In case you didn’t know, SURTEX has an eZine called “On the Surface” that they use to help promote and inform artists and manufacturers alike about the show and the art licensing industry.  This month’s issue had a great article called “Countdown to SURTEX 2010” and I really liked it.

I was given permission to reprint it here (why re-create the wheel, right?)


In our month-to-month, step-by-step march to SURTEX 2010, October brings us to what licensing veteran and public relations pro Kay Degenhardt calls “the most important task for right now,” determining the size, configuration and location of your booth.

Decide What You Really Need

Trade show success, just like real estate, depends on three factors: location, location, location!

And which location works best for you depends on how you plan to use your booth.  Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

If you are a textile designer. Because designers who focus on the textile and wallcovering trades have asked that an area be set aside for their specialty, the folks at GLM have carved out two aisles specifically geared to the textile trades.  While many of your designs will translate beautifully to paper goods and other products, the size, motifs, and techniques used to produce those patterns are geared to manufacturers of decorative fabrics, home textiles, wallpapers, and even apparel fabrics.  If your designs fit this overall category, you might consider asking for a spot in this special section.

If you are selling designs outright, you will want a booth that can accommodate as many showing tables and counters as you need for your inventory, the scale of your work, and the number of designers and/or staff you will have on hand.  A corner booth is a good bet, as it allows several people to show designs at the same time.

If you are licensing collections,
an entirely different booth display may be more advantageous.  In addition to your latest work, you may wish to feature licensed products already on the market(be sure to call them in early enough!),especially if they are being shown at the National Stationery Show in the adjacent aisles.  By displaying the finished products alongside your newest collection, you’re illustrating your diversity, and also reminding potential clients that your name and work are highly desirable.

If you are a generalist – like many surface designers – you gear your work toward the larger marketplace.  Whether you are licensing or selling your work outright, the question is, how do you set yourself apart?  How do you draw attendees to your booth? The answer: create a unique setting.  Use color.  Study the work of truly great merchandisers.  Anthropologie is one retailer that’s mastered “enticement merchandising,” the trick of drawing customers from one vignette to another.  Take it all in and use it to create your own special environment at SURTEX.

If you are still sitting on your SURTEX application,
get up and get it off to GLM pronto!  Space is limited, so the sooner you apply, the more likely that the organizers will be able to accommodate your needs. Besides, you’ll want all the time it takes to make your space exactly what you decide it should be.

Couldn’t have said it better myself!  So there are some things to consider and prepare whether you are exhibiting at SURTEX or any other show.  I’ll be at SURTEX exhibiting and teaching and look forward to meeting lots of licensees and artists alike!

Here are some links for the SURTEX SHOW:

sign up for the On The Surface Newsletter

register to exhibit

plan your travel & book your hotel

main web page

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara

P.S. another reminder that I have an eBook & teleseminar replay to get you ready to exhibit! CLICK HERE

(disclosure: I receive no compensation for telling you about this)