5 Items Your Market Booth Set-Up Needs
Kyn you even believe it?? KYBI is almost FIVE YEARS OLD. I’m not crying – you’re crying! 😭
5 feels like a pretty big milestone, so you knowwww I’m going all out with All The Things like usual (cake, balloons, candles, a birthday collection) but I’m also adding a 5 for 5 blog series into the mix!
This is blog 2 of 5 in the “5 for 5 series,” where I’ll be posting a blog with “5 things [xyz]” every week leading up to the biz birthday.
Today’s blog is for all my fellow small biz owners who like to do pop-up markets or hope to do some in the future. When I tell you this blog is filled with some of the best advice ever, I MEAN IT.
Today I’m sharing my five favorite things to take with me to markets, in order of “I’d be devastated if I left this behind” to “eh, I’d survive without it I guess.” Let’s get to it! ⬇️
1. Square reader & lanyard
You know that TikTok audio that’s like 😡 “where the f**k is it” 😡 ? That was me with my square reader for the first few markets I did. I have this reader that’s great because it’s portable, lightweight, and accepts tap, but awful because it’s SO easy to misplace.
Enter: my $10 fix. I bought this cute KYBI vibe lanyard and attached my square reader to it using hang tabs that I already had on hand. Now my square reader lives around my neck at markets, and it’s never lost or out of reach.
I can’t tell you how many customers have commented on how genius of a solution this is, and I can’t believe I once operated without this set up! Plus, if your booth ever gets too crowded, it’s easy to step aside and become a “walking checkout station” if you use your phone (versus a tablet) for checkout.
The length of the lanyard is comfortable enough that customers don’t need to get super close to you, but if you want something longer, you might consider a lanyard like what we have for Trey. It has a built in badge reel that allows for more length as needed. Here’s a link to the one he has!
2. The “everything box”
Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that a card reader is a non-negotiable when it comes to markets, I’d be putting this guy at number one. My “everything” box is my market bff, and it’s filled with all the random stuff you may or may not need at any given market.
You may be asking yourself, “Kyndra why is this stuff on your list even if you just said you ‘may not’ need it?” Well friend, every market is different, and most of the time, you won’t really know the true situation of things until you arrive and get set up. Plus, let’s not forget the fact that the weather conditions for any given market can be unpredictable.
We take our “everything box” with us to every market, and honestly, we rarely need things from it it! But on those days when we think, “dang, I wish we had [xyz] for this,” we usually actually do! On the rare occasions that we don’t, I make it a point to buy that item and add it to our everything box before the next show.
Everyone’s needs are different, but here’s what we keep in our “everything box”:
- for starters, we use this storage bin from target to store all of this stuff. It’s a great portable size, and if you tetris it correctly, I promise it’ll all fit!
- for the actual tools we have: a tool box, scissors, a folding step stool, zip ties of varying sizes, packing tape, battery powered lights (clip book lights AND hanging lights), batteries for said lights, a portable generator, TWO portable chargers, cord ties, elastic, a rubber mallet, and a battery operated fan.
This box is great for getting on your neighbors’ good-side too – when they come around and ask “do you happen to have [xyz],” you can make their day! These moments are my favorite. 🙂
Maybe I’ll write a full blog post on our “everything box” soon, but in the meantime, I hope this list is a great starting point for you!
3. Directors chair
Okay so now we’re getting into the “I could live without this, but why would I want to?” category. If you’ve ever done a market with a regular folding chair, you’ve probably had that awkward experience of sitting down while you speak up towards your customers who are standing. It just feels… weird.
I hated this feeling so much at my first few markets that I found myself standing up every time someone came into my booth so I could speak to them at eye level. Unfortunately, this turned into full days on my feet and it was not worth it.
I quickly decided I needed a taller seating situation, but a stool was out of the question, because who wants to sit on a flat piece of wood for 5-9 hours straight? Not me.
I ended up purchasing this folding director’s chair so that I could sit down at markets and still be at eye level with my customers. It was the PERFECT solution. I love this one that we have because it has a folding table on the side that’s great for lunch. That said, this one does take up a bit more room in the car – it folds flat but stays long and wide – and the back support is minimal.
I had to buy a second folding director chair once 2 of us started attending markets regularly, and I went with this chair. There’s no table, but it folds up and inward like a long lawn chair, and its back rest is much more supportive. It doesn’t have a table, but it does have a cup holder, and that’s usually all I need.
For the record: I like both chairs, but tend to gravitate toward the latter if I can only take one or if I have to choose. They both do a great job of eliminating that very awkward height distance, and I promise the higher price tag is worth it for comfort!
4. Folding checkout cart
One thing about our set up is that we completely removed every single table. The result is that we have room for tons of vertical displays, but it’s not always clear where you should checkout, except for me and Trey just sitting there all awkward (🧍🏻), and the lack of tables means there’s no where to put checkout bags, business cards, etc.
To combat this, I ended up purchasing this folding checkout cart to create a clear checkout station. Since it’s on wheels, it’s easy to move it wherever it fits; we usually put it in between our two chairs so we can both access what’s on the shelf. We used to put our bags on the shelves, but now we hang them from s-hooks on the side of the cart, and it’s great. It also folds up which is a must for travel.
This cart also serves as checkout signage since we have a small sign that hangs from the front with the biz logo + venmo/paypal QR codes.
Michaels sells these cart tabletops that you can pair with it, and this is great for hiding things like phones, money bags, etc. We have one, but the sizing wasn’t quite right for my cart that’s linked above. I ended up having to hammer some corners to make it wide enough to fit, but now it fits great! (Just sharing this fact so you don’t get mad at me when it doesn’t quite right!)
I can and DO live without this guy sometimes when the booth layout is just a bit too tight, instead coming up with random spots to hang bags and store business cards, etc, but when we have the room for it, I much prefer to use our cart.
5. Mini carts
Last but not least is my favorite but totally unnecessary market accessory: mini carts! A lot of my items are on the smaller side (stickers, pins, cards), and if someone is planning to buy a lot or browse for a while, holding onto everything can be a bit of a chore. I ended up buying these mini handheld baskets for my customers, and it’s such a cute solution once it’s paired with my make-shift cart stand.
With market season right around the corner, I hope this blog had proved useful! If there’s anything you’d add to this list, feel free to leave it in the comments below. 🙂