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Topic: Banner for Svengali Pitch tent
Message: Posted by: sethb (May 27, 2008 10:15AM)
I would like to add some flash to my Svengali Pitch booth, by putting a banner on top of my 10' square tent.

My idea was to get two 4’ long and 1-inch thick wooden dowels. One would go on each front leg of my tent, so that 2 feet of the dowel would extend above the top of the front of the tent. The dowels would be held in place by one or two long bungee cords tightly wrapped around the lower 2 feet of the dowel and the upper part of the tent leg.

Then I could take a 2-foot high 10-foot wide canvas or poly banner, and string it between the two upright dowels, holding it in place with rope and grommets. Or, if the banner had pole pockets at the top and bottom along the length of the banner, I could run a 1/4" rope through them and use that to secure the banner. But I’m afraid of adding something to the tent structure that could place extra stress on the tent and tent legs in a windy situation and cause a problem. I’ve seen banners with wind slits in them, but that probably only reduces the wind problem and doesn’t eliminate it.

Another idea I had, which would be cheaper and less complicated, would be to get individual 4 or 6-inch vinyl stick-on letters in a contrasting color, and attach them to the existing front drape of the tent, which is probably about 8” high and 9' long. It wouldn’t be quite as visible as a 2’ high banner, but would still be an improvement over what I‘ve got now, which is nothing. But I have no idea whether the lettering would stay put, how it would look and how long it would last.

Has anybody else tried to do something like this, and if so, can you offer any ideas or advice? Thanks! SETH
Message: Posted by: Josh Peters (May 27, 2008 10:41AM)
Hi Seth,
I've done something similar with my strange thing booth. I used the awning poles that came with my booth in the same fasion you described. I didn't have any issue with wind or harming the structure of the tent, but the middle of my banner sagged. Right now I use two 8' steel poles that I attach to the two front legs(on the outside part of the legs) using black ducktape. I also have a 10' steel pole running across the top of the two added poles. My banner attaches to the two sides tightly and is held to the top pole in the middle to keep it from sagging.
Message: Posted by: sethb (May 27, 2008 10:55AM)
Thanks for the info!

I also thought about the sagging issue, that's why I figured that the rope/pole pockets arrangement would be a good idea (and would also take some stress off of the banner itself). But I can see that it will probably still sag without a cross brace of some sort, it's inevitable. Now I'm thinking about some 1" PVC pipe for that purpose, which isn't very stiff from side-to-side, but would probably be good laterally and might allow me to pull that top rope tighter. Plus, I could join two 5' pieces together with a coupling for easy setup and breakdown, and terminate the ends with those right-angle coupling things that could slide right over the top of the dowel ends.

BTW, how tall/wide is your banner, and what material is it made of? SETH
Message: Posted by: Josh Peters (May 27, 2008 11:20AM)
My banner is 2x10 roughly. I made it from canvas bought at a big box store and painted it myself. There's several things I will change when I need to replace it, better paint, no grommets, stronger canvas. I chose to use steel rather than pvc as I don't really like the look of the pvc and wanted something very strong that would hold up to some abuse. I was able to get some angle joints for the steel electrical tubing and added eye bolts to attach the banners. I also use three pieces of steel for top brace that I connect together rather than one long 10' pole. The setup is still not exactly what I want and I have some other ideas I'm working on...
At a ren fair this weekend I used 2x2's to frame up the sign and tied them to my tent. It worked great.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (May 27, 2008 12:38PM)

Use 3/4 inch conduit pipe.They are only $5.00 for a 10foot pice at Lowe's or Home Depot. Don't use pvc or wood. Get your cornors here to make a frame out of the conduit:


Spend the money and have a 8 foot by 2 foot vinyl banner made at a sign shop.Put it up with bunge cords so the banner is streched so it can be read.There is nothing that looks worst than a banner tied up with rope and saging so it can't be seen.

Check out my banner on the joint.See how tight I have it so it looks good.

http://www.zing-me.com/joint.html it makes a BIG difference.

Hope this helped,
Message: Posted by: Josh Peters (May 27, 2008 12:57PM)
Thanks for that link! I've been looking for these. I agree completely with you-the banner needs to be tight.
Message: Posted by: sethb (May 27, 2008 01:55PM)
Thanks, Don -- as usual you are right on the money, with the good info.

I agree, the PVC stuff probably is not a good choice, because it's too long of a run and it won't be stiff enough. I will check out Home Depot this weekend for the conduit pipe (sounds like its real purpose is to enclose electrical wiring, I guess).

