I set up at my first show earlier this year. I have learned some things that I am glad I did, and some things I wish I did.
First off, be prepared with materials. Cash for change, pens, paper, receipt paper, extension cord, lamps, phone charger, laptop, price guides, cashbox, tablecloth, display case, business cards, coins for kids, and a big dolly to move everything on. Most dealers only take one trip from their car into the show for security reasons.
Keep a good attitude throughout the entire show. Be grateful for the opportunity to sell coins and set freely. If you greet every single person that walks by, that goes a long way into not only keeping your mind active, but it engages potential customers and brightens their attitude.
Prepare yourself with contact to weirdos. I had a guy look at a CC Trade dollar
in my case, and run away with it. In a panic, I glanced around and I noticed he left his wad of cash that is held together by a $20 Liberty money clip. That was his collateral, but he failed to communicate that with me which brought me on edge.
Get creative! I add a display everytime I set up at shows. First display I made, I showed off my 1814 bust halves and made a small history note of events that occured in 1814. The second time I displayed some of my bust half mint errors and explained what they were. People love history and they enjoy free entertainment!
Have the right material. I had a lot of choice bust halves in my case and did not sell a single one. But, I sold dozens of modern junk proof sets. Lower end material seems to move quicker at smaller, local shows. Larger shows like FUN or ANA
can be used to move niche and quality material.
Keep in mind, reputation is everything. Don't blow it, good luck, and have fun!