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large or small craft fairs?

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  • large or small craft fairs?

    Hello this is my 1st post.

    I make bags from fabric remnants and encouraged by kind friends and relatives I have booked myself into a large 2 day craft fair - with a hefty fee. I really should have done some research first!

    I'm in a bit of a panic now trying to make loads of bags - I have no idea how many I will need - and I have a full time job as well. But having committed myself I have to keep going and enjoy it as much as possible and look on it as a learning experience.

    I wondered whether it is sometimes worth going for the larger more expensive fairs as you may sell more - due to more visitors?

    Or is it best to start small and build up slowly?

  • #2
    Not an easy answer to that one!! I personally go for smaller fairs, but that is because I sell mainly cards and you need to sell a lot to make the fees for a larger fair. I therefore cannot comment whether more people walking past means more sales or not. It is really down to the sort of people and whether what you are offering is what they want to buy and you can do the same event two years running and find your takings are completely different. It is all a learning process and we are all learning each time we do an event. I hope you do well and let us know how you get on.

    Welcome to the forum by the way!
    Cynthia
    http://iforjonesdesigns.website.orange.co.uk

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    • #3
      I'm a small fair girl ..... only because round here there is one big fair a year and it's overseen by a rotweiler of a woman who won't entertain the word jewellery!
      TBH though 99% of the stalls are actually bought in products.
      full time mum and very very part time crafter.

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      • #4
        A few thoughts...

        Good luck with your first fair - make sure you take some busines cards with you and hand them out to potential customers - that way even if someone doesn't buy on the day they may come back to you at a later date.

        I would tend to do smaller events (again because of the table price) but I can see what you mean about having more customers at bigger events. I think it very much depends on the event itself.

        I think one thing to think about is whether the event your doing charges for people to go in, and if so how much? Is it specifically a craft event or are other things going on too? I did an event last year and I was in the craft marque. Problem was, they charged people quite a lot to get in and had bands playing, classic cars and various activities going on. Not many people seemed to be spending money on crafts - I think the problem was that they had already spent it all on the ticket and buying food.

        No event is the same though and even the same event on at another time can be different to how it was before. I don't think you can ever really decide before the event how successful you will be (Aren't I a lot of help!). Do you have a range of items in terms of price? That way if customers aren't looking to spend much you cater for them, but you also have your pricer items for those people that are prepared to pay that bit more.

        Hope this helps and all the best - when is there fair?
        Katian Mosaics

        ♥ My Ebay Listings ♥

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        • #5
          I prefer the smaller ones sadly as Katianne said the larger the fair the more chance there is of bought in sellers , and I know from experience it is very hard to compete with them.
          Having said that I did a large fair in the summer and had a very good day despite it being very cold and wet.
          Smaller fairs tend to be better organized and friendlier,often the organizer is standing a table themselves so they go all out to make sure the advertising is out there. But it really is a learning curve and may work out really well for you, plus it gives you chance to talk other crafters and get to know about other maybe smaller fairs coming up in your area.
          Try not to panic too much ( i know it's easier said than done !) I'm sure you will love it

          btw to the forum
          Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes CAN change your life !!

          my website http://www.ticketyboo-jewellery.co.uk
          my misi shop http://ticketyboo.misi.me.uk
          my blog http://ticketyboojewellery.blogspot.com/



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          • #6
            I always seem to make more money at smaller fairs. I think people come with the idea of buying and if there are fewer tables they have fewer choices! For example, the last big fair I did cost £30 a table which is fine but at the top of my budget really, I tripled my fee. The last small one I did cost me £10 and I took 12 times my table fee!! Just my observations, Selina

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            • #7
              It all depends on the fair and how well it's organised. Also whether the table fee is actually paying for a really big fair with lots of visitors or just a big fair . I would want to know where the fair was being advertised, attendance at previous fairs (if applicable), expected numbers.

              Also bear in mind that if the fair charges for entry it will put some people off.

