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Sea Urchin Studio is a boutique design company specializing in nature-inspired goods for littles.

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NY NOW - building my booth
August 27, 2013
This was taken before the show started, when the overhead lights weren't yet turned on.  Once the show started, I unfortunately forgot to take a better pic.

I realized a few months back, when I started a trade show board on Pinterest, that I'm not the only one struggling to figure out how it all gets done.

After only two shows at NY Now, I'm definitely not an expert but wanted to share some pics and resources that were very helpful to me while working within a small budget.

To start at the beginning, this is what you get when you sign up for an 8x10 booth in the Baby & Child section at NY Now (other sections offer different options).

It can be a bit of a shock to show up and see just how empty the space actually is.  But with a little foam core board, some double-stick tape and a level, it cleans up pretty nicely.
Using furniture that was lightweight and/or foldable was high on my list of priorities since we were driving to the show and setting up without help.  This is also a very useful idea post-show, when all escalators are immediately shut down, and elevators commandeered by hired show movers.  It can take hours to lug that furniture up the stairs.

I found a "pop up" metal table and shelf at Crate & Barrel, and used FLOR carpet tiles in our signature aqua color.  The chairs were tough to bring since they don't stack or fold, but I thought the wood added a nice, natural element to the design.  The horizontal shelf is from IKEA, it weighs about a ton and was left behind after the show.  The baskets are also from IKEA, and surprisingly, they fold flat.  IKEA is an absolute treasure for trade show furniture with it's flat pack boxes, low prices and clean design.

Some of my favorite design elements were:

  • the greeting card shelves (J bead from Lowes, 10' length for $2.00).  It can be cut with sharp scissors!
  • numbered map tacks in place of SKUs
  • vinyl titles to make everything more organized
Trade show booth building tools I wouldn't want to live without:

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