Reminder: All vendors agreed to the Handmade Arcade Terms & Conditions when applying for the event.

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL KIT: Everything you need, from language to graphics, links, and hashtags.


Watch the meeting on the Handmade Arcade YouTube Channel.
Meeting length: 1:22:30.

Download PDF Slides of the Presentations
Updated 10/24

Download Examples of Booth Displays
Inspiration from other maker booths




  • Spaces will be marked on the floor with chalk. If you are unsure of your area, please check with a HA organizer before you begin setting up. 
  • Stay within your assigned space and be courteous to your crafty neighbors.
  • If you have racks or other display structures, they MUST fit within your assigned space. Likewise, you must contain all of your extra merchandise containers within this space.
  • Vendors may NOT tape or hang any items to the wall.
  • At this time, we cannot accommodate any special requests.
  • At this time, we cannot add electricity to the map. If you did not pay for electricity, please DO NOT USE an outlet, even if there is an open one near you. The Convention Center will know, and Handmade Arcade will get charged. Handmade Arcade staff will ask you to unplug if you did not prepay.
  • Tables and chairs: every booth will have one (or two) tables and two chairs. If you do not plan to use the tables or the chairs provided, put them in the walkway between the aisles, and the Convention Center staff will remove them before the show begins.

Expanded Vendor Space Details

  • 20-feet-long-by-10-feet-deep display space
  • TWO 8-by-2.5-foot tables 
  • TWO chairs

Standard Vendor Space Details

  • 10-feet-long-by-10-feet-deep display space
  • ONE 8-by-2.5-foot table
  • TWO chairs
  • Endcap vendors will also have a 10-by-10-foot area. The vendor map can be deceiving. There is more than enough space for your display. Ask the Handmade Arcade organizers for space clarification if you have questions during load-in.

Craft Corridor Vendor Space Details

  • 8-feet-long-by-8-feet-deep display space
  • ONE 6-by-2.5-foot table 
  • Two chairs

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Tables and Chairs

As of today (October 12), we are planning for every booth to have the table(s) and chairs placed when you get to the event. Please note: this may change as we get nearer the event. If you do NOT need to use the table(s) or chairs, drag them into the aisle, and Convention Center staff will remove them before the event begins.

While setting up, DO NOT use your neighbor’s table for any reason. They are likely in the same load in the time frame as you are, and it isn’t polite. We like polite, crafty neighbors, not rude ones.

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Friday Details


Accepted makers to the in-person event MUST load in on Friday afternoon and participate in the Happy Hour Preview Party on Friday, December 1, 2023.


  • Load-in between 11 AM – 3 PM.
  • Convention Center Teamsters are available to help.
  • Some vendors will be permitted to drive onto the hall floor to set up.
    • Unload your car completely, leave the hall floor, go park, and return through the lobby doors.
    • DO NOT start setting up while your car is on the floor. This causes a backup and makes it impossible for other vendors to get in to set up. If you do this, you may be asked to leave the event altogether.
  • If something goes awry on load-in day, text Tricia; don’t email her. Scroll down for her cell.


  • Helpers are permitted and do NOT need to buy tickets. Tell them to enter through the EAST LOBBY, walk to hall along the wall, avoiding the line. We will have a sign indicating where vendors and helpers can enter. When they reach the door, they should inform the volunteer there that they are here to help “VENDOR NAME.” All vendors and helpers are encouraged to take a break on Friday night, walk around, shop, mingle, have a drink, and enjoy themselves! There is no limit to how many helpers a vendor can have.

