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  • What's best?

    There has been a lot of critiscm of an organiser on a thread running here about lack of advertising for a recent craft fair. In your opinion folks what is the best way to get those all important customers through the door??

    How many visitors constitutes a success?

    How much profit should organisers make? what is a reasonable amount to charge for a table and should there be a charge on the door?
    Liz
    http://www.soapiehandmadesoaps.com
    [email protected]

  • #2
    Originally posted by AuntieBib View Post
    There has been a lot of critiscm of an organiser on a thread running here about lack of advertising for a recent craft fair. In your opinion folks what is the best way to get those all important customers through the door??

    How many visitors constitutes a success?

    How much profit should organisers make? what is a reasonable amount to charge for a table and should there be a charge on the door?

    And how long is a piece of string....

    How many visitors depends how many buy really.. 10,000 visitors is no better than 2,000 if nobody buys, and 50 visitors all spending £30 each is fine if everyone makes some money..

    As for how much profit should organisers make? - As much as they can and what it it to do with us??!! You dont stand at the till in M&S and demand to know how much profit they make...

    To clarify, by "as much as they can" I do mean taking in to account charging fairly for the space/time to organise/advertising and results..

    What is "reasonable" for a table depends also on what each vendor makes/sells and how s/he charges.. someone making simple and not overly marketable things is likely to begrudge £10.. because they may struggle to take £50 in a day, and have a very low profit margin; and someone who sells 50 a day at £10 profit each wouldnt bat an eyelid at £50..

    As for door charges.. personally I dont think it is appropriate.. I wouldnt pay to go in to Boots or M&S, so why expect me to pay for a craft fair?.. The one exception I make is where there are "significant" free facilities for customers.. and where attending might reasonably be construed as an "event" - such as Hatfield Craft Fair.. but a tabletop sale in a village hall?? no way.. I wouldnt waste a £ on the offchance there is something of interest.. far too often they are full of stuff of no interest that I wouldn't buy... and in some cases wouldnt want to be seen to buy!

    Comment


    • #3
      Those are very difficult questions.

      As an organiser here are my experiences.

      Advertising for my last fair cost well over £500.00 and those prices were negotiated right down. That was for a village hall event so imagine what bigger venues cost. Then add on the photocopying, ink for the printer, laminating, printing costs, sign charges, petrol for driving a 20 mile radius of the venue to put up signs and then to take them down again, the time spent posting leaflets through letter boxes and getting shop owners to put up posters, hiring extra tables for the venue, making cakes, the cost of refreshments and then the hire of the hall - add it up and what have you got? NO PROFIT

      How many visitors is a success. Well we had over 200 through the door and still you can't please everyone.

      As an organiser I can only do the above, the one thing I cannot do is make people buy anything on offer - that is the stallholders job.

      I do not think that £12.00 for a table is excessive nor do I think £20.00 for a table is excessive. The room charges for the venue where I am charging the latter are three times more than the first place.

      As for room hire charges here's one for you. I have been spending days searching for suitable venues all over the country, places where there are always visitors, customers etc. I thought I had found the perfect place today. Guess how much the room hire was?

      £3000.00. Yes I kid you not!! Three thousand pounds. Anyone want to put a price on those tables!!!!!

      So, should we charge an entrance fee. Well yes I think we should. If we didn't we would have to charge you more for tables.

      You may get a lot more people through the door by not charging but ask yourselves this, are they people who want to buy anything? If they won't part with 50p to get in then you can bet they won't part with any money when they get inside either. SO what would you rather have. People who want to buy or loads of people looking and not buying?

      Also as an organiser I have to tell you this very important story told to me by a very good friend who has been standing at fairs for years. She had been taught the rules of 'standing' by a highly experienced organiser and the one golden rule he told her was never ever leave a fair before the advertised closing time. She sat at one particularly bad fair where almost everyone had packed up early and left but she decided to abide by the rules and stick it out. Half an hour before the end an American man arrives at the fair and spends over £400.00 with her!!!

      So why do I do it?

      Because I love it. I love it when all the hard work and effort pays off and the day is a success for everyone.

      I hope I haven't offended anyone, they are only my experiences.

      Julie

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AuntieBib View Post
        There has been a lot of critiscm of an organiser on a thread running here about lack of advertising for a recent craft fair. In your opinion folks what is the best way to get those all important customers through the door??

        How many visitors constitutes a success?