So Don, when is "Svengali Pitch: The Complete Book" coming out? I think if you went back and compiled a lot of your Café' posts, there probably is more than enough stuff for a book! Anyway, thanks as always for your helpful tips. SETH
Message: Posted by: Big Jeff (May 27, 2008 02:12PM)
I use PVC tubing to hold up my banner and I attach them to the easyup with zipties, they are cheap and easy to attach and cut for teardown.
Message: Posted by: sethb (May 27, 2008 02:22PM)
Jeff -- this is interesting -- what diameter PVC pipe are you using, and what lengths? SETH
Message: Posted by: Big Jeff (May 31, 2008 07:42PM)

All my signs have pole pockets top and bottom.

My setup is in 3 sections. The part that attches to the easyup legs, the part that holds the 2 small signs and the top part that holds the big sign.

The bottom legs are 6' tall with an 3 way connector at 2' and at the top these are ziptied to the easyup, I have 2 other poles with elbows at 2' and 6', they connect to the outside poles with 3' poles and hold the bottom small signs.

The top part is 2'6" tall and has 2 elbows to hold the big sign, it goes on top of the 6' poles attached to the easyup.

The whole thing is 8'6" tall and I can put it up in less than 10 min by myself.

Big Jeff
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 2, 2008 07:29AM)
Thanks, Jeff, for the great info. BTW, what diameter pipe are you using?

I took a trip to Home Depot over the weekend and looked at 3/4" metal conduit pipe (probably aluminum?), 3/4" grey plastic conduit pipe, and 3/4" white plastic PVC pipe. The metal stuff didn't look very sturdy, plus I'd need a hacksaw or special tool to cut it. Was I looking at the wrong stuff?

The grey plastic conduit pipe seemed stiffer than the white PVC pipe, and it also said that it was treated for outdoor use (UV resistant, I guess). I could cut plastic pipe with up to a 1" diameter with a simple $10 PVC pipe cutter, and it wouldn't need to be threaded for elbows and 3-way connections.

So the search goes on. SETH
Message: Posted by: Big Jeff (Jun 2, 2008 11:13AM)

I use 3/4 white pvc. It's fine for outside.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jun 2, 2008 11:19AM)
The conduit is steel not aluminum and 10 foot should sell for around $5.00.A hacksaw is cheap but if you buy a cheap hack saw be sure to buy a good blade.The blade that comes with a cheap hack saw isn't any good.Or buy a pipe cutter.They are just a little more in price but will give you a good stright clean cut.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 2, 2008 12:37PM)
Hey Don, your $5 price was about on target, so I guess it was the right stuff. But it looked kind of springy when I picked up one end, not very encouraging on the rigidity issue. But I suppose anything that long is going to have some play in it, except for a steel I-beam (now THERE's an idea!). I guess when I cut the stuff into two 5' pieces, which was my plan, things would be different. And if I do go that route, I believe I would spring for a pipe cutter, since I'm no expert with a hacksaw.

BTW, when I told the guy what I wanted it for, he just smiled and said "Hey, go for it!" like I was some sort of wacko. Good thing I didn't tell him I was a Svengali Pitchman! On the other hand, he sounded like he didn't know what the stuff was actually used for anyway, so I could care less. SETH
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Jun 10, 2008 08:13PM)
Definately spring for a pipe cutter. You don't have to thread steel conduit the fittings clamp on. If you see a good price on a PVC cutter get on of them too, just don't use it to cut PVC; it is the greatest gardening tool nobody ever heard of.
Message: Posted by: Bill Beach (Jul 19, 2008 10:44PM)
Speaking of banners, I'm in the process of putting together my "pitch joint" and came across this source:


Pricing seems to be pretty reasonable if you need just basic banners. It's also pretty cool that you can design your own banner online.

And yes, Don Driver's DVD's have given me the inspiration to give the Svengali Pitch the good old college try. Thanks, Don!
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Jul 20, 2008 10:50AM)

This is a great site. I have been looking for a banner with s big card fan on it and also a banner that has one big card face on it. I am looking for a pair of them. I think I may have to design my own! This would be a great way to do it.

