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  1. Arriving at the Fair

    Before you leave for the fair check the information provided by the organisers for any special instructions for arrival, set up and break-down of the fair.  These may include timings, special access to the venue and detailed information on parking.  They may even have already allocated you your space.

    Allow sufficient time to arrive at the venue to have completed the set-up of your stall for at least 15 minutes prior to the opening time of the event.  This allows time for you to clear and tidy your space around the table, move cars and loo visits etc so you are ready to start selling when the doors open to the public.

    Upon arrival at the venue, locate your space and unload your car quickly and efficiently.  Invest in a sack trolley or boxes on wheels (or a suitcase with wheels) as quite often enough you have to walk your boxes some distance.  Do not leave your boxes and bags in the way of other stallholders.

    Store the empty boxes neatly under the table or back in the car if possible.
    Last instalment will come on Monday.  I have the weekend off so I will be redecorating my hallway & stairs.  Hope you have a good one too x?xml:namespace>
  2. Setting your stall up

    Practice setting up your stall at home before the event.  This will help to identify whether you have enough (or too much) stock and will make it easier on the day to arrange the stall quickly and efficiently.

    Table cloths

    Most craft fairs will provide you with a table that is usually about 6ft long (this will usually be specified in the events details) so make sure your table cloth is large enough to cover the table and just touch the floor at the front.  This hides your boxes and bags under the table and gives a smarter more professional impression.  Iron your table cloth – no-one likes wrinkles! 

    When selecting a table cloth choose one that will compliment your stock and not detract from it.  Most people go for a plain solid colour such a white or black, but pick one that suits your stock, such as a pale pink gingham fabric if your work is a pretty shabby chic, or a chunky hessian if your work is rustic and more country. 

    Display

    Work laid out flat on a table is very uninspiring and it is difficult to see them items at the back of the table, so try different levels to display your work.  Use baskets, plinths, boards and other props to display/hang/elevate your products.  Make sure that these props don’t detract from your products – you don’t want more offers to buy these then your actual work!  Make sure they don’t distract from your products – make sure it is obvious what is for sale!

    Try not to clutter your table – clutter makes it harder for the customer to see the items in insolation (ie in their own homes) without the distraction of the other items around it.

    Only sell the products that you have disclosed on the application form.  Good fair organisers will visit your stall and check that you are only selling the items you have advised them of as it is not fair on the other stallholders if overlaps occur.

    Try and have a product identity.  I have seen some stalls that sell a “mish-mash” of products for example a few cards, a couple of pieces of jewellery, a few cushions, knitted jumpers, cupcakes and pickles (this is a real stall that I have come across recently!) and they look jumbled and confusing when there is not a common theme.
    sulgrave stall

     

    Tomorrow I will talk briefly about arriving and setting up at the fair.

  3. Below are a few essential items that I always consider to take to a craft fair.  This list is not exhaustive, and you will learn what additional items you will need in time.
     

    Before you go:

    Tables & Chairs - Most events will provide tables and chairs but check with them before you go as you do not want to have to set up on the floor!

    Public Liability Insurance – many event organisers are requesting this cover before they can accept you so it may be worth looking into.  Make sure that the policy is relevant to your products, I have heard of so many people buying artists PL when they are actually making cushions!  An Insurance Broker will ensure that you are adequately covered.  I personally use http://www.gmimberltd.com/CraftsInsure%20Starter.html as they have specific Craft Fair Insurance which also includes Employers’ Liability Insurance (to cover your band of merry helpers!) and includes cover for some wholesale and party plan.

    Price and label all of your products clearly.
    Equipment:

    Table Cloth – ensure that this is large enough to cover the table and just touch the floor at the front to hide all your boxes under the table.  Pick a colour that compliments your stock/products and does not detract from it in anyway.  Make sure it is ironed!!!

    Notepad – to write down all the relevant details of any sales you make plus any tips/ideas you may get during the day.

    Pens – I usually take a biro to write in my notepad with plus a thin marker pen to make up any additional signage for the display.

    Tape – I take a roll of sellotape and a roll of gaffer tape (same colour as my table cloth) which is invaluable for securing my tablecloth (perfect hospital bed corners….ahem) and for securing my banner.

    Cash Float & Container – Make sure you take plenty of change with you, including £10 & £5 notes and plenty of change.  You don’t want to turn a sale away because you can’t change a £20 note!

    Bags – carrier bags large enough for your products.

    Business Cards – if you have them, ideal if you have a website you can promote or if you take orders and commissions.

    Flask of tea/coffee and lunch or snacks – always a good idea to check with the organiser whether teas and coffees are included.  Flasks are a good idea if you are on your own and can’t leave the stall unattended.
    Tomorrow, I will talk about setting your stall up.
  4. I have been asked on a number of occasions by newcomers to the craft fair world what to expect at a craft fair and how to have a successful and satisfying experience at a craft fair.  So I am going to share a few gems of my wisdom and knowledge that I have learned through many years of participating in various craft fair.
     
    I am still plucking up the courage to organise my own event fairly soon, which I imagine will be a whole different ball game so I will just concentrate on tips for attending an organised event for now.
     
    I will publish these tips over the next few days on here and I welcome any feedback and comments that provide a positive input to this cause.
     
    We are all in this together!  Happy crafting x