When packing for shows there are obvious things to bring: your product, your float, your Square (or other payment processing tool), a table, etc. But what about all the other things? The things you only realize once you’re at a show and you need it?
This is the point of an Omni Box.
I was always without certain things at shows during my first 6 months or so and it was driving me bananas. I decided I was over being unprepared and was going to make the show equivalent of a first aid kit. This kit, once packed, would be left packed. Everything in it is “extra” – nothing needs to be taken out and repacked (because that was the whole point, I was forgetting!). This means that some of the contents are things I also pack in the rest of my kit. The point of this kit is for it to be extras so that you’re not touching it unless you need to.
The Omni Box is peace of mind.
My kit resides in a dollar store plastic bin. It has a solid lid, is stackable, and fits in my larger tote that I use to bring other supplies to shows. I love these bins because they are see-through, letting me easily locate everything I need. Inside this bin, I also have a 3 pocket pencil case for the office supply items. This isn’t strictly necessary, but it helps me find things easier.
- Two pens (that write well)
- A dry erase marker
- A permanent marker (or 3 different colours)
- Index cards (come in handy for so many things!)
- A hole punch
- Elastic bands
- A ruler
- Scotch tape
- Jumbo & regular sized safety pins
- Bulldog clips
- Stapler (and extra staples)
- Zip ties (lifesavers)
- Exacto knife
- Strong magnet hooks (I have these ones from Lee Valley)
- Extra business cards (in my case, both ShowWiz and Ifs, Ands, or Buttons)
- An extra Square basic dongle, in case my tap malfunctions
- String (mostly for outdoor shows, but it seems to come in handy more often than you’d think)
- Charger (cables for all devices – in my case Micro USB for Square tap and USB-C for phone)
- Some extra tags/bags/packaging
- Small labels/price stickers
- A small container (I use a empty kinder toy egg) with Tylenol and Advil in it
- Hair elastics
Do you have a Just in Case Kit? Or a Show Box? Or something similar? What’s in yours?
Some other suggestions from vendors include: ziploc bags, baby wipes, menstrual products (just in case), an extra powerbank, S hooks, push pins, and a plastic table cloth in case of rain (at outdoor shows).
ShowWiz.ca is an online resource that offers a comprehensive calendar of craft and vendor shows and a vendor directory. Currently serving Eastern Ontario and the National Capital Region, ShowWiz.ca works to connect vendors, organizers, and shoppers with opportunities that work for them.