Thanks for posting this link. Also as for the Don Driver's DVD Bill, you have the best information on pitching in the world.... you just can't go wrong with Don's DVD's Good Luck on your joint and pitching. ROD
Message: Posted by: Bill Beach (Jul 20, 2008 09:53PM)
Thanks, Rod. I placed my order for 3 banners today for my joint. They have clip art available so I bet you can find the card artwork you need for your banners.
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Jul 21, 2008 05:33AM)
Hello Bill:

Hey let me know how they look and how you like the banners when they arrive. I also use red and white flag pennants to add to the flash, as my joint is red with white lettering(from Don's Plans on the DVD) same color as Don's . I have a white EZ UP with white sidewall. A little flash really makes the joint stand out, I think banners will add just the right touch. Good luck Bill and see you down the road. ROD
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jul 21, 2008 07:15PM)
Rod, this is slightly off topic, but the flag pennants are a great idea. You can get a big package of them in almost any party store, and they add some extra color and motion, it makes the whole thing stand out and look more festive.

They also serve another good purpose -- I drape them around and over my tent guy lines, making them more visible so that people don't trip over them and hurt themselves. For $15, it's a great investment. SETH
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Jul 21, 2008 08:09PM)

Great idea to run the pennants down the guy ropes. I have cinder block weights for my EZ UP painted bright orange, so folks won't trip on the weights too. The pennants on the ropes are added protection against tripping.

Message: Posted by: Fitz (Jul 23, 2008 02:42AM)
We used this banner company for a holiday event and all of our banners were great. My future Father in law found the company and designed them. I have a friend who trades out with me but I would use this company otherwise.


again here is a link
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Jul 23, 2008 10:00AM)
Thanks Fitz!
I am going to order banners from this company soon. Its good to hear from another user of banners from this company. The more you can add color and lighting to a joint, the more it will stand out and attract attention. As you know...FLASH IS CASH!!!HA HA

May your tips be plentiful and the spending heavy!
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jul 23, 2008 10:50AM)

You're very close,but we say "No flash...No cash!" You have the idea though.

My theroy is that if the joint has good flash they dosen't notice it.But they DO notic if you don't.So if the joint looks lame and run down they won't stop as much thinking " what a dump this stand is"

Just my two cents.What do the rest of you think of this theroy?

Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Jul 23, 2008 12:42PM)
Hello Don:

hey ..good to hear from you!! I did get that turned around...NO CASH..NO FLASH does sum it up very nicely ha ha,,,,, Yes,Don, I notice that the joints that have flags, banners, good lighting and a good sound system, are generally doing good business , expecially if the event goes on during the evening hours,the lighting really stands out, it really pulls them in. It does'nt take a lot of money to buy a few flags and pennants, and some good clip on lights,and a few of those little rope lights will add a marquee theater look to the joint too..... its well worth the investment.

Good talking to you again Don,

Message: Posted by: sethb (Jul 23, 2008 01:34PM)
I agree 100%, first impressions are very important.

You could have the greatest pitch in the world, but if your joint is dusty or dirty, if your merchandise is a little shopworn, etc., if your tent frame is bent and rusty or your tent top is faded and wrinkled, it's an instant turnoff. Ditto on belly shirts, old baseball caps, faded T-shirts, etc. While you don't need a tuxedo, a clean shirt is a very good idea! Some of the vendors I've seen look like they haven't taken a bath in a while, and used the Salvation Army as their clothing store.

Let's face it, you are asking people who don't know you from Adam to plunk down their hard-earned cash to buy something they've never heard of and don't understand. So you better look legit and be convincing about it!

And you've got to attract their attention in the first place, so whatever you can do to stand out from the other 100 vendors at a show is a great help. In my experience, a big sign or banner, some colorful pennants, a few clip-on lights for night shows, and a small PA will all help, and should quickly pay back their cost many times over.

I made a colorful 4-foot sign by using just basic "Print Shop Deluxe" software and then taping the four pieces of standard letter-size card stock together. I ended up with a 45" x 9" sign that I took to Staples and had laminated for about $15. It rolls up when not in use, and secures quickly with a few dabs of duct tape on the back. I've used it now for 3 years and it still looks brand new, proving that you don't need to spend a fortune to look good.

For indoor shows I made a similar laminated sign that was only 33" long and 9" high. It fits right on my pitch table, which I cover with bright red velveteen (a $15 remnant from a fabric store). One of these days I'll spring for a 6' or 8' banner, but so far I'm doing OK. SETH
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Jul 23, 2008 01:38PM)
Hello Seth:

GREAT ADVICE! It doesn't have to cost a lot to flash up the joint., and the pay off in sales is well worth it. Thanks for posting this!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jul 23, 2008 03:34PM)
This pitch joint served my well for many years. I know most of you have seen my pitch joint in my Svengali DVD but here are a few good photos of it.

Understand it took awhile for it to come to this.Good flash but not too much.


