Craft Shows, Indie Business

Craft Fair Prep: Choosing a 10 x 10 Pop-Up Tent

Update: I ended up choosing the E-Z Up Dome Pop-Up Tent and have been happy with it for several years.

There’s a big part of my life that I’m not sharing much on the blog right now.  The Jane who is getting ready for her first craft fair / arts festival.  But because owning my own business is as important to me as blogging about rental home decor, I think I’d like to start sharing the process.  Oh, and I’d also like to share the process in case any of you can learn from my mistakes experiences.

So let’s get started.  I’m working very hard to prepare for the Viva Vienna Memorial Day festival in my awesome little town.  It’s scary and exciting all at once – there’s so much to do , and so much to worry about, but at the same time, when I picture myself meeting potential customers in my fun little booth that Sunday & Monday, I can’t wait.  Because it’s my first time selling my handmade products to a potential crowd of 30,000-50,000 people, in a space that I paid $275 for, I’m trying to take my preparation seriously.  When I decided sink the dough into participating, it wasn’t just from a sales perspective, but from a marketing angle as well.  The people who come into my booth and don’t purchase, but take my business card, may be future customers – or blog readers.   Therefore I need to be AWESOME at the festival.

The booth starts with a 10×10 canopy tent to protect the space from the sun and [hopefully not] the rain.  That’s a key item that I need to purchase soon.

Cheap Popup Tent OverstockIn reading reviews on Overstock and Amazon, I’m becoming apprehensive about making this purchase.  It seems that people have complaints about every model out there.  Some do not handle rain or wind well, others don’t pop up as easily as they claim to, and yet others aren’t tall enough, so people have to duck to enter.  Budgets are important, especially with a new business like mine, so I need to make the best possible purchase.  And I’m hoping to get the tent for around $100 or less.  Ryan’s doing the research for me now, and hopefully will have a suggestion for me by the weekend.

Do you want to hear more about the steps we’re going through to prepare for the festival? I think I’d like to blog about the process, because when I’ve googled things to find advice or suggestions, I just get a bunch of lame search results from fake sites that are just trying to make ad revenue.  I think it’s about time we took back the Google.

Once we get the tent, we’ll be setting it up in the basement and doing a few run-throughs with the displays, to get your opinions and be sure I’m ready to go on the big day.

If you’ve got any suggestions on which tent canopy to buy (or not to buy), please let me know!

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  • Reply Christina Leaman at 10:19 pm

    I’d love to hear more about it. I’m knocking around doing an etsy page, but I’m intimidated. I would definitely follow you as you go through the craft fair process. Oh and congrats on the feature at Hyphen Interiors with me. 🙂

    Christina aka The Scrappy Housewife

  • Reply Anonymous at 10:59 pm

    Timing is everything! I’m about to be in the market for a tent myself & was dreading diving into that pool. Thanks for posting!

  • Reply Jennifer Laughlin at 11:31 pm

    dooo it doooo it! <3

  • Reply LifeinRehab at 2:52 pm

    We had a pop up for picnics that was impervious to rain and only took 10 minutes for 2 people to set up. It ran us $65 and lasted for four years. Then, I loaned it to the neighbors…

  • Reply Kelly at 6:07 pm

    I hope you keep blogging about this stuff. There are lots of people out there who would find this information SO valuable (including me). 🙂

  • Reply Kacee at 6:30 pm

    I did my 1st art show last July and we got an easy up (brand) white canopy like that one with 4 walls from sam’s club for $199. We were on grass so we anchored it down in stakes. We got a pretty bad storm the one evening/night with heavy rain and wind- nothing got wet. Thank goodness because I sell photographs and they would have been ruined. Then in Aug. I did another one which was on pavement. So obviously we had to come up with a different way to anchor the canopy. For this one my dad made me weights. He used like 3or4″ PVC pipe about 2 feet long with caps- poured concrete in them and at the top end put an eye hook in once the concrete was starting to set. We then used rope to tie them to loops on the canopy. It seemed to work well. We also connected the canopy to the display stands which my FIL built out of old barn wood- to hang framed photographs, I think this helped stabilize both the display and the canopy. Please email me if you have any question about what I just said. Kacee

  • Reply Katie makingthishome at 3:31 am

    oh you know my vote on if you should share this topic 😉 Did you check on the possibility of renting one from a party store?

  • Reply Katie at 12:56 pm

    Just saw this week’s ad for walmart, they have a 9’x9′ for 49$ and a 10’x10′ for 97$. I usually only go to Walmart as a last resort, but hey, it’s good when you’re on a budget.

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 1:03 pm

      Thanks so much Katie! I avoid Walmart too, but agree that it can come in
      handy sometimes 🙂 I actually just placed my order from but
      if I’m not pleased I’ll definitely pop over to the W to check theirs out.

  • Reply Christine Tremoulet at 5:14 pm

     Costco has the EZ-up tent right now for $50 or so! Quite a bargain, I bought mine years ago for $100+ and used it for a ton of craft fairs. It takes 2 people to set it up, but someone else at the fair always stepped up to help. (I of course helped them with teardown later!) Super stable, awesome, I loved my EZ-up tent!

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 7:46 pm

      Oh man! I just recieved one in the mail from Overstock – which cost $120 but
      was the cheapest online at the time. I think returning it would be too much
      trouble so I guess I’m stuck with it, but thank you SO much for thinking of
      me and letting me know.

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