        How much profit should organisers make? what is a reasonable amount to charge for a table and should there be a charge on the door?
        As much advertising as possible: online, local papers, leaflets, posters, banners outside, etc. I would say that the fairs advertised in local newspapers are the best-attended generally. I don't think it's really fair to run one without newspaper ads, and I don't think a fair will be very successful without - unless you're getting people there through some other means - school fair or near a shopping centre, for instance. I do realise it puts the stall fee up, but am more than willing to pay a bit extra for a good selling opportunity. Maybe others disagree.

        How many visitors depends on the fair. A small village event will attract fewer than a large county event with attractions. If the organiser has got them through the door, the stallholder has no cause for complaint.

        Organisers are running a business, and as such need to decide how much profit they want, are willing to work for, is fair.

        A reasonable amount for a table? Anything from £5 to several hundred. I'm paying close to £200 for a stand at the Cheshire Show, because they get about 70,000 through the gates, but I wouldn't pay even close to that for a fair where a few hundred were expected.

        Should you charge an entrance fee? I don't like them personally, and feel they're a bit unfair - although it's only the idea of "paying to shop" that makes me feel that. I think some people may well avoid visiting out of principle - they could well be big spenders. However, I appreciate they keep the stall fee down, and the Cheshire Show are charging £15 per day entrance fee!!! (there are other attractions, obviously!)
        digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
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        hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
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        Comment


        • #5
          There's something we've all forgotten about here folks and that is, yes, an event can be well advertised, but has anyone thought that as we are now well into the wedding/cricket/fair season, that it may well be impossible for potential buyers to get to your event.

          AuntieBib, I was aware of your event at Wateringbury, via this site and I did see the advertising in the KM, but as much as I wanted to visit I couldn't due to other committments on that day!

          This weekend, there are two events going on locally here that I want to get to. BUT due to the fact I will be preparing a Cricket tea, running backwards and forwards doing a taxi service for my children, then serving cricket tea, I will not be able to attend either!

          Your next event on 19th of July will also prove a problem for me as well!

          So, the point I am trying to make here, is that with all the advertising in the world, if folk are too busy elsewhere, then you're not going to get the footfall.

          My event is in a school, which means we automatically have a 'captive' audience and we are able to advertise immediately to 1,000 pupils and their families.

          Leaflets are also given out to potential new pupils during open evenings. A copy of our poster is sent to all stallholders to display where they can. OUr committee put up posters in Dr's Surgeries, Libraries, other schools, in fact anywhere they can LEGALLY do it! (Do out of town organisers have this ability??)

          A good 'pull' is offering a free cup of tea! We did this in our KM advertising (on production of the advert) and I was amazed at the amount of folk that cut out the coupon. A great way also of seeing how effective your advertising is!

          With regards to charging for admission, It depends on the number of stalls and facilities. I only charge £1 for adults (under 18's and Senior Citizens are free) because I don't agree with having to pay huge amounts to go somewhere for the privilige of spending my money! But a £1 is acceptable, especially if I get the free coffee/tea with it!

          As for profit, well our organisation is a registered charity, ALL of our staff including myself are unpaid volunteers, so I don't even need to justify that one!

          I have said this before and will say it again. I really to think that stallholders need to do a bit of homework. IF your organiser is someone that is not from your area and is clearly just doing it for profit, well, I'm afraid you will have to draw your own conclusions as to whether they know the best places to advertise/do they really care what you think, - or are they genuine crafters that want to help others showcase their materials??

          Finally, there are so many threads on this site where people want to organise their own events. Perhaps, sadly recent 'comments' on this forum should be held up as an example that it can all go dreadfully wrong! So unless you have a thick skin and loads of experience, my advice is DON'T!

          AuntieBib, hopefully I'll get to your next event!!

          Comment


          • #6
            No one can answer all your questions and there is no perfect formula but since you asked here are my opinions as both a stall holder and as a customer.
            Disclaimer: These are purely personal, offered with good intent, do not constitute libel, and are by no means guaranteed to help.
            It’s like being the first person at a party – cringe factor 1000! Get to that same party in full swing and it doesn’t matter if the food is rubbish and the music is cheesy it’s fun IYSWIM
            People bring people and a room full of non buying customers is far better than a room full of crafters trying not to look interested as one customer enters the room! That customer is highly unlikely to stop anywhere as they feel uncomfortable and if there is no background music to break the silence as they plan their retreat without looking like they want to run away so much worse.

