Monday, 15 February 2010

Craft Fair - Lessons Learned

This is what my stand looked like at the beginning of the day .................................. and sadly it's exactly how it looked at the end of the day too! It was a very slow day and I wasn't the only stall holder to sell absolutely nothing, zilch, zippo.

That's the bad news. The good news is that I met some great people, handed out a bundle of cards, made some interesting observations and my products received some nice compliments. If you are thinking about taking a stand and are hesitating about it then don't - just do it. This one in North Berwick was organised well and I can't believe I had any anxieties - it was well run, well advertised, just short of any cash buyers. BUT, it was a small show in February and the list of items to take will be different than if you were attending a larger craft fair. That was Lesson No. 1.

Apart from my stock, this is what I will take to the next similar show:

Table cover - approx 6ft x 2ft min
Advertising banner saying who you are and what you do
Business Cards
Order forms
Notebook and couple of pens
Cash box and change
Gift wrap

Coffee mug
Something to do during the quiet moments (knitting)
Headache pills

I didn't feel lighting was necessary. The hall was well lit and unless you were selling something small like jewellery then I don't think it would have helped much. I was also in the middle of the room and getting power to the table would have been difficult.

It was evident from the beginning that it was going to be slow so I made use of my time in talking to the other stand owners and finding out from them what other local shows worked for them and getting details of their best websites. Everyone was happy and willing to share their experiences and I learned much from them.

Lesson No. 2 for next time would be to label items and price individually. I thought one large printed pricelist would work well and to a certain extent it did. However, I thought that it was obvious what my items were and I was surprised at how many folk picked up a coaster and didn't know what it was. Next time I will have cards for each group of items and price them up.

Lesson No. 3 would be to be aware of where the potential customers were coming from. I set up my stand without thinking about this and found that most folk came from the left hand side and my best items should have been positioned on the right hand side of the table which would catch their eye first.

Lesson No. 4 would be to have more general items for sale and not customised orders. Folk were there to make a purchase on the day and generally didn't want to place an order.

That's it! I really had fun and am still very optimistic. Off now to book a stand for the Easter Fair.


  1. Great advice, thanks! I've never 'done' a craft fair but have been thinking more and more about it recently - I'll be keeping your tips in mind!