Preview Party

  • Preview Party starts at 5 PM
  • Makers must stay until it ends at 7:30 PM
  • Please exit the halls as soon as possible after the event ends at 7:30 PM. (You will be able to return early the next day to reset your booth.)
  • Tables can be left as is, the doors to the hall will be locked, and there will be security on-site.
  • We recommend that you take your cash with you

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Saturday Details


  • Vendors must be back at their booths by 8:30 AM on Saturday. (You can arrive anytime after 7 AM.)
  • If there is already a line when you arrive, walk along the side of it (outside the stanchion) to the side towards Hall B & C entrance. We will have one door propped open for vendors to enter through.
  • Early Bird Shopping starts at 9 AM. (This is 30 minutes earlier than last year.)
  • We recommend that you plan to return to the Convention Center as early as possible to avoid a stressful morning.
    • Important to note: There are other events, and parking can be challenging. Plan accordingly! Recommended parking garages can be found here. 
  • HELPERS are permitted and do NOT need to sign up for the timed entrance.  Tell them to enter through the EAST LOBBY, and walk to the side, avoiding the line. When they reach the door, they should inform the volunteer there that they are here to help “VENDOR NAME.”  There is no limit to how many helpers a vendor can have. 

Load-Out/Tear Down:

  • Handmade Arcade ends at 6 PM. Do not break down your table before then. We will be closing the doors at 5 PM.
  • Please completely pack up your space before getting your car. 
    • Take this into consideration when planning your booth. We will not have space for you to store overflow items or storage.
  • At 6 PM, the loading dock doors will be opened, and additional trash and recycling bins will be provided.
  • Breakdown must be completed by 7:30 PM.
  • You do not need to break down the tables and chairs; the Convention Center staff will handle this.

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Event Map:

LOAD IN Map with Detailed Instructions (Updated Nov. 21)

At this time, no changes can be made to the map. We shared it on November 10 via email and in the Facebook group, asking for you to review it by 11/13.

  • Please note: If you paid for electricity and your table number is not red, email Tricia.
  • THINGS WE CAN NOT CHANGE (please do not ask)
    • Your company name. The map has already been sent to the printer.
    • Your location.
    • Your load in time.
    • If you paid for an endcap and did NOT get on, we can’t change that.
      • However, we WILL refund your $50. Please email Tricia and let her know.

Here are the links to the map shared on November 10. Requested updates have been made but are not reflected below.

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Hotel Group Rates



ONE: We ONLY have room blocks with the hotels listed below. You will get SPAM or fake emails about rooms. Don’t be fooled. You will only get emails about rooms in vendor emails and links sent from Handmade Arcade. No one else. We had vendors lose money and places to stay in the past with this scam.

TWO: We are not able to get rooms anywhere downtown on Saturday night because of the Steelers game on Sunday, December 3. We have booked two blocks of rooms outside the city. However, I recommend that if you need to stay the night somewhere, you book a room on your own on your route home. Look for a place at least 30 minutes away, and you won’t be affected by the game-night rates.



  • The Westin Pittsburgh (Across the street from the Convention Center)
    1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
    $162 room rate for Friday, December 1, through Saturday, December 2 ($184 with taxes and fees)
    Click here to book a room.
    Or make your reservations over the phone by calling the hotel directly at (412) 281-3700 and following the prompts to make a reservation. Please be sure that you mention the full title of the block, “Handmade Arcade Room Block 2023.”
    The reservation cut-off date is Friday, November 10.

PLEASE NOTE: This rate does not include parking. You will have to make inquiries for overnight parking when you book your room.


    • Courtyard by Marriott Pittsburgh Airport (30 minutes from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
      450 Cherrington Pkwy, Coraopolis, PA 15108
      $139 Room Rate for Saturday, December 2, through Sunday, December 3
      Click here to book a room.
      The reservation cut-off date is Thursday, November 16, 2023

    • AC Hotel Pittsburgh Southpoint (40 minutes from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center)
      1500 Main Street Canonsburg, PA 15317
      $169 Room Rate for Saturday, December 2 through Sunday, December 3
      Click here to book a room.
      The reservation cut-off date is Thursday, November 2, 2023

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Timed Tickets, Friday Night Happy Hour, and Early Bird Shopping Details

Free Saturday Market: 11 AM to 6 PM
The event is free on Saturday, but we ask all attendees to register for tickets to control the crowd. It also helps us collect important data about who attends the event. Please share the link to sign up for free-timed tickets with your followers.  Free timed-ticket registration on Eventbrite.

Ticketed Events:
Why buy tickets when you can shop for free? That’s a great question. Handmade Arcade’s only opportunity to host fundraising events includes the Friday Night Preview Party and the Early Birdie Shopping Hour. We rely on the income from these events to continue our year-long programming.