I like this photo of the joint much better...for obvious reasons


Message: Posted by: Bill Beach (Aug 14, 2008 09:54AM)
Finally got my joint put together, it's obvious it's copied from Don's and adapted to an easy-up. Banners are from the link I posted above, I am well pleased with their banners and service.


Thanks again, Don, for all the pitch information on the DVD, hope to be out at a flea market next weekend.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 14, 2008 10:45AM)
Hey Bill, that's a great-looking setup, best of luck with it. The top pennants are a great touch -- mind if we ask where you got them?

Unless it's windy, you may want to roll up the side panels for better air circulation. I also have a three-sided side panel, and usually only use the back portion (to prevent the specs from getting distracted). I roll the other two side panels up and stuff them around the rear tent legs. If I need them for sun or wind control, they're right there.

Also glad to see that your booth is securely tied down with guy lines -- when a sudden wind comes up, you won't be hanging onto the tent for dear life to prevent a blowdown! SETH
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Aug 14, 2008 11:04AM)
Hello Bill:

WOW! Fantastic looking joint. You will do very well with this set up. I wish you all the best in your pitching. Yes, I would like to know where you got those neat pennants(flags), adds just the right touch for flash.

Wishing you all the best!

Message: Posted by: Bill Beach (Aug 14, 2008 08:10PM)
Thanks guys, I'm looking forward getting started.

The pennant/flags came from here: http://www.anyflag.com/ad/2_stripe_pennants.html

The cost of the flag is pretty reasonable (I got the 2 x 3), but the shipping cost added about another $6 per flag. Once again, copied from Don's joint.

I had it up in my back yard all last week as a test (without banners) and it came through some heavy wind and rain with no problem.

Seth, it's difficult to see in the photo but I created a "wall" as a divider, using a blue tarp. That's where the banner is. It is placed about 3-4 feet behind the front. That way I can go behind the "wall" for a break and have some privacy, and my wife can hang out there when she is not spending more money than we take in at the flea market. It's a large enough area behind the wall to set up a folding table and chairs. Or, I could leave the side curtains off altogether and still have a back-drop.

By the way, I used 3/4" conduit to construct the banner frame and "wall" frame as Don suggested, using canopy fixtures from his source. There is a wealth of information here!
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Aug 15, 2008 10:26AM)

That is BEAUTIFUL ! You have to make money on that joint...well,I guess you don't HAVE TO...but flash helps a lot.(no flash,no cash)

Thanks for shareing.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 15, 2008 08:10PM)
Bill, thanks very much for the pennant info. It is obvious that you have put a great deal of time and thought into your booth. I'm sure your spot will be the "best dressed" joint at the flea! Between that and Don's "No-Fail" Svengali Pitch, hopefully it will pay big dividends for you.

And please let us know how you made out on your "maiden" voyage. May you have big tips and perfect DL's! SETH
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Aug 15, 2008 10:02PM)
Hello Bill:

Many thanks too for the pennant info. You are going to do VERY WELL with that sharp looking joint! lets us know how it goes for you!

Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 16, 2008 03:55PM)
Bill, I just ordered three pennants for my booth -- thanks for the info. This should help to make the joint stand out from the rest at the upcoming Fall street festivals.

I meant to tell you that I have found it very helpful to have a piece of carpet, about 1' x 2', to stand on. If you're on grass or dirt, it keeps your shoes from getting wet or dirty. If you're on concrete or asphalt, it provides a much-needed cushion if you're going to be on your feet for 5 or 6 hours.

You can get a good roll-up carpet for about $6 in a sporting-goods store. You could also try to get an obsolete carpet square sample from a carpet store (it's free, but it won't roll up). Either way, your feet will definitely thank you! SETH
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 23, 2008 08:14PM)
Well, I took the plunge today and ordered myself a 2' x 8' banner from Bill's source, it should be here in a couple of days. I splurged and went for a two-color job (red and black on white vinyl), which cost an extra $15, but it should look pretty snappy.

Between the pennants and the banner, I should stand out pretty good on the Fall street festivals, it seemed like a good investment. Thanks, Bill, for sharing the info on this. I had poked around the Web for banners, but most other sites were more complicated to use and/or more expensive.

With the economy in the tank, I've only got three street fairs booked in September, as some of my other regular stops have decided not to run this year. But these three shows should be big ones, and I want to make the most of them. No kids are walking past my booth without stopping and getting a Svengali Deck! SETH
Message: Posted by: Bill Beach (Aug 23, 2008 10:16PM)
Hey Don, thanks for the complement on my joint, coming from you it means a lot. As I've said before, all I did was copy ideas from your joint and apply them to the EZ-Up I already had.

