Friday, 2 September 2011

Craft Fair Tips and Tricks

I am aiming to provide a fairly comprehensive guide to having a stall at a craft fair. If you think I have missed something, leave me a comment and I will edit this guide. 

Before the event
  • Double check the details with the event organiser
  • Check out the venue, especially if you are not familiar with the area, and mark it on a map or write yourself directions.
  • Find out how much publicity the event will have, and let your friends, family and colleagues know about it. Blog about it and promote it on all your social networking sites.
  • Get your insurance certificates ready - it is recommended to have public liability and product liability insurance.
  • Look at other craft stalls for inspiration.
  • Do a dry run at home on how you are going to display things. Think about adding height (maybe by putting boxes under your cloth. If you take a photo of it on your mobile, you can use it as an aide-memoire when you are at the fair
Things to remember to take with you
  • Your stock - enough to adequately cover your table without being cluttered. If you have too much, put some aside to fill spaces as items sell. If you have too little, you could display each piece in a jewellery box or use props to fill out your stall.
  • Props and stands and a mirror, or two.
  • Table covering (table cloth or sheet). It is best to use a plain one.
  • Business cards. If you don't have a card holder, you could put them on a pretty saucer or loose in neat stacks on the table.
  • A float is essential. Try to price things in whole pounds or 50ps which will eliminate the need to have a float of all denominations. Remember to count it at the start and deduct it at the end!
  • Stall fee and any other requirements, for example a raffle prize.
  • Bags, boxes and other packaging.
  • An order book and a receipt book.
  • Sellotape - useful for so many things.
  • Tape measure
  • I always make up a stock sheet, in blocks (for example, bracelets, necklaces etc.) with their prices on and a box to tick when it sells. It is easier than writing out receipts.
  • Spare price tags.
  • Lighting - if you know you are provided with electricity.
  • Sweets - to lure customers to your stand, and to eat when your stall is quiet!
On the day
  • If you have an online shop, put it on holiday mode. 
  • Get to the venue early - don't underestimate how long it will take to make your stall look perfect.
  • Give out your business cards and talk to other stallholders.
  • When it is quiet, chat to the other stallholders as they are usually full of information about where the best fairs are in the area and its always good to get a different perspective on things. (Thanks to Emma Rogerson for this tip)
  • Be friendly and helpful without being overbearing, and keep yourself free for your customers, i.e. don't take your knitting with you, it can be really offputting.
  • Arrange for someone you know well to visit you. It can be useful to have someone to buy you a drink or stand in for you while you pop to the ladies.
  • Talk about your products in a positive light.
  • If you know that children will be there, offer pocket money items, as children will often drag their parents to your stall.
  • If you take a commission think about whether you will take a deposit or the full amount from the customer.
  • If things don't work out as well as you expected, try to take away something positive from the experience, even if it is a resolve not to do outdoor fairs again.
  • Blog about your experience!
If you have blogged about your craft stall experience or have pictures of your craft stalls, feel free to add a link in the comments.

5 comments:

  1. Great blog- very useful. I'm going to bookmark it for my next foray into craft fairs!
    Kate x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this. Have saved it for future reference.
    {Dab and a dash.}

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great Blog - Its really comprehensive! I was just going to add I always like to chat to the other stall holders when things are quiet. They are usually full of info about where the best fairs are in the area and its always great to get others perspective on things!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you Emma, I will add that in.

    ReplyDelete

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