I recently was a vendor at a popular outdoor Art and Craft Show in Lancaster County, PA. I was excited about being a first time vendor there but I was not excited about the weather forecast. It was calling for rain and thunderstorms both days as well as the set-up day before the event! What could I do? I began to do some research on line and began to prepare for the rain. I'm very glad I did. Let me tell you some tricks and tips you can use for your next outdoor vendor event when you have a rain or shine event.
The first thing you want to have are side panels on your canopy. These are a must if you are anticipating inclement weather. They keep your canopy enclosed and protected from wind and rain.
Here is my outdoor canopy ready for the show to begin. All side panels are up except the front panel.
I discovered you can spray your canopy cover with liquid starch to keep the rain from penetrating through your canopy. Once it is sprayed and dry, the water will run off the roof of your canopy. Be sure to spray the top of your canopy before you set up. I sprayed the top of my canopy the day before the event to give it time to dry. I sprayed it outdoors. I purchased the liquid starch spray at the Dollar Store. I was thrilled to find it there. It had a nice fresh smell which was really nice.
To keep the rain from pooling on the top of your canopy roof, use hula hoops to gird up the roof. The photo shows you how I did this. I used duck tape to secure the hoop to the metal part of the canopy. I also used duck tape to secure the hoop to the cloth. The tension of the hula hoop kept it in place but the duck tape secured it from slipping. On the day before the event when vendors were setting up, one vendor had set their canopy up before the downpour of rain. Unfortunately the weight of the rain pooling on top of their canopy was so heavy, it had collapsed his tent. The metal part of his tent broke and he had to purchase a new tent for the event. It's important to set up at a time when the rain is at a minimum. Another thing you can do is keep your items dry as you store them in plastic bins. I found the perfect size for me at the Dollar Store. I also used very large ziplock storage bags to carry my paintings in.
The day before the event, rain poured so much that flooding occured in many streets and areas. Fortunately the rain did not last long and the two days of the event were cloudy at times but no rain! I'm very glad I prepared for the rain. I learned what to do for any future event when the rain does come. I will be ready! And so can you be. By the way, I looked for hula hoops at many stores and finally found them at Five Below for $2 each.
So at your next art show, rain or shine, be prepared and enjoy the sales and connections you will make!