View Full Version : How easy is it to organise a craft fair?

21-01-2007, 12:35 PM
I am new to crafts and have been looking for local craft fairs to sell my designs but have found there aren't that many, especially small local ones rather than big events where you have to pay a lot for your stall. I wondered how I would go about organising one myself, where to advertise and what costs are involved. For example, there is a comminty centre near me that would be a good venue, but what would be my next steps? Would I be taking on too much seeing as I am new to all of this?

If I did organise would anyone be interested?

21-01-2007, 05:30 PM
There are 2 ways that you could organise a craft fair, but for both the most essential ingredient is contacts - you need the addresses / emails of enough crafters to invite as only some will be available.
Fair 1 - this would be the idea you mentioned - hiring a venue yourself. Once you know what it costs to hire the hall you also need to check if utilities/electricity are included in the price. Does the hall have trestle tables you can use and you will need extension cables so stalls can have their own lighting. If there are no tables you need to decide if stall holders bring their own or if you will hire them from someone else. What you charge each stall holder will be based on what you have paid to hire the hall, obviously you need to get your costs back and not end up out of pocket.
Fair 2 - for this fair you need to contact a local school, primary or secondary and see if they would like to host a craft fair to raise money for school funds. Schools have big halls/gyms, tables and usually supportive customers (parents). You help organise it by supplying the contacts list. The school charges 10 a table, with stalls having the option of one or 2 tables. Stall holders don't like an entrance fee being charged as this puts people off going. The school can make extra money by selling coffee and cakes.
The second option is easier to organise and you would have staff and parents to help you. But you need to send out a letter to as many potential crafters as possible and how you make these contacts is harder. I have built my contacts up by selling at craft fairs and making a point of getting all the exhibitors business cards or phone numbers.
Hope this helps.

21-01-2007, 07:19 PM
I forgot to say that for the first craft fair where you hire the venue you will have to do all the advertising and this will add to your costs. With a school craft fair the kids will take home letters and posters to their parents and the school can put up a banner at the school gate.

21-01-2007, 07:50 PM
Don't forget insurance too as some places will require you to have insurance separate from their own

21-01-2007, 10:07 PM
Option 1 seems a bit too much to take on at this stage, so may look into option 2 if I decide to organise something. Thanks for all your advice - much appreciated!

26-03-2007, 08:39 AM
Ok, so still keen to do this. Was thinking of doing one through a school in Staffs. Can anyone suggest a good venue? Would anyone be interested if this did happen? I can't promise anything at the moment as this is completely new to me, but initally just want ideas and votes of interest. Thanks. :)

26-03-2007, 09:09 AM
Can't help with the venue except to say that school halls are ideal for starting out.

I don't know if i can be much help as i'm only orgainising my first at present but......

I started with the venue. I went to the venue to have a look, find out where power sockets are, find out about the equipment for refreshments, the size of the tables and the room.

Then i looked into where i could advertise and how much it was likely to cost me.

Then I worked out how much i would need to charge for each table to break even (bearing in mind the costs of advertising etc as well).

I also had to decide how many of each craft I could reasonably accomodate and whether i was sticking to a 'craft' fair or was going to branch into 'gifts' (I stuck with craft)

Then i created a full information pack and advertised to crafters.

And.....that's about as far as i have got so far!

I'm in the process of contacting other crafters and beginning to plan the layout. I plan on making flyers and posters this week too.

As i have until July there's no rush yet (although it will go way faster than i'm expecting!). That's another thing - I made sure i booked the hall far enough in advance (booked in Feb for July) to give me plenty of time to think of everything as this is my first time.

Hope this helps - I'm sure the more experienced organisers can offer more advice (which i may steal!)

Laura :D

Bowed Over
26-03-2007, 09:13 AM

Ask Jules at Appletree Crafts she is a whizz at the craft fair organisation.

All the best.


Apple Tree Crafts
26-03-2007, 09:24 AM
Laura's advice is brilliant!

I can only add one thing - a school is a great venue, but think about it's location.

Think about the area it's in; is it fairly affluent? Is it on a major road, where posters seen from the road could help bring customers from outside the area into your fair?

A good way to measure this is to ask the head teacher about PTA events, are they well attended and do they raise good amounts?

And, can you use the school's facilities to offer tea & coffee etc? At Cheddar and Stow we have full use of the kitchen included in the hire price.


26-03-2007, 10:25 AM
Thanks Jules! I'm going along the right lines then :D

Yes, i did forget to mention that. I also decided where i was going to place my refreshments stand; i wanted it somewhere where it would keep customers in the fiar for longer. As i will be offering a free drink with entry i decided to put it at the back of the fair so customers have to walk all the way round to get their freebie! I'm hoping that a free drink will encourage people to buy cake etc too!

Is there anything else you think i need to do at this stage Jules - i'm inas much need of advice as anyone!!

Laura :D