ACC Baltimore – Teardown

by Lisa Call on February 25, 2013

in News

ACC Baltimore - Booth Teardown ©Lisa Call
What Goes Up, Must Come Down

The Show is Over

Sunday evening at 5:00pm the gong rang and the Baltimore American Craft Council show came to an end for 665 fine craft vendors. Within minutes the 5 huge halls of the convention center became a beehive of crazy tear down activity as all traces of our existence had to be removed by 11:59pm.

It took me 2 days to set up my booth and I was given 7 hours to pack it up and get it out of there.

Here’s a look into that process:

ACC Baltimore - Booth Teardown ©Lisa Call
5:15pm My Empty Boxes are Delivered to My Booth for Teardown

I had a general idea of the process I would use for the tear down. First I removed all the small art from the wall, which is about the state of things in the photo at the top of this page.

My next plan was to get the panels in the middle of the booth out of the way so there would be a place to put my empty boxes. I wasn’t fast enough – the boxes arrived quickly and were shoved into the booth where they would fit.

ACC Baltimore - Booth Teardown ©Lisa Call
6:30pm – I’m seeing no light at the end of this tunnel

After an hour and a half I was in the weeds as I forgot the lightbulbs for my lights had to be packed with my small artwork. So I had to hunt around in the big boxes to find the box for the bulbs and the booth became rather chaotic. So much for my great plan to be all systematic and orderly.

ACC Baltimore - Booth Teardown ©Lisa Call
Who made this big mess?

ACC Baltimore - Booth Teardown ©Lisa Call
7:30pm – Hurray – I see progress!

Two and half hours in and I’m back on track. All the artwork is packed. The lights are all down and the top row of the booth has come down.

ACC Baltimore - Booth Teardown ©Lisa Call
8:45pm – All That is Left is the Taping

At 8:45 it was pretty clear I wasn’t going to make my goal to be out of there at 9pm. Even though I had 1/2 the big boxes done, taping shut the boxes and putting on new shipping labels takes a long long time (over an hour for my 11 boxes).

Ditto for stacking up these huge boxes – which weigh right about 70 pounds each.

ACC Baltimore - Booth Teardown ©Lisa Call
9:15pm – TaDa – The Booth is in the Box

Not too bad. I had to ask for help to get that last big box on the very top of my pile even though it only weighed in around 40 pounds. I was just too exhausted to do it myself.

As you might notice by the booths around me – I was in the later group of people finishing packing. The whole taping and prepping stuff for a truck ride back home is more work than stuffing all the junk back into a van for the ride back home.

The 2 other artists near me packing up for shipment back also finished right around 9:15.


I was back to my hotel room at 9:25 and to the hot tub by 9:35, which sadly closed at 10pm – but I had this waiting for me:

ACC Baltimore - Booth Teardown ©Lisa Call
My 4th and final crab cake for the event


After what probably amounted to 3-4 hours of actual sleep (note to self – it’s not good to run out of advil after much lifting) – I was up at 5am for my 7:30am flight monday morning.

My original plan was to work all day at my day job so I could avoid taking an extra day of vacation. Well, that didn’t happen. Way too tired.

So instead I got a massage (one of my smartest decisions of this entire process) and went out to a very nice dinner as it is restaurant week here in Denver – yum.

Hey What about the Show?

I know, I’ve shared setup and now the tear down but nothing about the show itself.

I was going to do a little photo documentary of each day but I brilliantly left the memory card for my camera in my hotel room not 1 but 3 full days. So that idea went out the window.

I will do a review of the show itself – I promise. I just need to digest it a bit more and then I’ll share my thoughts on how it went.

But mostly I just need a few good nights of sleep. And to catch up on my teaching tasks.


