Are You Ready To Produce A Weekly Show?

What is required of someone doing a weekly show? (This article updated March 14, 2008, Friday)

First Steps: Before you need anything else, before you think or do anything else regarding your future weekly show, you need to know that the most important asset you have, more than any camera equipment, is your commitment to do a show that is available to be aired every single week of the year. This means that your show will air during holiday times; it will air during any family crisis times, and it will continue to air even in times when you are not physically able to tape another show for a few days or weeks. You must have that type of commitment to your show and to yourself so that your show goes on, no matter what. That is your biggest asset and your biggest stepping stone that leads you to have a successful weekly show. If you have serious doubts about your ability to commit to have these shows ready, and delivered on time, to the studio, then you need to reconsider your decision and perhaps continue to do specials for a while. There will be a time when you are ready and able to do the weekly show. Do not rush into it, but do it in your own time. If you have decided that you are ready to make this deal with yourself and with your studio, then trudge onward, be prepared, be alert, and be precise and on time as you journey into the adventure of weekly show spots on your own television program guide.

Do Specials First: First bit of advice that I would give to you is that you submit a number of specials first before embarking on the journey of doing a regular weekly show. That will give you hands-on training and you will gain confidence also. Lots of people ask about equipment. They ask if you need very expensive equipment to produce a weekly television show. That is a good question and the answer is very complicated. The key to producing a weekly show is more about organizing, creativity, and also about confidence. You cannot produce a weekly show if you have no confidence to do so. So perhaps your first lesson in television production (in the case of weekly shows) would be confidence 101. You have to know that you can do it and the only way you know that you can do it is if you finally admit to yourself that you want to produce a weekly show. Once you admit that you are free to accept yourself as producer and to go on to the very next step.

The next step is organization, but even more so, thinking about organization. Think about everything you will need in order to be successful at producing a weekly show. You need a host or co-host, or talent or someone who will be on air for you. Then you need a number of producers to help you out. (You will fare better in this area if you have already helped many other producers on their own shows). You need a plan. Perhaps writing everything down will help.

Some Organizing Tools: :

  • A notepad to write your creative ideas in.
  • A notepad or address book or organizing book to hold all of your appointments and show records.
  • pens, pencils, highlighters, sticky notes
  • Some artistic signs or posters (for the walls during your show); perhaps some books or other decorative items that make it YOUR show.
  • Folders and blank papers, some stationery and envelopes.

Those are beginnings. You do not need all of these to begin; These are just suggestions. You take what you can use and leave the rest of the information right there. One of the most helpful organizing tools that I have found are scan cards . They come under the listing of executive gallery online. These are little cards, about half the size of index cards and they are placed inside a folder or binder. Each of your projects (or shows) has one card. If your show is complicated, you might have a card for each section of your show . For example, one card might list all the producers who will work for the show and the other card might list the sequence of what will happen on the show. This system is quite comfortable to handle and it is a very useful organizing tool

What About Cameras? Notice, I have not even mentioned camera equipment yet? Well, you need to be committed and organized long before you seek out a camera. So organize your timing, your show, your guests, talent, hosts and everything in between long before you even think about cameras. Usually the Public Equipment office at the community access station will have all the equipment that you will need. I will write about cameras in another article that I will publish in the future.

Then, so what is your plan? Do you plan to do a weekly show by taping a show at the studio every single week? If that is the case, you will be there almost forever, between locating other producers and finding talent. This is a large, long and hard task. It is not impossible but it is most difficult especially for beginners. Do you have a better plan than that?

Combine Studio and Field Tapings: You can possibly shoot some shows in the studio and then shoot some shows outdoors. Many producers use this system. It gets things done and they wind up with a weekly show and plenty of time to do it in. So, you can plan to shoot twice a month in the studio, and if you plan right and are lucky, you can shoot both shows inside the studio on the very same day. Reserve two spots and tape two shows. As you get more advanced, if the staff permits and you have time, you might be able to tape three shows in one day. (This all depends on your regulations at the studio. Inquire with staff or ask for the manual. Do you plan to do field shows? If you do this, you will need to take the field course at the studio (unless you plan to use all of your own equipment). So, take the course or buy your own equipment. Now, you are making progress.