Here are the answers that we give when asked:

Even though we ask folks to register for time tickets, we still anticipate a crowd. These events are your opportunity to support not only a unique maker-centric nonprofit arts organization but also a way to guarantee that you will be shopping crowd-free!

Friday Night Happy Hour from 5 to 7:30 PM
Tickets $35 each

Saturday Early Bird Shopping from 9 to 11 AM.
Note this is starting 30-minutes earlier than at past events
Tickets $25 each

  • Shoppers get 25 free raffle tickets
  • The first 400 attendees receive a mini gift from Pip & Lola’s Soap & Sundries
  • Crowd-free shopping
  • Concessions will be open
  • Tickets available on Eventbrite here.

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Location, Directions, and Parking:

David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC)
1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15222

The convention center is at the corner of Penn Ave. and 10th Street in downtown Pittsburgh. Handmade Arcade is in Hall A on the second floor. Enter through the WEST LOBBY street entrance off Tenth Street.

You can find additional information about the Convention Center on its website.

Directions: Directions to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center


  • Parking on Friday: Feel free to park in any of the garages listed below. Parking rates will vary on Friday. Most will be around $13 for over 6 hours.
  • Parking on Saturday:
    • Please do not park in the DLCC Parking lot. If you can walk a block, please consider the enormous number of attendees of all ages and abilities who attend the event when parking.

Parking Garages: 

BEST OPTION! Grant Street Transportation Center – Two-block walk or six-minute walk
GPS address: 55 11th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Hourly on Friday before 4 PM.
Flat-free after 4 PM on Friday and on Saturday: $5
Red Lobby A (located at the corner of 11th Street & Liberty Avenue)
Blue Lobby B (located on Penn Avenue)

Smithfield and Liberty – Approx. four-block or eight-minute walk
GPS address: 629 Smithfield St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Hourly on Friday before 4 PM.
Flat-free after 4 PM on Friday and on Saturday: $8

10th Street & Penn Avenue  – Approx. two-block walk to the DLCC
The website lists the lot for leaseholders only. However, they are often open on weekends when there are events.

There are also outdoor lots in the Strip District. However, these websites say that they close at 4:45 PM on Saturdays. Park here at your own risk. Street parking is not recommended for our event vendors.

Go Mobile Parking App: Downloadable in Google Play and the Apple App Store
Use at your own risk. Handmade Arcade is uncertain if there are limits to how long you can leave your car in a parking space or the fees.

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There is no free internet service at the Convention Center. 

We recommend that vendors use their smartphone data for credit card sales. Credit card sales use minimal data. You should be able to set up a Hotspot connection to another device. We recommend that you bring a portable charger. Unfortunately, unless you paid for electricity, there are no convenient places to charge your phone.

The Convention Center contracts its WiFi through showNets.  Here are their instructions for joining the Wi-Fi network

  1. Join the DLLCC_Exhibit wireless or DLLCC_Premium network from the device you want to use
  2. A splash page should pop up; if not, open a web browser
  3. Change the drop-down menu to “Charge my credit card”
  4. Agree to our terms and conditions and hit enter

If you have any issues, contact ShowNet network support at 412-502-5006.

2022 Rates were: (We do not have the 2023 information yet)

  • 1 Day – $75.00 per device
  • 3 Day – $168.75 per device (multi-day discount applied)

PLEASE NOTE: Handmade Arcade does not receive any money from this. We also will be paying to attach our devices to the network. Turning on the room’s WiFi would cost us over $7000 which is way out of our nonprofit budget.

DOWNLOAD showNets WiFi instruction one-page.

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What to Bring:

Click here to download our Show Checklist PDF.

