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  • Help!

    Hmmmmm, after much musing about lack of craft fairs, I'm beginning to think that the only way to attend one locally is to actually organise it myself.

    Can anybody who has organised a fair before please advise what I need to do to start the ball rolling? Do I need to notify anybody at the local council for any reason or can I just go ahead & start contacting venues for dates? Do I need to consider insurance for anything?

    I could be asking questions all night but daresay readers of this post may fall asleep!

    If anybody could help, I would be very grateful.


  • #2
    re Help!

    Hi Kelly,

    As far as I know the council don't need to know unless you are using their property. you would need to check with the venue re insurance, some say you need extra, some don't...depends what they are used for normally I think. consider costs, venue hire alone can be horrifically expensive, plus advertising, think about how many stalls you can definately get and how many you need to cover the costs, cos if the two don't meet you're in trouble! I would also think about your cancellation policy, i.e. do stall holders get a refund if the table cannot be let again?

    thats all I can think of right now, but I'm sure theres more!



    • #3
      Hi Kelly,

      Just a note on the council - if you are holding an event in an area where the council holds Market Rights then you would need to get a licence from them.
      Best to give them a call and clarify first.

      If you need any more help I'd be happy to answer any questions - I work for Nottingham City Council and organise markets & fairs here.



      • #4
        Craft Fairs

        Personally I do not think it's hard to organise a small craft fair - I have been doing this for a couple of years. I use local village halls as the rent is cheaper.

        I also send out booking forms to stall holders then you have their contact details on paper. This is better than taking bookings over the phone. It is also a good idea to have some sort of cancellation policy (as stated previously). I usually say - bookings are only confirmed once deposit/full amount received. Alot of people say yes but let you down last minute. You cannot afford this when you have to bear the costs!

        Tell people that they will only get their deposit back if you can fill their space. As long as people know from the outset.

        Advertising - I use as many free adverts ie., local papers have a free 'whats on' section. Also try local radion stations, some have a 'what's in the community' section to advertise. If it's something new in the area, why not try writing a press release for your local paper. Lots of posters put in all local shops, community centres, libraries etc.

        The key is covering all your costs - allowing for rent, advertising, admin costs (postage) etc

        Hope this helps.

        Good luck
        Take care

        Website -
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        • #5
          Organising a craft fair Staffs / Derbys

          Does anybody want to join forces to organise a fair within Derbyshire or Staffordshire?


          • #6
            Hi Kelly,

            I'm in the same boat as you and I'm organising my first event!

            I'm lucky enough to have the support and sponsor of a local craft shop (my mum owns it!!) and I'm also giving all the proceeds to charity.

            To help cover initial costs I'm asking for stall fees by a set date - this will help go towards newspaper adverts if needs be as well as pay for the venue. I'm also holding a tombola/raffle, putting on refreshments and selling other bits and bobs which I'm hoping will cover the costs for the day and others we've laid out beforehand and give us a profit to give to the charities.

            There's a brilliant website - ukcfis - I think! This gives a basic outline of what you need to consider when organising an event!!

            Hope all goes well and good luck if you decide to take the plunge!
            Carrie xx


            • #7
              I would be interested , whereabouts are you ?

              Sara x
              allabouteden blog


              my folksy shop


              • #8
                Hi there

                I too am in the proces of trying to organise my first craft fair. It really all seems overwhelming but I'm sure if we stick at it, we will get there.

                If you want I can let you know of some of the things we have had to do,get or sort out as I go along.

                Good luck!!!!
                My Blog


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Emmalou View Post
                  Hi there

                  I too am in the proces of trying to organise my first craft fair. It really all seems overwhelming but I'm sure if we stick at it, we will get there.

                  If you want I can let you know of some of the things we have had to do,get or sort out as I go along.

                  Good luck!!!!
                  Cool - gonna send us all an invite? Or did I miss it...

                  Scorch's Pyrography :
                  Crafts on Flickr :


                  • #10

                    I'm in Burton if that makes a difference.

                    I've identified venues but haven't approached them yet. I've also considered how to advertise the event but again haven't taken that any further. I'm also looking into whether public liability insurance is needed but again haven't taken that any further.

                    My main concern is that I don't have enough time at the moment to cover everything & me being me, wanted to try & organise an event in time for Christmas. Mad I know but that's just me. I was hoping by joining forces that things could be split & maybe that would speed up the process.

                    Oh well.


                    • #11
                      Hi Kelly,

                      Your main concern is time to organise the event and unless it's a huge stadium sized event, I think you'll have enough time.

                      Your first job would be to call round your local village halls, church halls, community centres etc to see if there's anything available around the time you're wanting to hold the event. You want to know (obvious I know!!) how much they charge, if they've ever held an event such as yours, if they have tables, chairs etc and how many stalls they can fit in the space available.

                      If there are a few halls available to you at the time, choose the one that you'd feel comfortable in e.g fits 15 stalls instead of 30, and that is easily accessible and potentially gets passing trade. If it's an all day event, do they have a kitchen so you can offer refreshments such as tea/coffee and juice etc?

                      Set up a time line with a checklist of what you want to be done by certain dates. So, If you organise your event to occur in say 8 weeks time, have day one as calling venues, days 2-6 visiting, day 7 booking. Week 2 you could dedicate to putting together posters and flyers (doing these yourself works out cheaper if you've got the time and computer experience) and putting your event on as many online advertising sites as possible.

                      Week 3 - Sending out posters to anywhere that has a notice board/pay to put up in shops (usually costs around 50p-£1.00 per week for an A4 poster), post offices etc. Approach a local craft/art/hobby shop and ask them if they'd hand out flyers to customers.

                      As long as you're organised, your event is advertised well and you have filled all your stalls with quality arts/crafts who can cater for all pockets, you should have a fab event!

                      Good luck and if you want to pm me about anything, feel free to!
                      Carrie xx


                      • #12
                        Organising craft fairs

                        May I suggest one thing that everyone seems to forget when they are attempting to organise a fair - THE CAR PARKING. You will need this for both exhibitors and PUBLIC, unless there is ample parking near to the venue you will not get visitors. Free parking much better.
                        I have found recently that when visiting a small craft event i.e village or church hall especially in villages I have been unable to find anywhere to park. Needless to say I go home on these occasions, thus I miss out on buying craft products and your exhibitors sales!
                        Woodenlady ( avid visitor)


                        • #13
                          I'd have thought parking would be one of the most important things to address alongside advertising. What's the point advertising if you can't accommodate the visitors???
                          Carrie xx


                          • #14
                            Organising a craft fair

                            I'm not a happy bunny.

                            I've contacted the local churches, the local school & the Communty Arts Officer from the local council & guess what, not a single response.

                            Makes you wonder if it is worth bothering about.