Develop Skill: t is my honest belief that if you have enough training in field photography, you can do a weekly show with a small, hand-held camera that is not too expensive. Of course, better equipment is always wonderful to use and to have, but if you must use an inexpensive camera, then do it, rather then hold your show back. You have great ideas, and good creativity, now go put it to work on your weekly show. If you hone your photography skills, your steady camera skills, your keen eye and your creativity, you can produce a show with minimal equipment, if that is your goal. To learn more about having and producing a weekly community access show, read some of my other articles. I will be writing more articles on this topic in the near future.

Equipment: Though it is not the equipment that does or finishes the show, having your own equipment will help you continue to have a weekly show. (When you have your own equipment, you can film some shows in the field and some in the studio). The way this helps you continue and maintain a weekly show is that you have your equipment with you at all times. You might accidentally happen across an unadvertised event that you can film. (Always ask permission to film outdoors in private spaces. Most times you are not permitted to film shows, concerts and things like that without express prior permission). In fact, in some places and during some events, filming without permission can be a felony or some other crime. That is why you see copyright notices all over creative works, movies and television shows. Be sure, when filming no private property or when you film during any official performances -i.e. concerts, that you have proper permission to do so. I will write about obtaining permission in some later articles. You can subscribe to my articles to be sure that you do not miss any of them.

Begin with Basics: If you do not have your own equipment and you are considering purchasing some, note that you do not have to buy the most expensive equipment there is. Basic equipment is fine for a beginner producer. Seriously, use basics to start and then decide whether you need more equipment to do more shows. Do not listen to anyone that tells you that you cannot begin with basic equipment. You can! You can purchase a small video camera (that uses mini-dv tapes), a monopod (not a total necessity but a nice addition), and with one more thing you are ready to do your field shows. (I will discuss that one more thing in another later article. I recommend having your own equipment if you are a beginner at doing weekly shows. The reason for this is that you will save hours and hours of time by using your own equipment. You will not have to reserve equipment to do shows, and that alone saves you weeks of time at the end of the year.

Start With Minimal Expense: You can begin with a camera that is under $400. That is correct. You do not have to begin with a camera that costs thousands of dollars. If you have a good eye, steady hand, and a monopod, you can begin for under $400. The key to good production is not always expensive equipment, but it is more attitude, eye, respect, creativity, and dedication to the direction that you choose. The key is persistence, using good goals and organizing skills, good networking, a strong faith, and more persistence. If you can manage those, you can make it in community access television without the major expense of high-priced cameras and other equipment.

Note About Minimal Equipment: In order to get by with minimal equipment, you need to have some experience in photography or some prior training. If you are coming into television production cold, with no art, background or production experience at all, it might be harder for you with the minimal equipment. I suggest that you read up on photography at the least, even if you have not been to photography school. Check out these two series of books, the Kodak series and also any and all books by John Hedgecoe. I highly recommend John Hedgecoe books because he takes awesome photos, but also is a great teacher. His illustrations, instructions, and everything else he packages in his books are well worth the money. If you cannot afford to buy these books new, look for them at garage sales. Most libraries will have at least one John Hedgecoe book. I have not yet seen a library that does not have one, two or three of them. I believe he is the best that a beginner can learn from, and professionals too, can refresh their memory and solidify their technique by checking out John Hedgecoe.

You can take a short course at most any CUNY college or the longer course at NYI in New York City. Any photography or art class will help you improve your show, especially when using minimal equipment.

Everything You Need To Know About Trade Show Displays

When it comes to fixing up a trade show, there are various points as well as factors that need to be considered. Since it is a trade show, however, the displays are deemed highly important for the success of the show since it will be the selling point of the whole show. It is therefore important to come up with trade show displays that are of incredibly good quality and a definite value for viewers.

1. Types Of Displays

There are all sorts of trade show displays that can be purchased from different sources. You can try getting your trade show displays from the internet where you can choose from numerous numbers of manufacturers. Or if pictures don’t really work for you, it might therefore be best to get your stocks of trade show displays from local manufacturers. This is better for you because you can see the merchandise beforehand to ensure you will be happy with it before it is purchased.