Seth, I was happy with my banners and pennants so hopefully you will be too.
By the way,thanks for the tip on getting some carpet to stand on. I plan on setting up at a couple of large flea markets in my area in the next couple of weeks I'll pick up a piece of carpet.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 29, 2008 06:58PM)
Bill, just received my 2' x 8' banner from HalfPriceBanners.com, and I was very pleased with it. Only time will tell how it holds up to the elements, but it looks pretty substantial.

As a matter of fact, I just ordered another one, a 3' x 6' banner, for inside work. On this one, I used two colors (red and black) and also added a graphic (a deck of cards), which was an extra $5 charge. The banner still came in under $100, including shipping, which seemed pretty good to me.

I've got my first Fall street fair coming up next weekend, so I'll get a chance to trot out the big banner and the pennants, and see how they work out. Thanks again for the source info, it was very helpful. SETH
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Aug 29, 2008 07:24PM)
Seth,and everybody with a banner

Be sure to "roll" your new banner up to store it.I hope it came with a tube to keep it in.If not,go buy a piece of PVC pipe to use as a tube to store it in.

You can glue a solid cap on one end,than get a threaded piece for the other end and a cap with threads so you can screw it on and off.It really keeps your banner looking like new for a long long time.( and its cheap to put together)

Just a little tip.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 31, 2008 06:43PM)
Hey, Don, thanks for the great PVC tip. The banner did come in a sturdy cardboard box, and I was wondering how the heck to reinforce it to preserve it.

The PVC tube is a great idea and I don't know why the heck I didn't think of it myself -- I've spent the past few days cutting and glueing together 3/4" PVC pipe for the banner frame.

In fact, the hardware store had a few odd pieces of leftover PVC pipe that they were selling cheap as scrap. Now I gotta go back and look for a 3" wide piece about 2-1/2' long.

BTW, the instructions that came with the banner said to roll it up with the lettering facing in. So that's what I'll do.

If Hurricane Hannah doesn't get there first, I'm hoping to use the banner and pennants next weekend at a big street fair. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Thanks again, Don, for the great tip. SETH
Message: Posted by: sethb (Sep 3, 2008 07:09AM)
Got up early Sunday morning to give my new E-Z Up tent and banner a test setup in the back yard -- I didn't want to be "practicing" my setup at a show!

Turns out I was right on the money with most of my measurements, I just had to trim about 3" off the legs of the banner frame, so that the banner was at the correct height relative to the front of the tent. I also tried out the "bungee balls," and they are quick and easy to use, definitely recommended. The top of the banner is 9 feet off the ground, and the tops of the pennants are 12 feet off the ground. No question that my booth WILL be visible!

I do have one question. The banner frame seems very sturdy from side to side, because it's lashed to the front legs of the tent. However, front-and-back is another story, and of course, if it's windy, that's where I will have the biggest problems. I can run a guy line at a 45-degree angle from the top of the banner frame to the top of the rear tent leg, on each side of the banner. That will provide some stability for wind from the rear, but it does nothing for wind coming from the front. I think that guy lines going in front of the tent would be unsightly and impractical (I have enough people tripping over my side guy lines for the tent as it is!) Anybody have some tips for dealing with this?

BTW, I know that one obvious answer is not to put the banner up in anything but light winds, which I plan to do. But I'm concerned about that one unexpected gust of wind that can send everything flying. SETH
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Sep 3, 2008 07:34AM)

I don't see much you could do.unless you did go on a 45 degree from the front.But like you said the marks will trip on the guy lines.Now you could find some thin pipe or steel rods and put inside the PVC pipe that is above the tent and holding the banner.This would stiffen the PVC pipe.

This is why I always used condut steel pipe for hanging banners and use these fittings to put it together.


Message: Posted by: sethb (Sep 3, 2008 06:49PM)
Hey Don, I looked at the conduit and it seemed to be about as sturdy as the PVC. I went with PVC because I figured the metal conduit would make a heck of a lightning rod, but the PVC wouldn't. Of course, I forgot that the tent frame itself is either steel or aluminum!

Anyway, the PVC is pretty sturdy, I have a sort of an H-frame that I jury-rigged up. It's fine in no wind or even a light breeze, but of course with that solid 2 x 8 banner on it, I imagine it could be subject to some pretty strong pressure. I'll just have to see how it goes. But at 25 cents a foot, it was cheap to put together, so if it doesn't work out it's no big deal, and of course, it IS deductible! SETH