Guidelines for setting up a craft fair……

The event organiser is there to keep stand holders happy and provide a good show for your customers.  It is a job where you must be able to juggle creative personalities, good organisational skills, be ‘out there’ advertising, keeping a good reputation and doing it all professionally and staying calm!!

Setting up a fair should be easy once you follow a few simple guidelines.

 Step 1. Vet all applicants, asking a person to send 3 images of their product and price range will help you to have good variety at your event with realistic prices. This helps you to know what products are coming to your event and what you have to offer your customers.

Step 2.  Think about value and interest for your customers.  If everything is expensive or too cheap you will miss out on pleasing a large percentage of your customers. Variety in price will cater for more people, not everyone is searching for a bargain, also have products available for impulse buys, the money people are carrying around in their pockets.

Step 3.  Variety…this means that although it would be easy to cram in the first few people applying for spaces, you must remember that your customer will look for variety in the stands.  Having too many stands of the same type of product will make for a boring fair and also the stand holders will not sell well if there are too many of the same type of products in the same venue.

Step 4.  Be visible…your stand holders will appreciate you being around for queries and support.  You are the face of your business so being available for your customers (the stand holders) is a must.

Step 5.  Advertise. Advertise. Advertise.  Internet, flyers, shops signs, websites, CCOI website,, facebook, road signs, balloons, blimp….get it known out there that you are having an event and then saturate everywhere to get customers in the door.  If you have an empty event you will not get people to display with you again.

Step 6.  Start with a good reputation and keep it!     ……. You need to build a good reputation from the very first fair you run.  If there are customers in the door it is up to the stand holders to sell their products.      A chef’s reputation is only as good as his last meal!

Step 7.  If you are going to do it, do it right the first time!   There is no second chance to make a first impression.   You may not make much on your first few events, but building a good reputation by looking after your stand holders, advertising well and putting in the time to make things right will pay off in time!

Step 8.  Give a little back to your customers….feel good factor works!   Have a coffee area, seating space,  have face painting, balloons or music, a little extra can help the customers relax and not feel that it is all about spending!

Step 9Charity…if you run a charity raffle or donate some proceeds to charity, you can benefit from free advertising with their website, maybe local newspaper, radio and road signs (check your local county council in relation to this).  PLUS you help a charity.

Step 10.  Ask for help…you cannot do it all alone, bring people in with their expertise to spread the workload.  One person cannot be great at everything, use the right people for parts of the business that you lack knowledge or experience in.

Experience is everything, every fair you run you will learn from and bring forward new ideas to improve the next one!


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