2. Your Displays Are Your Most Important Investment

Trade show displays greatly vary so starting from the trade show displays that are meant for table top use. If this is your trade show then it is it is useful to bear in mind that these kinds of trade shows displays are being offered for a very minimal price. This is because there are many manufacturers and suppliers who make these kinds of merchandise. There are also a lot of designs you can get for this kind of trade show display. Therefore, this is a very good investment for you to make. Such trade show displays for the table top styles are as follows:

– The pop-up

– Folding panel

– Prezenta show style

– Show max table top

3. Floor Standing Displays

These trade show displays are also called as the freestanding displays that are designed to be able to stand alone during the trade show. There are many different sizes as well as sizes and colors for these floor standing trade show displays, the most popular being floor standing trade show display models that are 10 foot-long pop-ups. The floor standing trade show displays also come in the folding panel type of display.

4. Roll-Up Displays

There is also the roll-up trade show display. The roll-up trade show display is also often referred to as the banner stands. The banners shades or the banner blades are portable trade show displays that offer tremendous flexibility and are most often used for either the trade show display stand alone units or the ones that are being used in conjunction with a larger trade show display in order to be able to highlight a particular item of interest in a trade show. This type of trade show displays are lightweight in design and are small as well as compact in size that makes them the perfect traveling trade show displays since they are also quick and extremely easy to be set up. There are two kinds of the roll up trade show displays, the single-sided roll-up trade show display as well as the dual-sided roll-up trade show display.

5. Acessories

Other trade show displays that you can purchase either from the internet trade show display stores or from the local trade show display merchants are the so-called trade show display accessories that are trade show display pieces that will not only complement your other trade show displays but can pull off that finishing touch to your trade show display. Trade show display accessories are the following:

– Extra halogen lights

– Trade show display carpet

– Podium kit

– Director’s chair

6. Good Luck!

The success of your trade show is heavily reliant on your trade show displays that is why you need to find really good pieces to act as your trade show displays. May it be newly made custom trade show displays or second had trade show displays, it really does not matter how much it costs as long as it each and every bit of you trade show displays complement each other and look great together. That is really the main key to a successful trade show.

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You can make good extra money selling your handmade jewelry and crafts at local art shows and festivals. Start near where you live, grab an artsy friend and get started promoting your business and crafts today. Learn to create eye-catching, colorful, lightweight displays that will make craft show selling a breeze.

Start in your home town. Sign yourself up for a local craft show or festival. Pick a craft show with a booth fee that is under $100.

Ideally, you should pick a fall show or craft festival. Fall festivals and pre-Christmas craft shows are extremely lucrative because buyers are searching for handmade gifts. If you make quality pieces, you have the potential to do very well selling in December shows. Juried craft shows require an application to assess whether the quality of your work fits the type of show. Vendors are screened by a jury (which can be one person like the craft show organizer or a group of people on the board or committee) to make sure that the artwork is appropriate for the particular type of show. In some cases, juried shows limit the number of crafters in each category. Handmade jewelry is an extremely popular category. Jewelry making encompasses a wide range of materials. Although each designer may make a different types or style of jewelry such as leather bracelets or spoon rings, buyers and show promoters like to see a wide range of artwork. You will be competing for spots with seasoned crafters and new jewelry artists. Your application for a juried show must captivate the jury. Submit only high quality photos. Often applications require a written section which includes a description of your work as well as photos of your craft show booth setup and artwork.

Non-juried shows usually have lower booth fees. Booth fees are based on art/craft show quality. Small shows that are not juried generally attract fewer customers. Paying high booth fees does not guarantee that you will make more money, it can mean the organizer has spent money advertising the show. If the booth fee is very high, say $500 or $1000 and up, you can expect excellent show promotion and larger crowds. Ask other experienced vendors which shows they recommend.

When you are first starting out, you will probably want to select a non-juried craft show. These “craft” shows often allow sellers of Pampered Chef and Mary Kay as well as individual artists. You can ask the promoter if that’s the case. Some organizers are eager to book as many vendors as possible and do not care if work is handmade. This can be discouraging as an artist but the most important factor when starting out is simply to gain exposure. Put yourself out there. As you gain experience, you can evaluate the type of shows and focus on the shows that you enjoyed most and eliminate ones that were not profitable.

Local churches often hold craft shows on weekends. That is a great way to gain local exposure and test the market. I suggest you avoid flea market sales unless you can price your work dirt cheap. Table fees at flea markets are super low. But buyers are not looking for handcrafted designs. They want cheap goods. It is possible that there are better flea markets in your area that would be worth checking out. Farmer’s markets are another venue worth checking out. Some are very selective. They may not allow jewelry making unless you can show that you use only materials which you produce.

