Road2Ca 2015: the Setup


in a recent post I showed you the ALL-NEW, totally different booth set up we intended to try for the very 1st time at the Road 2 California Quilt Conference and now, with the show in our rear view mirror, it’s time to let you see if our floorplan worked as well as we hoped it would!Β  πŸ™‚

1First of all, Road to California is unique among quilt shows because it’s a family run show with a storied history. We were placed in the “Pavilion” which really is a football-field sized tent erected in the parking lot.. and I know that sounds a little weird, but you know what? …except for the trees (which were kinda pretty), you’d never have guess this was the case. In the photo above you can see that we have our tables arranged in the new configuration out on the booth perimeter.

And on a side note– I planned all along to use the blue draperies supplied by the Conference, but the big surprise was how much I liked the accompanying blue table skirts, so rather than replacing them with our usual purple table tops and black batik skirts, I decided to give this look a go, just to change things up this time. So what do you think? Was it a mistake?

2At left is a picture of the new shelf supports my Dad made for us, roughly half the height of our old ones. The reduced height was necessary for the 3-tier bag display I had in mind. (And just so you know, Dad made these supports out of some old signage, isn’t that cool?)4
Here’s how they looked set up in our new tri-level format (at right).

But you know what?
During the course of building our display, I realized (to my horror) that I had a SERIOUS problem! When I planned my booth layout, I didn’t know that the tables I was renting would be 30 INCHES WIDE!!! YIKES! (Just so you know, this is the 1st show I’ve ever done that routinely provided 30″ wide tables.) Normally they’re 24″ wide , which meant that under my new plan, 12 inches of our tables would be hanging over into the aisle… a definite no-no!

A few years ago I might have freaked out over this, but if 6 years of vending has taught me anything, it’s to be ready to make a change on the fly, so here’s what I did instead (above left)…. I pushed the “low” table under the elevated one to “bury” the extra width…. and yes… it shows a little bit. It makes the table skirt on the elevated table look a little jacked up, but it was OK because we “made it work”.

19aAnd speaking of the elevated table….

Here’s how we raised our work table to the height we needed for our display this time, since counter height tables were not amongst our renting options for this show. See that screw on the side edge of this tube? That is what determines how far the table leg will extend down insidethe tube. We placed the screw at the 6″ mark, which made this table 6″ taller than it really is. Pretty neat, huh?

We found these “magic table leg extenders” online and they’ll come in handy everywhere we go from now on. They were very inexpensive and since counter height tables are more costly to rent as a rule, they should pay for themselves in one or two shows because from now on we can just rent standard height tables!Β  πŸ™‚

7And here’s a look at the bag display we used for this show. (You might also note one of the “indoor trees” in the background.) I was pretty pleased with this look overall.Β  Two of the bags we normally take (a Carolina CarryAll and a Boho Baguette) were hung on the draperies to the right (out of range for this picture).

9Our zipper and bag hardware displays were staged on the opposite aisle. You might note that we added another display this time.

And here’s the best part for us!

Just look at all the extra space we have behind the counter! Not only did we have room to move freely, but we also had full and very convenient access to our supplies for restocking the zippers and notions, PLUS…there was also ample room for us to store our pallet under the tables! (see below)

So… why is this important to us?

For two reasons actually…
1) Because if we can’t store it in our booth, then it will need to be taken back to the warehouse, which means we’ll have to wait for it to be brought back to us before we can pack up at show’s end, and believe me, when the show is over, I’m ready to get on my way home as soon as possible… and
2) This particular pallet was a little larger than normal, which was just what we needed for our large fortified boxes, so I didn’t want to risk not getting my original pallet brought out to me from the warehouse, (which is all too real possibility). Β Β  πŸ™‚


And here it is!

Our new look for 2015! All in all we were very pleased with the functionality, the extra room behind the counter as well as the improved accessibility to our supplies. Of course I’ll have a couple of new designs to add to the mix for our next show, which we’re hoping will be AQS QuiltWeek in Paducah, KY in April, so I may need to make a few small changes here and there, so stay tuned for that?

And now, it’s YOUR turn…

So what do YOU think of “our booth in blue”? Do you think the changes we made in our display setup would make you more or less likely to stop in and shop?Β And if there’s any other feedback you’d like to give us, I would love to hear it, so please feel free to leave your comments and remarks in the space provided below.


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27 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I never saw your other booth display, I’m new to your studio, and the blue booth worked out well. Plain enough to show off your gorgeous bags, and bright enough to give a solid background color to your booth.

    I simply love your bag display! I make and sell bags too, not on your scale!, and have been using covered boxes to add height. The bag stands are going to be a must have for me, along with a regular shelf like yours.

