Ah, there you are, at a convention. There’s cosplays everywhere, there’s a hum of excitedness in the air, and you’re probably internally screaming because, hey, it’s about to be a fun weekend, right?
As you know, there’s a lot of work to put the actual convention on by the convention organizers, but some people tend to not realize how much work goes into what probably is the best part--the vendor room. We get asked, quite frequently by the way, “are you going to be here the whole weekend?” And my sweet congoing friend, I don’t WANT to tear down this booth and go home early. Once it’s up, I fully intend on it staying up until closing time on Sunday.
Today, I want to regale all of you on HOW exactly a booth is set up! It’ll be nice and informative, with lots of pictures!
Load-in times are different for each convention. Some can start at 8 a.m., others can start at 5 p.m. Or even later! It just depends on each convention, and what times they’ve rented their space for. The super good ones start at 11 a.m. for me personally, because it gives me time to sleep in, but it’s not SO LATE that I don’t get to get a good dinner! I’m also just a habitual hibernator.
The following photos are from different cons, but they explain the same process! All of our booths are roughly the same in design across the board (unless Jack goes crazy and wants to try something new!) so they’ll give you a good idea of the process.
Once we arrive at a convention, we check in with the vendor staff, find our booth and begin to unload the van. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours depending on the load-in procedures! And if you’re alone or have help. If someone is going solo to a show, we usually have our lovely Helping Paws come to help us out too!
CHECK IN pic.twitter.com/0sGH25XgyC— Jack Fixter (@xjackxofxhearts) April 18, 2019
This is our lovely convention manager Jack going to check in for her booth at Sakuracon in Seattle!
This is my full van from MTAC. It looks like a lot, but it's actually not too bad!
Now, for the fun part! Putting up grid. This is a relatively short process, taking roughly 30-45 minutes. This is the skeleton of our booth where we can put all of our displays on, and it’ll hold a LOT! Our grid is 8ft tall, and each piece weighs around 30lbs. Yes, we are all very strong. Please do not make us test it. Grid can also be very dangerous because of physics, so if it’s not held up properly, it can come tumbling down and hurt someone! We also make a shelving unit for storage for plush, wigs and t-shirts!
I know it looks bad now...but I promise...
Let’s make this grid pretty! Give her some clothes, dangit! Cloths make us stand out, and make our booth recognizable to our brand!
SEE IT'S FINE. BETTER. UH.
Our tables need some love too!
Tables, cloths, skirts. pic.twitter.com/QNKLYFsu6u— Jack Fixter (@xjackxofxhearts) April 19, 2019
Whered the plush go? pic.twitter.com/VU68CvgRX1— Jack Fixter (@xjackxofxhearts) April 19, 2019
Wait...the plush was all unloaded onto the floor...where’d it go…
Oh! There it is! Hiding! Woah!
Here it is!! pic.twitter.com/8q3xBhfOR1— Jack Fixter (@xjackxofxhearts) April 19, 2019
Up go the shirt displays…
Hang them shirts! pic.twitter.com/6WQq2GpygT— Jack Fixter (@xjackxofxhearts) April 19, 2019
And up go the wig heads, hooks, and banners!
The calvary's here!
Our tables get this really fancy looking cage setup with our brand colors. And so we can hide things. As Jack says, she can hide her stash of Reeses cups. I personally like to bring sandwiches from the void and scare customers with them.
What goes in heeeeere??— Jack Fixter (@xjackxofxhearts) April 19, 2019
Like my reeses cup stash.
Sh... dont tell my husband. pic.twitter.com/aEZ7F3GAe1
This is really starting to look like a booth, huh! The plush get zip tied down to the cage pieces, so they don’t walk off somehow...
And with the signage for all the products, we are complete! How long did all of that take, you ask? This can take anywhere from 5-7 hours to set up! People always love our beautiful booths, and we love them too. We work very hard to make it look the way it does, and we’re glad when people appreciate it!
But Kianna...what about tear down?
We don’t talk about teardown. That’s 3-4 hours of chaos.