Marburger Farm Antique Show Spring 2011

This article is going to be an insider’s view of the Marburger Farm Antique Show for the spring of 2011. We shared a booth with a friend of ours after missing the last two shows. We had been doing Marburger Farm for many years. Many people have no idea what goes into setting up at an antique show. I will attempt through photos and words to give you an insiders view so the next time you come to Marburger and the rest of the shows during the two weeks of Round Top, you might have a bigger appreciation.

Preparing for Marburger Farm

The preparation for Marburger Farm actually starts weeks and even months in advance of the show. Unless you own your own walls, showcases, and tables you have to reserve these weeks in advance. Then you need to decide how you are going to cover your walls. Some use paper, burlap, and other materials. Some of the dealers go all out to make their booth look like something special. Danny and Sean from San Antonio built these two trees and inserted them into these huge urns. Marburger Farm has been voted one of the Top 10 antique shows in the country.Marburger Farm

You also have to decide what you are going to bring. Many of the dealers will be taking things from their shops and malls, unless they do only shows. If they don’t own their own trucks and trailers, and you can see all of the rented trucks in the dealers parking area, they have to reserve these well in advance. Some dealers hire a service to load and transport their things. But they still have to carefully pack all of their small breakable items to ensure safe arrival at the show.

Expenses of Doing Marburger Farm

You definitely have to reserve room accommodations well in advance, most dealers reserve their rooms for the next show as they checkout from the current show. Remember these shows like Marburger Farm are in an area where there are not many hotel rooms for the huge amount of people that will invade the area for the two weeks of Round Top. Many locals rent out rooms and guest cottages during the shows. Of course the prices are higher during this time because of the demand. You can expect to pay $60 and up per night for some of the older motels. Most dealers for Marburger Farm stay at least eight nights, so that is another $500 in expenses.

So let’s look at the expenses we have mentioned so far as a delaer at Marburger Farm. Five hundred for a room, the walls in the standard 12 feet by 20 feet booth cost about $400, and depending on the distance traveled, trucks are $800 and up, plus the cost of fuel. The friend we helped paid $1600 to have his things loaded and hauled both ways, and that was from the Dallas area. Many come from much farther distances. The standard booth is $1000. So that is $2700 and most people hire help to load and unload, another $200. That may seem high, but these guys travel here and stay for the week to help dealers. Also, because it is a spring show many of the dealers decorate with flowers and other plants. I didn’t add the cost of showcases and tables if those are needed. Then you add the cost of food for a week. So you see the dealers spend literally thousands of dollars before the show even starts. Many of the dealers have a double booth which then costs even more. Here is a photo of part of a double booth, Gary Bonner’s from Dallas.

Marburger Farm Antique ShowI just wanted to give you some insight on the expenses involved in doing an antiques show like Marburger Farm. It is quite a commitment in both time and expenses. The packing for the show starts the week before the show and the unpacking can take a week after the show. Most of the things have to be cleaned thoroughly because of all the dirt and grass inside the tents. The dealers will also be sacrificing some sales in their stores or malls because their inventory is at the show. Travel time for some dealers can take 2-3 days each way. We traveled about 850 miles each way.

The dealers usually start setting up on Saturday before the show starts on Tuesday. Some don’t start till Sunday if they are really proficient in setting up their booths. Taking down ther booths goes much faster. The show closes at 4:00 on Saturday and many get finished by late Saturday night. Others finish up Sunday.

This article may have been boring but I wanted you to appreciate a little more the next time you visit an antique show. There is much more than meets the eye in doung a show like  Marburger Farm.

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