Venues are one of the biggest deals for many artists. I especially look forward to them as they are fun. I enjoy watching the people walking by as they check out my bowls. I also enjoy when they stop in to talk to me about my craft. It’s not that I particularly love talking about myself. I enjoy finding out what it is that draws people to want to look at what I do. Preparing for a venue however is one thing that can be a bit stressful if not addressed properly and in a timely manner.

Preparation For Venues

Bowl blank stack for venues

I must first complete all the bowls. This includes designing, getting the blanks ready, spending time on the lathe, sanding, and more. There are quite a few steps in creating my bowls, each of which are very important in the process. Once all the bowls are ready for the trip, I can then mark them, create their certificates, and then I carefully box them for transport.

Covering All My Bases

The next step is to secure hotel accommodations as close to the event as possible. I make sure that my booth needs are met. Some venues require that I use a tent, while others may be indoors and need tables only. The venue in Ann Arbor is one that requires a tent setup, so I will be getting my venue tent out to modify the booth. I have to make sure that the table coverings are pristine. With help from Vicki, I will set it up in my shop and lay everything out the way it will look at the venue. This allows me to get a good idea of the placement of everything.

We Have Power

The Ann Arbor venue will also allow me to use electrical outlets. This means that I can bring my monitor and play my intro video for those passing by. I have to make sure to pack a table for the monitor. I’ll likely need to bring a small fan or two for increased circulation in the heat of the day in Michigan.

Table The Discussion

I also have to prepare the tables I will be using. For this venue, I will be painting my table top shelf black to blend with the main table. It is all about perception. People look for me to present a high quality appearance that will compliment my bowls. I use tablecloths that will fit in with the decor of the venue to provide extra storage space for those bowls not on display. The tables need to compliment my bowls, trays, and small drawer cabinets.

Final Preparations

I then have to get things ready for the road once I finish everything else. I have to look at the distance we are traveling and figure out accommodations for the nights we will be on the road. Vicki and I will have to plan how we are going to set up our booth once we arrive at the venue. And then there is the trip back home once the venue is over.

There are a lot of steps in planning, traveling to, and participating in a venue. It can certainly get quite hectic at times. The great thing is that I love going. This makes the process of prepping for venue less of a chore and more of a joy. I certainly can’t wait to get to Ann Arbor. I also look forward to meeting many interesting people that come through our booth.