  • Your crafts, and LOTS of them.
  • A credit card reader. Vendors with credit card readers tend to have a better sales day.
  • Fully charged cell phone and portable charger. 
  • Change. You can never have too many small bills – ones, fives, and tens. You can bring a cash box, but nothing is more secure than wearing your money — either in an apron or in your pockets (trousers with four big pockets — $1, $5, $10, and $20). Handmade Arcade will NOT be able to make change or break large bills.
  • Business cards or other promotional/contact materials for your craft venture. You may also want to have a mailing list sign-up sheet.
  • A friend. If you don’t have a buddy to help out, HA will have volunteers on hand who can watch your table while you take a bathroom break or grab some food.
  • Tablecloth or yardage. You’ll also want enough material to hang to the floor, and disguise all the stuff you’re storing under the table.
  • Mirrors are helpful if you’re selling clothing or jewelry.
  • Bags. If you don’t have your own, use brown craft bags. HA gets theirs from Schorin in the Strip District. There are likely better places to order these online. We happen to get our bags here every year.
  • Craft-fair essentials kit. Might include: chapstick, mints, masking tape, safety pins, Sharpie, scissors, needle and thread, string, small notebook, pens, aspirin, and Band-Aids.
  • Trash bag. 
  • Comfortable shoes. Consider bringing a spare set and/or a mat to stand on. The concrete floor can be brutal.
  • Wear layers. Please note that the Convention Center is a “green building.” During load-in, the heating system will be off while the loading dock doors are open. After this time, it will take several hours (depending on how cold it is outside) for the hall to return to normal temperature. The temperature also fluctuates throughout the day, depending on crowd levels. PLEASE NOTE: Handmade Arcade cannot do anything about the hall’s temperature. 

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Tips and Information:

  • Signage. Make sure your products are identified if they’re not apparent to customers and that you highlight a unique feature (“Made from recycled chopsticks!”).
  • Mark prices clearly.
  • Inventory what you’re bringing. That way, you can sort out what you’ve sold after the event.
  • Stand and deliver. Sure, it’s a long day, and your feet may be crying for a break, but you’re more likely to engage customers and appear accessible if you’re standing up and eye level with them. Sitting, head bowed over some craftwork, isn’t inviting to sales. Remember, this is retail. You don’t have to do a hard sell, but smiling, inviting customers over, and talking up your products are all smart strategies.
  • The Convention Center is now cashless. 
  • Concessions will be open on Friday. There will be a cash bar during the happy hour. Feel free to grab a drink if you are 21 or older.
  • Concessions will be open on Saturday from breakfast through dinner. Breakfast items, lunch, beverages, and snacks will be available for purchase.
  • Concession lines at the Convention Center can be long and time-consuming. We recommend you bring drinks and food with you.

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Volunteer Help:

HA Volunteers will be recognizable by their name badge and black apron. They are there to assist you. They will also be available to watch your table for brief trips to the restroom or concessions stand. Volunteers will only watch your table and will not make any sales — shoppers will be informed that the vendor will return shortly. Please keep these trips short. Handmade Arcade organizers are available at the Welcome Tent located at the front of the hall for other issues.

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Taxes and Insurance:

All participating businesses are required to operate their business per the law of Pennsylvania – including registration and taxes. Visit PA Business One-Stop Shop website for more information.

All participating businesses are required to carry business insurance. Visit ACT (Artists Crafters & Tradesman) Insurance for more information. Handmade Arcade is required to have insurance for the event. However, if a claim is made against an individual vendor or something happens to your property on-site, Handmade Arcade cannot guarantee that its insurance will cover you.

These and any other legal requirements are the vendors’ responsibility. Handmade Arcade will not request proof of compliance.

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COVID-19 Policy

Handmade Arcade will follow the COVID-19 advice from the CDC for indoor gatherings. Masks are suggested but not required. If you are feeling sick, please stay home.

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Here is a link for all new usernames. The password to start for all is the same, which is why the instructions tell you to immediately change your password. 
The DEADLINE to complete the page is Wednesday, November 15.
Virtual Catalog will launch on Monday, November 20.
Follow the following three steps for best results. 
Step Three: Instructional Videos (optional PDF)

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For More Information:

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at  if you have further questions.  It is better to ask in advance.

For last-minute emergencies, the night before and the morning of the show, do not email. Text Tricia at 412-654-3889. Make sure you let her know who you are and what your business name is. She will do her best to get back to you but can make no guarantees.

We are looking forward to another successful and fun Handmade Arcade!

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