We had an installation in the November 2014 NYC Pier Show. In the business this event is known as a premier show. It was exciting and full of energy. It was well managed and promoted by the U.S. Antique Shows organization. The fellow vendors and customers were interesting and engaging. Was it worth it? Will I do it again? Read on and you tell me.
You collect and refurbish pieces for months and you hope the pieces that you bring are the perfect ones for the 16’ by 10’space that you have leased for the two day event. You bring pieces that carry the names of Kagan, Rosen, Probber, Pearsall, Messa Luna, Kovacs and Lightolier. You put together a well thought out cross section of your inventory and you hope the public likes your choices. You make hotel reservations months in advance. You get a room a manageable distance from the event. You lovingly wrap everything you’re bringing and securely pack it into your truck. You’re up before dawn and on the road to NYC well before the commuter traffic that normally chokes your mornings. After 4 plus hours of driving you arrive and are immediately flagged over by an event staffer and put into a line that wraps around an entire city block. You must wait your turn to unload. Your time in line creeps by but once your in the facility parking / unload area everything moves at the speed of light.
Porters make themselves available with their carts; they swarm all over your truck unloading your wares at warp speed. Amazingly they deposit them in the cavernous 94th street pier in the right spot. This service is not free or a part of the show. It costs. You reach deep into your pocket to tip them heavily. They just saved your rear end. All the goods are in a tumble in your space. The truck is officially out of the way and parked. Now the work begins. You must quickly un-wrap and unpack your treasures and assemble your installation. Today is the set up day. The show opens tomorrow.
Temporary walls go up. Carpets go down over a concrete floor. The electrical union guys show up and give you power. You move your unpacked gems into their sweet spots. You clean all the smudges real or imagined one last time the whole time dreaming about how well the show will go. You finish setting up, you collect the odds and ends, the plastic wrap, the packing blankets, the cardboard boxes and stow them away. Last call comes over the P.A. They are locking up and you need to leave the building with 400 other exhibitors and return Saturday morning at 8:00 in the morning two hours before the show opens.
You arrive at your hotel, you are energized and you are exhausted. This is work. This is fun! This is NYC and the November 2014 Pier Antique Show…You don’t sleep a wink.