Friday, May 24, 2013

Craft Show Tent Advice

So today's story is about buying a tent. Well, it is not so much a story as some sage advice. For the last two weekends, I have listened to the same person ranting about the new tent she purchased. And then buying another tent and making exactly the same mistake! I wish I had photos of all of this to show y'all.

So here's the deal- if a tent says it's 10x10 feet, what does that mean? Well, as it turns out it can mean a couple of different things. You've GOT to read the fine print- the part where they tell you how large the shaded area is. You see, while the bottom of the tent may be 10x10, the top could very well be 8x8. What's that, you say- how can this be? It is the difference between a 'slant legged' and a 'straight legged' tent. So when you read the package, if it says it is 10x10 and it also says it has 64 feet of shade, it is a slant legged tent. Why would anyone want one of these, you ask? Well, because they are cheaper than the straight legged variety, which have 100 feet of shade. And, in case you're thinking- well, two feet isn't all that much, and I can save $40, remember you are actually losing 36 square feet- more than 1/3 of the area.

Got a small setup? The extra room is still nice because you can pull your stuff in to the middle for extra shade and to keep yourself out of a little rain. But these babies are NOT waterproof- they are shade canopies, that's all. They may keep a bit of light rain at bay, but in a rainstorm, they are only marginally useful. Better than nothing, but you are still going to want to have some extra covering for your tables.
Also remember to think of the color of the tent. Some shows only allow particular colors (white is popular), so be aware of that too. White is also nice because it doesn't affect the color of your goods.

And weights are very important! Wind can wreak havoc with a tent. Folks can get pretty inventive with tent weights- tubes filled with sand, concrete weights and bottles full of water are all popular, or you can purchase weights.

Hmmm... what else? Well I never leave my product at an outdoor show, but folks who do often lower their tents overnight- better for both wind and unwanted browsers.

1 comment:

Libellula Jewelry said...

You've made some good points about choosing a tent. I'd like to add that even when you choose what is supposed to be a highly rated tent, you *might* run into unexpected trouble. I've got the Undercover UC-2 Pro but the first tent arrived with a broken/nonfunctional tent leg latch and a wheel broken off the bag. Both had to be replaced. The replacement leg arrived and certain parts, etc. didn't align properly necessitating a bit of metalwork (many thanks to my husband)to get it functional. Had we assumed that the replacement leg was o.k., I would have been stuck at a festival with an unusable tent. *Never leave anything to chance.*