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2012 Dakota County Fair Booth Re-Design!

The 2012 Dakota County Fair booth is UP! 

A funny thing happened this year.  The day after I had all my design boards complete and ready to go, I was struck with a totally new idea for displaying designs, and decided to completely re-design it all 10 days before the fair.  Nuts, huh?  It involved many many hours of work and a lot of rush shipping charges, but luckily it all came together just in the nick of time.  And I really mean the nick of time…my last banner arrived in the mail yesterday and I had to set up today!

The booth empty! (almost…just the carpet square)
The booth done!

This afternoon I had a company picnic gig about half way between home and the fair, so I decided to go straight from there and try setting the entire booth up myself this year, sparing my hubby and kiddo’s from the whole ordeal.  I did it in 1 hour and 40 minutes, but I expect it to go much quicker in the future.  This was the first time doing the new display setup so it took me some time to figure some things out for the first time.  I’m betting with this new layout, we’ll have it packed up in a half hour or less come tear-down day.

I’m on an outside corner spot.

 This is my 15th year at the fair in this same spot!  I love my spot…being in a commercial building I don’t have to worry about weather or security.  I’m right inside the huge main door, so you can see this banner (above) from a good distance outside.  Being on the end I get visibility from two sides, and plenty of sunshine and breeze.

The new banner display system

 In the past I’ve had boards that sit on the table.  I had them anchored down really well, and never had any problems.  But, it always made me nervous when a strong wind would come into the building, that it might knock the whole works over.  Thankfully it never did, but this year I don’t have that worry at all.  I took advantage of a banner sale at Vistaprint and designed a bunch of banners that hang from the booth structure.  I then found some adhesive backed clear sleeves that I stuck on the banners, and now I am able to slide the designs into the sleeves.  I love how they turned out…so clean and simple, yet still eye catching, and easy for me to change on a whim!

I’ve only ever done cheek art at the fair, until last year when I experimented with a little tabletop booklet of full face designs and masks.  This year they have graduated to the $10-$15 banner.

Photo collage banner & Mirror Stand

I printed a large photo collage banner and hung it in the side, which eliminated my old system of another table with a large tabletop sign.  Hooray for less stuff to haul and set up!  I made this mirror stand years ago out of plywood.  It has a hinge in the back so I can fold it up for easy transport.  The arms attach with bolts and wing nuts, and they hold the giant mirror that I bought at Ikea.

All in all I think the new design came together nicely!  Time will tell how the banners hold up…but I’m constantly working on ways to improve my booth.  After 15 years, I think it’s becoming quite the well oiled machine!  (Of course, being a retail display designer helps a lot with booth design!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little sneak peek at my 2012 booth design!  Feel free to stop on by the fair and visit usMy mom, Rollie Brandt, will be painting Monday through Thursday, and I will be there Friday through Sunday.  Want to follow what’s going on at the fair this year? “Like” us on Facebook to get all the latest updates!

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