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  • Questions to craft fair organisers

    I would like to start organising a few craft fairs a year. A venue I really like has a cost of £250 for the day and is large enough to hold a good numbeer of tables. What other costs are involved though? I can think of advertising costs and insurance costs - does anyone have an approx value of these? Also what are the other (probably million) things I would need to pay for?

    What would I need to do before the day other than:
    Advertise
    Get crafters
    Get insurance

    I'm only really just starting to think about it and it's very possible I will get put off when people reply to this and tell me lots of things I hadn't thought of!!

  • #2
    Hi

    Most halls will have their own insurance - but do ask to see copies of stallholders insurance.

    Check there are no local charters which can impose hefty fees, the local council should help with this one.

    hth

    Jane
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    • #3
      Don't panic!!!

      You have thought of the most important things.

      I also buy tea, coffee, sugar etc so that my crafters can make drinks for themselves (of course you would have to have kitchen facilities for this)

      If you have someone who could run the kitchen for you then even better, they could make the drinks for the crafters as and when needed (saves on those few that would abuse your kindness an pocket a few teabags!) oh yes this does happen unfortunately!

      As so costs for advertising, this will depend on what adverts you want,
      Gumtree and wheretogo (on the interweb) do free advertising. You compile your own ad and it goes in their listings (Steve at wheretogo is very helpful and replied immediately to a couple of queries I had)

      Most supermarkets let you put up an A4 poster on their notice boards, also the local library and tourist info and schools, churches etc (you will have to ask the individual places).

      Newspapers obviously charge but sometimes do a small wants on section where you can put a basic ad for free

      Hope this helps!
      Diane
      Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars




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      • #4
        Originally posted by Moonbeam Angel View Post
        Don't panic!!!

        You have thought of the most important things.

        I also buy tea, coffee, sugar etc so that my crafters can make drinks for themselves (of course you would have to have kitchen facilities for this)

        If you have someone who could run the kitchen for you then even better, they could make the drinks for the crafters as and when needed (saves on those few that would abuse your kindness an pocket a few teabags!) oh yes this does happen unfortunately!

        As so costs for advertising, this will depend on what adverts you want,
        Gumtree and wheretogo (on the interweb) do free advertising. You compile your own ad and it goes in their listings (Steve at wheretogo is very helpful and replied immediately to a couple of queries I had)

        Most supermarkets let you put up an A4 poster on their notice boards, also the local library and tourist info and schools, churches etc (you will have to ask the individual places).

        Newspapers obviously charge but sometimes do a small wants on section where you can put a basic ad for free

        Hope this helps!

        oh and don't forget when printing your own posters and flyers to account for the cost of the ink and paper used!
        Diane
        Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars




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        • #5
          Organising craft fairs

          The most important thing about organising a good fair is to attract good quality handmade crafts and not filling it with bought in tat. As a visitor now rather than an exhibitor, I am embarrassed and annoyed at some of the so called craft fairs that I had the misfortune to visit last year.
          May I please request that if you are going to start organising fairs make sure that you do a good job of it so as to attract buying public who are essential to support the craft workers.
          You will also need a good budget for newspaper advertising as they are expensive - you cannot do it by flyers and posters alone.
          You will need public liability insurance and don't forget your PAT certification for any electrical equipment.
          Although you say that you can obtain the venue for £250 you need to find out how many 6ft tables can easily be fitted in - a room looks much larger when empty.
          Hopw this helps
          Woodenlady

          Comment


          • #6
            The hall should have its own certificate for electric. If you have a crafter who brings their own lights/leads or soldering iron (if you allow demonstrations) then they should be covered under their own insurance (again check that they have this) or get them to sign a disclaimer that covers you if someone gets hurt on their electrical equipment/stall etc

            I know a large organiser of an outside event, that does not require to see public liability insurance but all exhibitors sign a disclaimer saying that any "mishaps" would be the responsibility and liability of the exhibitor and not the responsibility of the organiser
            Diane
            Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars




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            • #7
              I would not rely on the venues insurance - get your own, then you know what the clauses are and should the worst happen you know who to chase!

              The type of things to ask would be

              how good is the lighting? if you are holding the fair in the winter or not you will need all the lights on to properly display stalls. Bad lighting has a huge impact on a fair.

              Do they provide chairs and tables or do you have to get them separately - this is often as expensive as the room itself!

              As the others have said - advertising is vital!

              how you handle the PAT thing varies from place to place. Some don't mind, some insist that you do it, and some are covered.

              how much do you want to charge the stallholders - if its a higher amount make sure you can justify it otherwise they wont come with you again.

