Thursday, 9 May 2013

How to prepare for arts & crafts fairs

As I've booked seven arts & crafts fairs for this year, I thought it would be useful to write a post on how to prepare for such an event. I am not an expert in this matter as I only did one (proper) arts & crafts  fair before, yet I still remember a few little things that went wrong along the other things that went really well. This is a checklist that helped me to get organized in the past and hopefully will help me and others for future events.

  1. Make sure you have a nice tablecloth for your stand. If you have a banner with your business name it's even better. As I don't have one yet, I only have a white blanket which I use as a tablecloth. It looks clean and my colourful paintings came to life against it. 
  2. Useful things to have with you: sellotape, labels, price tags, notebook, pen, receipt book, order book, etc. I put them in a tray so my table looks tidy. 
  3. Have plenty of easels, boxes, card holders, browsers and other support for your products. As I can't afford to invest in them right now I take some storage boxes and a little easel for displaying my work. If the fairs I booked this year will go well, I will treat myself with a card holder, a browser and a couple of little easels.  
  4. Make sure your prices are clearly written to avoid confusion. 
  5. Have plenty of change with you; don't rely on your sale to generate change for the day as it might not happen.  
  6. Make sure your products are of similar style so they won't look like they shouldn't belong there. When I look back at my display from the last year, together with my usual colourful paintings I also had some winter theme ones but I thought it was OK as it was nearly Christmas. Now I am working on a collection of small paintings in the same colourful style to take with me in craft fairs. 
  7. Have plenty of bubble wrap, wrapping paper and bags.  
  8. Don't forget the business cards and smile, smile, smile :).
I am sure there is more to say and to take into consideration, but these are some basic points to get you started. Also it is useful to rehearse the table layout before the event so when you are there, it will be easier to set up.