Morna Crites-Moore February 26, 2013 at 12:40 am

I have enjoyed reading all about your experience with this, your first show! You do realize that most (sane) people work their way up to such a major show! I am in awe – that you can do the show AND blog about it at the same time … I swear you are on some sort of natural upper since you accomplish twice as much as the rest of us and you do it consistently, seeming to never need downtime. When I do a show, I am a blithering idiot by the end of the day. :-) And you do all of this in addition to another, full-time job. I think the fact that you don’t watch TV is key. Also, I keep remembering your statement that you rarely spend time doing nothing. Right there, in those two sentences, you have identified two of my major personality traits! :-)

Dori March 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Morna, you crack me up! I was thinking the same thing. I do enjoy my TV time, boy do I. But my problem isn’t a full time job, it’s my inability to say no to volunteer stuff. I need a guardian angel to get in the way of people asking me to do things, so I never have to feel guilty saying no. :)

Lisa Call April 7, 2013 at 8:26 am

Yeah – several times I was told I was a bit crazy for doing Baltimore as my first ever show – but what the heck – why not just dive into the deep end :)

I do indeed have very little downtime and spend little time with passive entertainment. Although I am going to the opera today – 4 hours of fabulous music followed by a yummy dinner. No work will be happening then :)

Ruth de Vos February 26, 2013 at 5:12 am

Thanks for sharing your show experience so far, Lisa. I am impressed – what an undertaking. Well done! I don’t believe you do anything by halves, do you? I hope you are able to settle back into a new normal again soon after this busy time!

Lisa Call April 7, 2013 at 8:27 am


I’m rather late in responding to blog comments but I wanted to thank you for commenting a while back and well – yes – I do like to do things in big splashy ways :)

It took about a month for life to return to “normal” – but it was nice to take a bit of a break.


Dale Anne Potter February 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

AWESOME experience Lisa. I look forward to your recap when you are well rested. THANKS for documenting what you were able to.

Lisa Call April 7, 2013 at 8:28 am

Dale – you are most welcome. More of the recap will be coming this week and next!


Kathleen Probst February 26, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I got tired just reading about your takedown.

Thanks for sharing this new adventure. The massage sounded like the perfect answer to a tiresome finale. It will be interesting to read about your interpretation of participating in this show. I am sure you have gained new collectors and fans. :)

Lisa Call April 7, 2013 at 8:31 am


Yes – that massage was the most perfect way to return home. Best decision ever. I’ll have to remember that for next year!


Cheryl lynch February 27, 2013 at 7:32 am

Congratulations after a monumental effort. I have been rooting for you this entire week. Looking forward to the recap.

Lisa Call April 7, 2013 at 8:32 am


Thank you for the support while I was in Baltimore!


Ann Brauer February 27, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Good finally getting a chance to meet you at the Baltimore Show. Glad you survived both the anxiety of set-up and the frenzy of take-down. Best.

Lisa Call April 7, 2013 at 8:30 am


Yes – it was wonderful to finally meet you in person. It was really fun to see all the different fiber booths!


Hilde Morin February 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I take my hat off!! Not only do you do beautiful work, but you also are a very generous writer and entertainer sharing your process and major adventures. This one sure was quite an adventure and fun to follow with all the narrations and wonderful pictures. Thank you for your generosity, I admire your energy, talent and dedication to your beautiful art.

Lisa Call April 7, 2013 at 8:31 am


Thank you – I’m glad you enjoyed the writing. It was a fun adventure to share!


Dori March 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm

All I can think of… didn’t they have rental companies in Baltimore for these sorts of things – they come set up, they come tear down… and I’m thinking it would have cost the same as the investment and shipping, but oh, so much less physical work!

Lisa Call April 7, 2013 at 8:29 am

Dori – the cost of rental was pretty high plus the logistics for renting nice booth walls aren’t simple (what they have at the convention center for us to rent easily were ugly). It made more financial sense to buy my booth.

As for the work – unless you pay someone – it is up to you to set it all up. Although I have to admit I liked the work – my day job is just sitting and emailing all day – it’s nice to do something different for a change!


Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: