I have been doing craft shows for a few years now. I usually stick to a card sized table for smaller events and go with something bigger for larger shows. I like using my card table the best because of the small space that forces me to have a clean layout - I am the type of person who can never have to many items sitting around.
I try to get my products situated the night before. I group items together and use drawstring bags to hold them in their groups. My business cards and fliers go in a box and if they are too big I paperclip them together. My tablecloth goes on top for extra protection. I use vintage suitcases to haul my stuff to events and then hide them under the table at the event. If I am doing baked goods I place everything in food storage boxes and stack them in the fridge until they are ready to go.
The day of the event I pack all my goods in neat stacks in the car. My boyfriend loads the trunk with our table and chairs. After leaving things behind before I have learned to double check before leaving. I also make a run to the bank for change - super important!
Always get to a show early, especially if tables are not assigned to a certain location. This can mean having a great spot or being stuck in the corner. Once at the show check in and then go get your stuff. If you can bring a friend to help with getting things ready, my boyfriend always helps and vends his stuff - I am lucky! Bring extra such as markers, tape (to hold down signs - if you are outdoors!)and a note book so you can take down any notes like low inventory, and you can always doodle in it if it gets slow!
I think having a routine is important and the longer you do shows the better you get at setting up. Also having a set up plan means less stress and less stress is always good!
Thank you amea - oddly romantic for the picture of my set up!