When I sold my jewelry in Traveler’s Rest, SC, I met another artist who made high end wooden furniture he sold out of a booth at the Barnyard Flea Market. He had a booth with a roll-up garage door so he was able to store and lock his furniture up at the end of the show. That might be handy if your booth set-up requires large fixtures. Scout the market first and ask artists about their sales.

Some craft shows are so successful that they have waiting lists for future years. This is a really good sign. Why? Returning vendors indicate quality craft shows and good money making potential for artists. Listen to feedback from other artists when planning your craft show schedule.

Seasoned artists plan their show schedules many months in advance and always notify their buyers through emails or postcards. Start a mailing list and let your customers know your schedule by sending out emails on a regular basis. That is the key to good sales. That way, even if a particular show is slow, you will have guaranteed sales. You may ask customers who have placed custom orders to meet you at a show. That can lead to more sales once they see what else you have created. Craft shows are very popular.

My first craft show (as a seller) was the Cotton Ginning Days Festival in Dallas, NC. My friend Candace asked me to join her and split the booth rent. For the three day event, the booth rent was very cheap. It was $30 for a 10 by 10 booth in a horse stall. Those three days taught me a lot about what to pack, what to expect and which items sold the best. The days were very long and sales were decent for my jewelry considering I didn’t have a huge inventory. Candace’s fabric crafts did not sell at all because she had priced her work extremely high and the show was not an art gallery. Buyers wanted inexpensive goods like $5 and $10 birdhouses. She was extremely disappointed with her sales. I, on the other hand, was eager to create new pieces and sign up for my next event.

Start with a one day show. Craft shows require lots of physical work and long hours of standing on your feet. You will be very tired at the end of the day. Three days of selling crafts is a lot of time that could be spent marketing your work to shops, teaching classes or working your day job to fund your passion.

Nowadays, I’ve got a lot more sales experience and would have asked more questions before doing the first craft show. What type of crowds will there be? How many other jewelry artists are signed up? What is the average price point?

Bring about $60 in small bills and change with you. Be prepared to make change for customers. Write down how much change you start with and record sales as you go so you will know how much money you made during the show. Keeping good records is a must in business. You need to know which items sell best and how profitable each show is.

Keep your money box stored out of sight. Use a cigar box or apple crate to hide your cash box. If you like, you can wear a money bag on your waist or keep your money in an apron pocket.

Be friendly. Greet customers with a smile and let them know you can answer questions but don’t talk too much. Customers like to shop in peace.

Answer Questions. As a vendor, you will get all kinds of questions, even stupid ones. Be nice. Keep your sense of humor. Most people are genuinely interested in what you make. They want to know about the process. Indulge them. Let them see you working on your designs if possible.

Be available. If you are so engrossed in your book or playing on your phone, you may be sending a “Stay Away” message to potential buyers. You may not even be aware of the message you’re sending. Practice smiling at people you meet. Tell others about the type of work you create. Show them what you’re currently working on. You don’t have to spend every second talking to customers or potential customers, but be available in case they have questions. You are your own best salesperson. Yes, you can get a bite to eat or sneak off for a bathroom break, but do it before the crowds hit or when the show dies down.

Stage a Demonstration – If you can, plan ahead and set aside a time for demonstrating one of your techniques. I use antique and vintage buttons in my jewelry making and love to show others how I create my button bracelets. Make signs so people know what you will be doing and when you will demonstrating your craft.

Have a Raffle – This is a great way to grow your mailing list. Require folks to fill out their contact information and add them to your email list so you can let them know about future events. People love the idea of winning something for free. Offer a great necklace or matching necklace and earring set if buyers enter your drawing.

Share booth space with another artist whenever possible. It helps to have someone to talk to when sales are slow. If you need a break or want to get a bite to eat, it’s great to be able to step away from your booth for a while. If the show requires a tent, it helps to have a friend to help unload the vehicle and set up the tent.

Artists are helpful people. Whenever I am by myself struggling to get my tent set up, I always get other artists who offer to help me out. You will be very surprised how generous folks are. I’ve done lots of shows on my own and have had no problem asking another artist to keep an eye on my booth for a minute. I’d much rather have an extra set of hands to help set up my tent, unpack the car and set up displays, and help pack it all up at the end of the day.