Artist Alley Tips for Your First Con: Part 2 – Planning Your Setup

Artist Alley Tips for Your First Con: Part 2 – Planning Your Setup

Welcome to my second installment of Artist Alley Tips for Your First Con! If you missed part one, you can read all about how to prep before the show here

Part Two is all about planning your Artist Alley table setup!

Depending on the convention, there are a few factors to remember during your planning process:

  • How big your table is
  • How high you're allowed to build
  • How much space you have to work with behind the table
  • What kind of products (and how many different variations) you plan to bring

When I was planning out my first convention, I was traveling from San Diego to Long Beach, which is about 2.5 hours away, and couldn't lug too much in my small car, ON TOP of bringing overnight belongings and two helpers along.

So my biggest priorities for my table configuration planning were: portability, cost, and ease of setup.

I scoured sooo many blogs from other Artist Alley artists to see what they did and what worked for them. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I'd do a standard metal grid setup.


  1. Total cost to get everything I needed was less than $100
  2. It was easy to put together and put away (I did a few test runs after I got everything together to see how long it'd take)
  3. When I broke everything down, it could easily fit in a 22" x 12" x 12" plastic bin. 

It was simple & easy. Perfect for a first timer!

Kimposed Artist Alley Setup at LBCE

Here's my supply list, if you'd like to replicate it:

Basic Setup (~$107)
Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which helps fuel this blog resource for artists just like you.

Wire Storage Cubes (~$35)
wire grid storage cubes for display
Linen Tablecloth (~$15)
Linen Tablecloth
Zip Ties (Amazon, ~$5)
white zipties pack of 100
Mini Binder Clips (Amazon ~$5)
mini black binder clips

Portfolio Display Book (Amazon, $~7)
30-Pocket Binder with Plastic Sleeves 8.5x11" (Black), Heavy Duty Art Portfolio Folder with Clear Sheet Protectors, Display 60 Pages, Presentation Book for Artwork, Document Organizer
Greeting Card Display/Spinner (Amazon, ~$40)
Rotating Display Stand Greeting Card Organizer 3 Tier Wooden Retail Display Multi Pocket Card Display Stand Display Rack for Coasters Stickers Showcase Tradeshow   Greeting Card Display Stand Sticker Display Wooden Display Stand 4 Tier Portable Card Display Rack Retail Display Stand for Greeting Cards Birthday Cards Coasters Stickers Photos (Wood)    9 Shelves Sticker Display Stand, Wooden Display Stand, Card Display Stand Organizor Rack for Craft Show, Retail Counter, Vendor Table, Vendor Events

All of the decorations I either already had from previous craft shows, or made! 

I'm also a big fan of the greeting card displays over at Clear Solutions Displays. Check them out - they have a ton of tabletop options to choose from that easily breaks down, which is helpful for portability!

Over time, I've added some additional card displays to my table at cons, similar to the below, but having the above setup is a great place to start if you've never tabled before! 


Sunglass/Nail Polish Display Rack (Amazon ~$17) - I use these to display stickers!!

 Pin Banner for Enamel Pins or Buttons (Amazon ~$15)

Want more con advice? Be on the lookout for my next article: Artist Alley Tips for Your First Con: Part 3 – What To Pack


To read all parts of this blog series: 


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Great insights! Planning your setup is crucial for a successful Artist Alley debut. Don’t forget to incorporate elements that reflect your unique style and brand. And hey, if you’re looking for inspiration, check out how Pearl Lam’s galleries masterfully curate their spaces—it’s all about creating an unforgettable experience for your audience! You can check this page for more info.

Patricia Birch

Hi! I was wondering if you also applied for the Long Beach permit as it wasn’t mentioned in your blog? Also, I heard that some people don’t get the liability insurance.


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