              Have you considered a website? it's worth doing if you can and it doesn't have to be complicated.

              where is the venue? if its in the middle of nowhere customers wont come no matter how good you make it.

              We always try and treat both our stall holders and our customers as we would like to be treated. For every decision, ask yourself how you'd feel.

              There is a huge amount involved in running a good craft fair and if any part in the chain breaks it's you who take the blame - everyone will turn to you to fix it.

              It is a scary thing to take on and not everyone can do it. But when you've done your best and everyone tells you they've had a great time and whens your next one cos they want to do it, and customers are still coming up to you months after saying how great it was and whens the next one - its a good feeling.
              www.dancingphoenixcrafts.co.uk

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              • #8
                There's some really good advice here and although I'm not an organiser, I do belong to a craft group which is all hand made/produced crafts which really accounts for quite a lot with customers who prefer these kind of crafts to brought in items.

                Our organiser is lovely and does a great job. One of her main attributes is she accomodates people as much as she can BUT not to the detriment of other fellow crafters.

                Some come along and say "I want this table" and "I want to be at the right of the entrance" etc etc. She will politely say no as she has the table set up already written down and over the course of the different craft fairs we do, we all are situated in different parts of the venues so it all works out fair in the end.

                Having the layout drawn out will help in various ways. One, you can ensure two crafters who do the same thing arent next to each other. Two it will save you time when setting up. Three, avoids a free for all at the beginning with crafters trying to pick their best spot !

                Remember to try and get the measurements of the room so you dont end up with too many crafters and not enough room!

                Best of luck and hope it goes well !
                Web: www.randmphotography.com
                Twitter: www.twitter.com/dolts007

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kysanth View Post
                  where is the venue? if its in the middle of nowhere customers wont come no matter how good you make it.
                  erm Judith you do know that my fair is in the middle of nowhere?? lol should hopefuly be ok though (she says with fingers crossed)

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                  • #10
                    erm...

                    ****peeks out from under cushion****

                    It'll be fine.... erm.....

                    ****coughs a bit while extracting foot out of mouth*****

                    St Asaph is not really in the middle of nowhere.....lol. You can draw on people from queensferry through denbigh to rhyl and maybe even some weird people from Wrexham

                    Quietly crosses her fingers and hopes that it isnt in a shed in a field.....
                    www.dancingphoenixcrafts.co.uk

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                    • #11
                      pmsl just remember I warned you

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                      • #12
                        One important thing I just thought of. See if you can get into the venue the night before to set up your tables.

                        If you can't make sure that you get there before the crafters in the morning,

                        ie if you get access at 8am make sure you put on your booking forms "access for setting up will be from 9am" crafters will always arrive before this time, but don't let them in before you are ready, especially if you have your own stall to set up.
                        Diane
                        Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars




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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mopppy View Post
                          pmsl just remember I warned you




                          understood
                          www.dancingphoenixcrafts.co.uk

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                          • #14
                            There's some sound advice here! All I would add is make sure you really think about your table layout, not just how many you can fit in. I did a fair last year that not only didn't allocate tables (resulting in a rather undignified scrum), but had a single row of tables running down the middle of the room. This meant that one side of the hall had the backs of the central stalls facing outwards (if you see what I mean) which didn't look too great and annoyed the stallholders who had to look at the back of the stalls all day.

                            Please make sure you introduce yourself to stallholders as they arrive and are on hand to answer any questions. I've done fairs where the organiser appears to be invisible, and is eventually tracked down happily setting up their own stall and ignoring paying stallholders.

                            Good luck with it - assuming we haven't scared you off!
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                            • #15
                              advertising and the likes

                              What I did was,

                              On any free add site i put an ad, even in the local paper free ads section.

                              viva street, other craft fourm sites are good for getting other crafters involved.
                              Gumtree is good, people who advertise craft events on their site like stallholders.com i think it is etc, were you are holding the event just email everyone thats important in that area telling them of the event, some have local websites you can add your event into,

                              local newspapers, leaflets to local shops some may have them on the front desk, Radio find out your local radio station and email them sometimes you can post the event on their webpage,

                              if you have local markets going on near the time send out leaflets around the place,

                              door to door leafleting, community boards far and near anywere,

                              florists, leisure centres, schools, churches etc send out leaflets,

                              I didnt hire a kitchen reason being i wanted to keep the cost of the stalls down, so i bought my own kettle and used the taps that were provided at the centre,

                              also talking to your council helps if you can get them on side.

                              good luck!
                              http://www.penchanted.com/

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