New to Art Shows and Festivals? Here’s a checklist of items I always bring.

Congratulations! You’ve been selected to participate in this year’s show! And as May approaches and the countdown has begun, I’m sure you’re experiencing a condition that I call “Art Show Frenzy”! When adrenaline kicks in and you spend every available minute preparing for the show. Where day turns into night and you’re still awake while your family sleeps. Your house no longer resembles a place where you live but rather a studio space with piles and piles of stuff.

I get it… and I’m probably painting a prettier picture then it really is. Art shows can be stressful (and expensive to do) and for those who aren’t artists or craftsmen or creators and makers…. they just don’t get it!

But we persevere and have faith in beautiful weather and good crowds, all in an effort to show our work to the world and do what we love with the goal of making some money!

As an artist myself, I’ve done almost a hundred shows over the past two decades with my husband. I always joke if a couple can survive doing shows together, they can survive anything! And we have!  From broken down vehicles to major hail storms to sitting in a mall show learning a valuable lesson….we’ve had some adventures!

Here’s my checklist to what I always pack for shows! If you’re new to shows, may this list be a guide in helping you prepare. If you’re a seasoned veteran, let me know what I’m missing besides the kitchen sink!

So welcome to ART SHOW FRENZY and as Max says, “Let the wild rumpus begin!”


  • Tent

  • Rope

  • Something to weigh down tent. (Stakes or weights or both)

  • Tool Box with the following

    • X-acto knife

    • Utility knife

    • Scissors

    • Screw driver (Both phillips and flat)

    • Pliers

    • Electric screwdriver with bits

    • Zip ties

  • 2 wheel dolly (Can make loading/ unloading easier if you have to park away from booth.)

  • Rags

  • Roll of paper towels

  • Wet wipes

  • Your Booth display. (whether that’s tables/ panels or hanging)

  • Products!!!

  • Bags

  • Tape

  • Bubble wrap/ foam or paper

  • Product description tags

  • Price tags

  • Pen

  • Black sharpie marker

  • Super Glue (I’ve never had to use it… but for some reason my husband always says he needs it.)

  • Order forms if you also take custom orders

  • Business cards

  • Business card holder

  • Guest book

  • Artist statement/ info to hang in booth

  • Receipt book if doing it manual

  • Ipad (Can come in handy!)

  • Credit card processing equipment

  • Credit card processing info/ numbers to call, etc.

  • Phone / charger/ portable charger

  • Accepting credit card signage/ sticker for booth

  • Booth sign

  • Money box

  • Lots of change - bills and coins

  • Basic white paper

  • Notebook

  • Ziploc gallon bags- a couple

  • Garbage bags for the end of the show

  • Small mirror (To periodically check you have no bats in the cave if you know what I mean.)

  • Chapstick

  • Visine

  • Tylenol (After a long hot day, chances are you will get a headache.)

  • Cooler with ice - water, water, water!

  • Snacks that won’t make you crash!

  • Extra ponytail holder

  • Sunglasses

  • Sunscreen

  • Hat

  • Comfortable clothes that you can layer as the weather changes!