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 Safety & Security at Shows ~    

 Art & Craft Shows, Fairs & Festivals

It doesn't take much effort, just a higher level of awareness to ensure your safety on the road and at shows. The following pointers should become part of your show routine.
  • The day before a show, and again before you leave , do a quick walk-around your car: check your tires and make sure there is no puddle of liquid under the car. You can avoid a lot of grief by repairing or replacing tires and taking care of other problems so you won't be stranded by an avoidable repair problem.
  • At the show, park near a light . It's not dark when you arrive, but at the end of the day, you will be safer packing and loading in a well-lit area.
  • Try not to be the last person out of the building at the end of the show.
  • Wear a fanny pack , - in front of you, as a belly-bag, low and loose. As the day progresses, remove your checks, charges, and large bills from your cash box and put them in your belly-bag.
  • Don't latch your cash box. One of the tricks that thieves use, especially at outdoor shows, is to reach over, grab the cash box, and run.  If the box isn't latched, it will open and dump the contents onto the floor. (There shouldn't be very much in it at any time, -$50 worth of singles and fives and change. The rest should tucked away on your person.)
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket . Even a fanny pack can disappear when an experienced pickpocket slices through the belt with a utility knife. Use an alternative storage place, inside your clothing. Several models of 'undercover security wallets' are available from many sources, including TravelSmith (1-800-950-1500 www.travelsmith.com. It takes only a minute to transfer part of the money from your pack to your undercover wallet.
  • At restaurants or gas stations don't discuss the show and how busy you were.  People will overhear you and imagine you are carrying tons of cash. You may as well be carrying a sign that says, "Mug me."
  • Get rid of your show badge . Put it in your pocket when you leave the show. Most people forget about their badge, and it's a little badge that advertises the money you are carrying. Put it out of sight!
  • If you stay at a motel, leave the TV or radio on while you are out of the room. Leave a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door so it looks as if someone is in the room at all times, especially if you store your extra inventory there.
  • Set up your booth with secure corners so no one can come into your private space. Make sure valuables are stashed out of reach and out of sight.
  • Don't leave your neighbor to watch your cash. Remove cash and checks from your cash box when you leave your space. He will probably be willing to watch your booth while you are absent, -but if he gets busy, he may be unable to give your booth much attention. You will both feel better if you have your money with you. 
  • Even though it's a secure space, when you leave your booth overnight, remove your most valuable pieces , and cover the rest of your merchandise with sheets or large covers. Next morning, arrive early as soon as the doors open. In your car:
  • A flashlight with new batteries.
  • A new can of Fix-A-Flat, (it goes hard after a year or two).
  • Quarters for phone calls and tolls. Maps.
  • A 3x5 card with written directions to and from the location
  • Pen and paper.  Cell phone if possible.  
  • Store a blanket in the car for winter traveling, in case you are stranded on a back road. 
  • In winter, don't let your gas tank go below half full; the larger the air space in your tank, the more likely your gas-line will freeze. Pour a can of dry gas into your tank with each fill-up when the weather's below freezing.
  • Reprinted with permission from Art & Craft Show Yellow Pages for Craftsmen & Artists. CHOICES publishes more details about each show to help you choose the best shows for your work.     


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