Juried Art Shows with the Shop On the Road Mobile Boutique

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

Mobile boutique for art shows, vending, street fairs, trade shows
My mobile boutique setup at outdoor and indoor shows, and in transit

I get asked one particular question about my mobile boutique very often online, but rarely in person. The question goes something like this:

"Can you use this setup at a juried art show? Don't they require you to use a white tent?"

People don't ask this nearly as much in person, because they usually see me at a juried art show, and my presence exhibiting there in my mobile boutique pretty much answers the question.

My basic answer as of this writing (Sept. 3, 2019) is: Yes, most of the time juried art shows are happy to include me with my mobile boutique setup. The occasions when I'm not allowed to use it are becoming fewer. I'm currently booked through next April at juried shows where I'm approved to use the mobile boutique. I still have my old white tent, but I don't expect to use it any more.

Here are a few more thoughts, based on my first six months (Feb. through Aug. 2019) using my mobile boutique at juried art shows:

1. Many shows seem to require that all exhibit tents need to be white. They DON'T usually require the artists to use tents in the first place. Their rules leave open the possibility to use other types of booth structures.

2. Most show directors understand that my setup offers many advantages for their show or festival. It provides a unique point of interest, and it helps with safety and security for everyone around. For example, my booth is never blown around by a storm or wind gust like many of tents. I provide a stable, level ground for visitors, whereas most of the tents use an uneven, irregular ground surface as a floor. Also, my visible security cameras help prevent theft for my neighbors, too, not only for me. Usually the show directors understand these advantages based on the annotated booth shot in my application. I also usually reach out by phone or email to see if they have any questions or concerns, and I point out these considerations as needed.

3. I've done eight juried art shows so far this calendar year (Feb. through August 2019). Six of them have allowed me to set up with my mobile boutique. Two required me to use my old tent setup instead, because I had applied with an older booth shot, taken before my new setup was ready for use. Grrr. However....

4. All my upcoming art shows for the next six months have already approved me to use the mobile boutique. The process is getting easier. During the application and jurying stage, my annotated mobile boutique 'booth shot' (see below) is helping to proactively explain how my setup easily fits into art show booth spaces, and addresses some potential concerns. I'm also becoming increasingly selective about my show participation, and I heavily favor the ones where I can set up the way I want.

Mobile boutique booth shot for art show applications
Here's my most current booth shot for my juried art show applications. I submit it with the notes, shown above in white font. I believe the explanation is helpful for my chances of admission into the shows. I block out my company name signage because many art show juries don't want to see any artists or company names in the application materials. help I realize this isn't a perfect booth shot, because it's taken at an angle instead of head-on. I should also probably remove or edit out the fans and mirror, which are a bit distracting. I'll probably reshoot it soon.

5. Finally, to return to the white tent topic: I can actually put up a white tent over my mobile boutique. It seems kinda silly and completely superfluous, but the dimensions fit and it's not too difficult for me to do it on occasion. In fact, this fall I'm participating in two outdoor weekend gift market events (separate from the juried art shows) where the organizer approved me based on my willingness to put up a white tent over the building itself. OK, no problem...

Update, Oct. 2019:

mobile boutique underneath white show tent
And here's what the mobile boutique looks like when covered with a white tent. Occasionally a show director just really needs to check off the 'white tent' box for all exhibitors!

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