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and skills!
    Beth Peterson
    Dover Delaware

    • Thanks Beth! It was fun to have a new look. Normally we don’t use the table drapes that come with the booth. usually they are VERY wrinkled and cheap looking but these blue ones were really nice! And…the bag stands were very inexpensive and lightweight. Send me an email if you are interested in our source for them. πŸ™‚

  2. Very impressive. I like the blue, and the different levels, keeps the eye moving (but not too fast). The blue “table coverings” seem to focus attention on your product more than the purple. Perhaps it’s because it’s darker more than the color. And the spacing invites browsing without feeling like I would knock over everything else on the table. Frankly, when I see crowded displays, I tend to avoid close examination. The interior space was wonderful – I imagine having enough space to actually sit (both of you) makes the show much less tiring. All in all, great job, from the up cycled table bases made by your Dad to the table under the table. Wish I could have been there. Thanx for the cyber trip.

    • I liked the blue too, but each show has it’s own color draperies so we kinda have to take what we’re given or bring our own which means renting poles. We did enjoy this setup very much and intend to go with it next time as well. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Looks great!
    I like the blue very much! More neutral than the purple and shows off the bags better.
    Keep up your good work!
    Yeah to Dad for reusing, repurposing !

  4. Margaret Johnson

    I thought your booth looked great!! It was easy to find the patterns to go with your samples, and everything was so visible!!

  5. Nice display! Very inviting. But how do you get in and out? It looks like you are ‘trapped’ behind the tables.

    • we had a very thin (18″) entryway at the right side of the bag display area (not really pictured, but you can get the idea on the inside the booth pictures). πŸ™‚

  6. I agree with all that is being said of the new lightweight stands- I accept the congrats

  7. Thanks so much for sharing how you use and make your display at a convention! I’m always looking for ideas on how to display my products when I set up at a convention or craft show. You have some very good tips on how to raise your tables and how to make a second height shelf on the table top. Easy to make and transport. Like they say, “this isn’t your first rodeo”
    The more you set up and try things it seems like you finally find the perfect set up.
    Good looking booth!

    • Thanks Julie but we’re never really satisified. i guess its impossible to be totally satisfied with a temporary display, so we’re constantly tinkering with it. Necessity is the mother of invention they say! πŸ™‚

  8. A lighter look, the blue looks really nice. I’m not a fan of black, closes in the space, the blue makes your booth look more open. Congratulations on another successful event!

    • Thanks Dee, we kinda take the color we’re given…. except for white… can’t deal with the white. In that case we tend to opt out and bring our own draperies. πŸ™‚

      • Do they tell what color their curtains will be? No surprises, I hope! I like the solid color as I feel it lets the patterns in your bag samples stand out more prominently. Your booth looked great!

        • Thanks Beth and yes, at least so far, we have know what color draperies we would see at each venue we’ve visited. πŸ™‚

  9. Vivian Jimerson

    everything looks great. Do you have a schedule of when and where you will be? Can we order online

    • HI Vivian- Our show schedule is published on our website. Just click this link to see where we’ll be in the upcoming year–

      And yes, you are welcomed to shop on our website, We stock and sell all of our products there. πŸ™‚

  10. Dear Kat,
    Good job! I like it, but where did you do your sales? I don’t see any place for that. Wish I could have been there. Have you ever thought of going to the Sew Expo in Puyallup, Washington? It is great, and extremely well attended.

    • We placed our sales counter in between the notions area and the bag display area. It worked out great!
      As for other shows, we rethink our show schedule every year. It’s EXTREMELY expensive to take our “show” on the road, especially since we live on the east coast. It would probably shock most people to know how much expense is involved in vending at shows. PLUS— if I’m away from the studio for too many weeks in a year, it becomes quite impossible to publish new patterns.
      It’s a balancing act, so for this reason we really can only commit to a few shows per year.

  11. By the way, when I clicked on the Feedburner link, I only got an error notice.

    • It seems to be working fine for me, I would suggest you try pulling our site up in a different browser and clicking on the link there. πŸ™‚

  12. I LOVE the blue drapes/table skirts. Looks like a great setup. I would stop and check out the merchandise. More vendors should think about their booth setup to make it easier for customers.

    At a show, I’m only interested in seeing what is for sale. If I can’t see it well, reach it, or have to wind thru a crowded booth, I’ll just go on by. I’m probably not the only one that does that either. lol

  13. Really like the solid color table cloths because they don’t compete with the bags and the blue is a very inviting color. Also like the way the white table top bounces light back up to the zippers/hardware. Know you loved having a place to sit!

  14. Looks great I found the combo of blue and purple very pleasing. Hoping to be healthy enough to make a hidden carry bag for a friend soon.
    nice and colorful as usual and extra room for both of you is great
    Hazel d