We Made It! Booth Building and Fundraising Update
As we write this, it is the morning of Day 3 of the National Stationery Show. Days 1 and 2 went great! More on that later. For now, let us take you back in time to Friday morning, when our 6AM flight from Milwaukee touched down at 9AM at La Guardia and we kicked off two feverish days of...
Building the MAN vs. GEORGE DESIGN Booth
We arrived in NYC on Friday, May 18. Our first stop was our hotel, which graciously allowed us to check in early -- probably because it meant they would finally be able to clear their back office of the numerous bulky packages we had mailed to ourselves, c/o the hotel, in the weeks prior to our arrival!
Instead of shipping a pallet of our booth materials from Milwaukee to NYC on the back of a semi, we opted for the a la carte ship-and-schlep method:
- For the items we wanted to remain in our control at all times...such as half of our catalogs, all of our greeting cards, card shelves, and booth signage...those items came with us on the airplane.
- For items that were too weirdly shaped or heavy to carry with us...including our 2' x 2' foam flooring tiles and various office supplies...those things were shipped directly to the hotel at the time we ordered them (so we wouldn't have to pay for shipping twice).
- And for our booth furniture, which we wanted neither to ship nor schlep ourselves...for that we availed ourselves of the fantastic picking and delivery service at the IKEA in Elizabeth, NJ. We combined our order with another exhibitor to split the delivery cost, and everything went off without a hitch. The delivery guy showed up within the designated time window and brought our furniture right to our booth, which was AWESOME!
As soon as we arrived at the Javits Center, we went to our booth to find this nice man installing our foam walls. We ordered side walls in white, and the back wall in orange. (This was partially because we weren't sure if an all-orange booth would be scary, and partially to economize, because the colored walls are pricey!)
As soon as he cleared out, we began assembling our furniture, which consisted of a desk, a storage cart, and two chairs. I don't know about you, but I am convinced that IKEA furniture exists solely to make otherwise reasonably intelligent and confident people feel stupid for a few hours. With the word-free assembly instructions and the seemingly random callouts ("What is that arrow pointing to? Is that even a thing?!"), it is a recipe for disaster if you're not paying attention. Here's something, in some stage of assembly.
And chairs! Fully assembled!
Next up, we installed the banners on the side walls. These would serve as the opening of our booth. We ordered these custom, reusable self-adhesive fabric banners from LTLPrints, who were great to work with.
Then we applied more stripes to the top of the back wall. This was partly because stripes are fun, and partly to hide the zip ties that were securing the top of the walls to the metal pipe framework behind them.
Next we put up the giant MAN vs. GEORGE DESIGN logo sign -- also made from the reusable self-adhesive fabric from LTLPrints. It was beginning to feel like home already!
Then we started positioning the shelves that would hold our cards on the walls. (Check out this update on Self-Inflicted Shelving Insanity for the making-of...)
The next step was to apply the vinyl lettering above each category of cards. Unlike the re-stickable fabric banners and logo sign, these were not removable. And as this was our first time ever applying vinyl lettering, our technique involved a lot of painter's tape and prayer.
Everything worked out great with the lettering. Here's a shot of the corner of the booth. Note the MvG logo on the chairs...LTLPrints were kind enough to throw in a few small versions of our logo with our order, so we put them to good use. Hey, you can never have too much branding!
Next we installed the foam tile flooring, a process which we didn't take any photos of (sorry!) but suffice it to say it was easy.
Then we moved the furniture in, set up the cards in their colored shelves, taped the art prints to the wall, and, finally, installed four clip lights along the top of the side walls of our booth.
Here's how it all came together:
And Now, a Fundraising Update
Almost the same instant I snapped this photo on Saturday, we received an email from Kickstarter indicating we had a new backer, whose contribution helped us meet our $4,000 fundraising goal. Woo hoo!! Thank you, everyone, for your generous support of our project! We are so excited to have reached our goal before the start of the National Stationery Show!
As we mentioned in our project narrative, our true expenses for our debut at this show are more like $10,000 - 12,000, so please know how important your support is to us. Any excess funding we raise over the $4K will go toward more show expenses, not toward caviar and cigars. (We actually had 1 backer cancel his pledge on Sunday, so please realize that if that were to happen a few more times in the final 2 days of our campaign, we might dip below our fundraising goal and not receive any of your pledges...we really hope that doesn't happen!)
In closing, here is a photo that sums up what we want to say to each and every one of you:
Your messages and pledges have made our pre-show preparation so much fun, and we are so grateful for your enthusiasm and support.
We've got 2 more days of this campaign, and 2 more days of the National Stationery Show! Stay tuned for another update about the show. It is going really well -- beyond our wildest expectations. Meanwhile, please keep sharing our project link: http://kck.st/Ir819j
Thanks again! We'll talk to you soon!
MAN vs. GEORGE DESIGN
pledged of $4,000 goal
seconds to go
Apr 24, 2012 - May 24, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $1 or more
VIRTUAL HIGH FIVE from George the Lady Cat, our mascot & quality control director. (And since it's virtual, no worries about allergies or scratching!)Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $5 or more
LIMITED EDITION MINI-PRINT (5.5" x 4.25") designed especially for Kickstarter backers. Printed on 100% recycled paper, because that's how George rolls.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $10 or more
PICK A CARD, ANY CARD + the limited edition mini-print. You get to select any greeting card from our catalog.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $12 or more
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You get the same goodies as the $10 level, with an extra $2 added to help cover additional international shipping costs.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $25 or more
LIMITED EDITION FULL-SIZE ART PRINT (8" x 10") designed especially for Kickstarter backers + one of our greeting cards (your choice of designs). The print will be hand numbered and signed on the back by the designer.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $30 or more
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You get the same goodies as the $25 level, with an extra $5 added to help cover additional international shipping costs.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $50 or more
10-CARD "BE PREPARED" PACK (a variety of our favorite greeting card designs) + the full-size limited edition print. Our Be Prepared packs have you covered for birthdays, baby showers, weddings, and many other occasions. They are designed to help the world avoid those last-minute trips to the drug store greeting card aisle on the way to the party...Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $55 or more
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You get the same goodies as the $50 level, with an extra $5 included to help cover additional international shipping costs.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $100 or more
YOUR IDEA ON A CARD -- A custom greeting card designed just for you. Tell us what you want to see and we'll make it happen, and send you a set of 24 of the cards! Want to see a unicorn and an earthworm riding a Vespa, perhaps with a double rainbow on the horizon? We can totally make that for you. PLUS the full-size limited edition print!Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $110 or more
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You get the same package as the $100 level, with an extra $10 baked in to help cover additional international shipping costs.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $200 or more
OUR DELUXE PERSONALIZED HOLIDAY CARD SET (80 cards + envelopes): Pick any of our holiday card designs & we'll print your message on the inside, along with your return address on the back flap of the envelopes. PLUS the full-size limited edition print!Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $210 or more
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You'll get the same goodies as the $200 reward, with an extra $10 baked in to help cover additional international shipping costs.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $500 or more
ALL OF THE ABOVE...PLUS a dozen George-shaped cookies baked especially for you by Mrs. MAN vs. GEORGE. That's right: George-shaped cookies!Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $520 or more
INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: You'll get the same goodies as the $500 reward, with an extra $20 baked in to help cover additional international shipping costs. You don't want those George-shaped cookies getting stale, do you? :-)Estimated delivery: Sep 2012