walk the aisle. This made life a little more complicated. I had to tear down the pallet up the aisle and lug everything piece by piece to my booth, via 3 aisles east and through other people's booths, where we could actually get stuff through.
Honestly? I don't have much compared to other companies in terms of booth decor and storage but this alone took about 3 hours, (always be ready for the worst!).
Ah, the booth...without the stretched canvas walls (as requested) and with the booth carpeting (which we had requested NOT be installed). Well, one out of two ain't bad!
We usually get the canvas and no carpet, eventhough we don't use either, but this time it was reversed.
I italisized the word carpeting because I have to say, WOW, that was a sad excuse for a Carpet!
Not only did it not cover the whole booth space that we rent, missing almost 2 feet along the entire frontage of the booth (if my math is right, in a booth that is 25 feet long that is about 50 square feet, right?). It was even more skinny and non carpetish than ever. Kind of like a piece of black felt taped to the floor. I'm very happy that we don't count on the show carpet to complete our booth look.
Here is the booth:

We ended up ordering electricity this time even if our booth comes equipped with lights. The extra lighting supplied by the clamp lights really brightened things up.
more to come ... stay tuned!


  1. Hi There!

    Thank you so much for all this useful information. It's been so helpful! We are a relatively new company.. about 4 years old. We've participated in the NYIGF, and other gift shows, and showrooms across the country. We're scheduled to participate in about 16 shows throughout the months of Jan-Feb 2014. We're still learning as we go. There are so many gift show tricks!

    My question is about your flooring. Does the shiny white mounting board really hold up? Would you still recommend using the white coated masonite if you could?

    We've never done Pipe & Drape shows. We always have a solid wall in showrooms, or we were in Accent on Design at the NYIGF. My question is... do you remove the curtains before hanging the foam board? Can you request to have your booth with no curtains? Or do you just leave them behind the foam board?

    Thank you sooo much!

  2. Hi Nataly!
    in regards to flooring, surprisingly YES, the mounting board holds up really well, I don't actually feel that the masonite is any better, and much heavier to transport and handle. Furthmore, if you have a weird floor issue, like electrical cables or something unexpected, the board can be cut and you can adapt, masonite is a much bigger job to make changes to.
    In terms of the walls, it varies, some shows you can ask for no drape, but, depending where you are located, they might not be able to accommodate your request, as your booth neighbor might need the drape. Leaving the drapes behind our foam board has never been a problem for us, you can usually move the drape enough to use a tie wrap or velcro tape to get the foam board up easily, plus it's so light that it doesn't take much to make it stick or stand up. You can get fancy and bring some wooden dowel or lengths of wood and strap them to the pipe and then stick your foam board to that. I do hope that helps, let me know if you need more of an explanation, wishing you great shows!