              I was contacted about doing a fair that was charging £95 a stall...I asked for the above information and was told in the reply the expected attendance was 5,000 yet the organiser commented that she "didn't think she'd cover the table fee" . I was a bit astounded that from the 5,000 visitors expected she didn't expect to take £100 (i.e. 2p per visitor)
              http://www.craftynclothy.com

              http://www.folksy.com/shops/craftynclothy

              http://craftynclothy.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                Thanks for your replies - very interesting.

                The fair is in Warwick at the castle so people have to pay to get into the castle and cannot just go to the craft fair.

                I will just have to see how it goes and then plan ahead for next year (or give up and stick with the day job )

                This seems like great site with very friendly folk x

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                • #9
                  ohhh i love warwick castle, had a lovely day out there and I really want to go to the craft fair, so hopefully see you there , don't forget to print out the craft forum poster so I can find you,lol
                  Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes CAN change your life !!

                  my website http://www.ticketyboo-jewellery.co.uk
                  my misi shop http://ticketyboo.misi.me.uk
                  my blog http://ticketyboojewellery.blogspot.com/



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                  • #10
                    It would be great to meet you - where do I find the poster?

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                    • #11
                      Ask the organiser how many people went through the doors last year, they should tell you. You can say it's to help you with stock if they ask, but I never had a problem getting the info.

                      Make sure you have a good price range, and emphasise the fact they are made from recycled material (a couple of posters on the table should do). Make sure the prices are quite visible. It always put me off if I can't see the prices and I assume the items must be too expensive.

                      If it's a large fair, make sure the table is included (not always the case). Arrive early to set up so you are relaxed when it opens, and you may have time to have a look around before it opens too.
                      Bead Shop, 91 Liverpool Road, Penwortham, Preston, PR1 0QB, Lancashire. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sunday 11am-3pm.

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                      • #12
                        I make different sort of stuff for different fairs! One 'craft' is millinery and accessories for antique dolls and teddies. These fairs do not come in under 60 quid to stand. Have paid 120 for the NEC a few years ago. Bear in mind this is open only between 10.30 and 4. These are spe******t fairs though and folk only go to buy old dolls etc. So you do not get sightseers (sp). They have money in their pocket and want to spend. That said it is no guarantee we will make the stand plus petrol plus etc. My other art work is a different ball game but I dont think 20 is a high price for a table - depending of course where and what. Do your research - go to the fair, talk to folk standing, see what they think of the organisers etc. Some of the cheaper fairs sell a lot of tat and dont have a very good reputation. So you may look good but people wont always be expecting it and therefore wont buy-just admire! Still sometimes you just have to jump in !
                        good luck at Warwick
                        cheers
                        Alexis

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hancock View Post
                          It would be great to meet you - where do I find the poster?
                          the poster is here

                          http://www.craftsforum.co.uk/showthr...t=17701&page=3

                          Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes CAN change your life !!

                          my website http://www.ticketyboo-jewellery.co.uk
                          my misi shop http://ticketyboo.misi.me.uk
                          my blog http://ticketyboojewellery.blogspot.com/



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                          • #14
                            I've been doing small fairs for the past 3 years, and go to visit the big fairs. I'm amazed at how many people go to the big fairs....
                            Personally for me, i'm finding that sitting at a small fair for 6 hours and only have 50 people through doors is getting a bit disheartening so next year, i'm going to try the big fairs...
                            I'll probably do fewer fairs because of the cost of the stalls, but i'm going to give it a go.
                            I think it's best to do the small fairs first and then progress to bigger ones when you get more brave. Then again, next year i may feel differently.
                            Good luck with your fairs.......
                            Quirky items from a MAD family.

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                            • #15
                              I am surprised that visitors can only visit the fair if they pay to go into the castle. I live locally and I know that it is very expensive to do that so have to say that would put me off personally. I do hope it goes well for you but if not then you will have learned something from it and you can put it down to experience.
                              www.littlebead.blogspot.com
                              www.twitter.com/littlebead

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