Our craft display booth and it’s ‘easy one -person setup’ has drawn a lot of questions from other sellers about “how to” choose the right items and erect them on site. It is quick, easy, and simple. Follow these instructions to make it a one-person operation.
For under $100 I bought (1)”First-Up” brand 10 by 10 canopy tent. Next I bought (24)-6 inch long ‘canopy-ball’ bungy cords for about $20. Then I bought (4) inexpensive 8 by 10 foot tarps, for around $15. I then purchased (1) heavy duty plastic folding table measuring 3 feet by 6 feet long which cost about $35 at Aldi’s. I also bought 2 bags of play sand for $3 and an assortment pack of bungee cords for $10, a cloth tablecloth for $10 and a pack of picnic table clamps. Total cash outlay was under $200.
It is a good idea to do a practice setup at home before setting up elsewhere.
The first thing to set up is the canopy tent. This can be a one person operation if you start by placing it in one corner of your 10 by 10 foot space and anchoring one leg to the ground. You then lift the remaining other three legs up and walk backwards to the kitty corner diagonally from it, extending the sides as you walk. At this point, what you have is a frame pulled out to about a nine to ten foot square space and legs still not extended (about four foot high). I then put the cover on the frame, pull it down snugly over each corner then begin fastening the velcro to the 4 corner posts so it becomes self tightening as I lock the remaining frame into place. You want to remember to put the cover on before stretching the frame into it’s full 10 by 10 foot size so you don’t have to wrestle with it. After the cover is on the frame I then snap each of the four corner pins into place at the top, so it is now tight. I then duck under the tent and fasten the remaining ceiling velcro to the frame. After that is done I raise the legs into a little bit higher position. I release and snap one leg at a time, then another until all four are at about five to six feet high. At this point you can go around the tent adjusting anything into a final position like the velcro strips that anchor the sides to the upper frame. After I double check everything to assure it is fastened in place, the next step is to snap each leg into place as tall as it will go. On my style tent, it is in the tallest position when the bottom hole in the upper part of the leg fits into the top hole of lower or inner part of the leg. I then anchor each leg in place with a ground anchor. Sometimes if I am on blacktop or concrete and I can’t hammer in an anchor, I use large bungy cords to tie down the corner posts of the tent to a bucket of sand. I then attach sides panels with the bungy cords. If it is too sunny and hot I block the sun. If it windy and rainy I block that out too. I then erect the folding table and cover it with an attractive table cloth which is then attached to the table with clop-on clamps.
I bring two folding chairs, a cooler full of ice and water, sandwiches and fruit. If the weather is cold I take along a propane heater and a blanket. If the hours extend into the night I bring a battery operated camping lamp or a trouble light with a long cord for illumination.
Another tip: pay attention to the way other vendors load, unload, set-up, and take down their booths. I learned many time-saving methods from them.
Good Luck…I hope this helps