Surviving craft fairs

Craft Fairs.  They fill me with both fear and joy.

I recently attended two local craft fairs, the first was the Kitch and Stitch fair at the Vestry Hall in Cranbrook, Kent. This fair has a wondefully vintage feel about it, and the small collection of stall holders are all boldly passionate and highly skilled. I was very fortunate to have my table placed next to a wonderful lady who runs a small business called Gilly Flower. Her table was so beautifully dressed with lavendar filled fabric delights. This lady sources her lavendar from France - it was so wonderfully rich - the scent floated around all day and definately helped to calm my nerves!

The second fair kept me in my own Village of Staplehurst. The Staplehurst Craft fairs are a fairly new venture, running quaterly from the village centre. Staplehurst is so rich with talented makers, so how wonderful it was to have all of us under one roof for the afternoon. Cakes, candles, dolls, coffee....the list was endless -  you can find most of us on the Staplehurst Makers website

Now that these fairs are over, I tried today to reflect on what runs through my mind in the run up to an event.

I practice my table design a lot. For me, presentation is one of the most important aspects of fair preparation. I wrote myself a checklist last year which I still use today for every event I attend.

1. Does my stall have depth/dimension? I use crates, hat stands and shelving units.

2. Is the stock relevant to the event? I try to tailor my products to the type of visitor the event is likely to attract.

3. Do I have information or interactive content to draw in customers?

4. Is the table layout visible from all angles?

5. Do I have enough stock to keep the table full if products sell well?

I also attend events armed with questions and conversation openers. Drawing customers to the stall with a simple "hi, how are you doing today?" could lead to a sale or a good contact.

Craft fairs can be quite scary, but they are a fantastic opportunity to network with like minded people.

Do you have any craft fair tips you would like to share? Do get in touch...