Here’s a bullet list of craft fair tips – let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to expand on!
Things to consider before booking a fair:
PPI – any organiser worth their weight will ask you for your Public Liability Insurance certificate – if they don’t they may not be as professional or as organised as they should be and therefore you may want to reconsider doing their fairs.
Credibility of the organiser – check if the business is sound, what’s the social media presence, their experience, do they have a decent website and emailing list, how will they advertise etc?
Where is the venue based? Does it have good footfall with passing trade, is there parking, is it in a recognised venue for events like this? Above all does it have good accessibility?
Is the fair an ‘add-on’ event – for example, is it in addition to an established venue – if so, is that venue likely to attract your target audience? Is there an admission fee – will your audience be willing to pay it?
Does the venue have wifi for use with card machines?
Are there facilities beyond the necessary loos – cafes are great to keep customers at the fair and mooching for longer.
Smaller UK fairs tend to use the 6ft table rule, some questions you may like to ask are:
Are tables/chairs provided?
Can stock be stored under the table?
Are food-based stalls in a different zone of the fair (you may also like to request you are not near heavily scented stalls if you sell fabric items or have allergies)?
Do you have access to an electric socket for lighting and power?
Most indoor venue will require additional lighting. This needs to be PAT tested.
Can you demonstrate your craft – many customers love it increasing sales and organisers often give extra free space for it
Are bought in goods allowed? If so, it can be tricky to sell alongside mass produced, often cheaper items, and it generally lowers the quality of the fair.
How many stalls will be there – how many are similar to yours?
The purpose of craft fairs is to sell your products and to meet your customers face-to-face
Make it easy for them to buy from you with clearly labeled signage and an ordered, easy to navigate stall
Know what you sell and what your brand ethos is and use this to inform your set up
Stick to your branding colours whilst choosing a neutral backdrop
Cloths need to be neutral, floor length and fire retardant
Group similar items together and use boxes/trays to create separate sections
Use shelves and boxes to create height and structure – height creates interest, allows for more selling space and also creates a backdrop for your stall
Consider a FAQ sheet or leaflets available to help customers understand your biz
Consider using a QR code sign up option to steer customers to your website
Offer a complete experience with branded packaging and essential info (socials etc) on business cards or packaging itself so customers have a contact point and remember you when they get home
Practice makes perfect:
Visit the venue before the day – get a sense of the place
Set up your stall at home and take lots of photos for easy reference and so others can help if necessary
Organise a lockable cash tin and float
Charge your phone and card machine
On the day:
Woohoo, you made it to the day – let’s get ready!
Wear something comfy but smart – if poss wear your products or at least your branding colours
Be engaged and interested – if poss stand up and be ready for customers, do not sit staring at your phone or stuffing your face! Eat discreetly and away from your stall if possible – don’t forget your water!
Remain positive – take something work related to do for super quiet times, don’t join in with any negativity from other stall holders, make the most of the moment to stop and start planning your next fair!
Your stall will change as your business grows, it will evolve and develop as you find better ways to show off your work – your work will change too. Try and enjoy the process, it can be a little scary going face to face and putting your stuff out there for the world to see – but it’s so worth it, there’s nothing like great feedback and I’m sure you’ll get plenty of that!