            As a customer - If I went to a fair and it was empty I would not go in – is that silly, well yes it is, but I am not the only one to see an empty car park and about turn. I have been to fairs that you can’t see into until you have paid, if they are empty I scoot round the room and leave.
            I hate leaflets, they go straight into recycling I am very unlikely to attend an event based on that form of advertising! I feel it is invasive. I love fairs so I do look out for them. The ones I make a note of have a large banner up somewhere strategic a few weeks in advance (gives me time to see it a few times and slot it into the diary) Size IS everything - big banner means something to see – I know that’s not true but it's a marketing ploy that works on me!
            IMO a large generic banner (so one off cost) would be more effective than 1000’s of leaflets. I always look through the local paper for events (hypocrite alert.....yes the one shoved through my door), the council website, local shops.

            As a stall holder - I have had people at my table talking for ages with no intention of buying but while they are doing that loads of people will browse and earwig and perhaps even buy. If the only person at my table is trying to flog me their lampworking course that’s not so good.

            No one can make anyone buy, no organiser can bring guaranteed paying customers and no stall holder would be reasonable to expect as much. I WANT an organiser to make a profit because then they are likely to organise more fairs but I also need the opportunity to get something for my money - otherwise I am better off giving to charity.
            A business rents premises based on location with the express intention of making money – otherwise they are called a charity and even charities need to make money!
            The amount spent reflects the location, small businesses rent smaller, less desirable properties but they still expect/need to make money. If they make enough money they move to bigger and better premises if they don’t make money they fold or move.

            I disagree that paying on the door means those customers will buy, because some may feel they have paid for their activity and intend to browse as a way to spend some time.
            Personally I don’t like paying on the door as I don’t pay to go into a shop. Just as every museum makes you leave through the shop, a craft fair attached to an event may be better attended than expecting a large crowd when the 'event' is the fair, and you would be piggy backing off the publicity for that event.
            The best attended fairs IMO are those attached to something else going on at the same time, a school, church or busy park/play area where there are people anyway and they just pop in to have a look.

            Fairs that sell raffle tickets or give you a raffle ticket, free drinks voucher on the door or offer goodie bags for the first few customers or even a balloon/lollipop for the kids – everyone wants something for nothing! Free is a fantastic incentive to do a lot of things!

            Sorry for long post HTH somewhat
            Terry xxx
            You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
            Website Twitter Facebook Blog Folksy

            Comment


            • #7
              I think you can tell by the repsonses on this it's a 'how long is a piece of string' question

              Craft fairs vary so much in size that it's hard to compare one end with the other - I have been to 'craft' fairs and paid £5 for a stall, but I'm currently looking into one at £125 - I feel both are a very fair price for what they are.

              I can see both sides of the fence too as I'm both a crafter and an organiser. As a crafter I want an event that is well advertised in the appropriate places - by that I don't mean it's been put on stallfinder and a couple of other craft stall sites (as great as these sites are, I suspect they're not the first port of call to a potential shopper looking for somewhere to go). I also want to see that if it is advertised as a craft fair, then all stalls are craft - personally I'm sick to the back teeth of turning up at 'craft fairs' and being next to virgin vie / body shop / usborne / aloe vera people (all lovely people, but not crafters).

              For a village hall / school fete type craft event, the most I will pay for a stall is around £20, although most are nearer to £10 or £15. If it is a larger dedicated craft event run by a good organiser, then the sky's the limit (or, my overdraft's the limit)

              As an organiser, I see no problem with organisers making a profit, provided the fair has been advertised well, planned throroughly and the stallholders must come first - it would be easy to make a quick buck on a badly run fair, but crafters will never return and your name will soon be mud.

              Whoever it was that said you need a thick skin, you're dead right!! I've been called all sorts by mass produced sellers tring to get a stall at the fair I'm currently organising - elitist, snob, stuck up so and so just to name a few. It's not easy to turn crafters away either, so personal feelings have to be left out too - whether because the fair is full for that kind of craft, or becuase their work isn't quite what you're looking for - you have you be a bit tough on a few people for the good of the fair as a whole.

              Anyway, no straight answer from me there (I should have been a politician) but I hope it gives you a few thoughts to chew over.


              Claire
              Website; www.midshiresmakers.co.uk
              Facebook Pages: www.facebook.com/weedoncraftmarket
              www.facebook.com/craftshoppingexperience

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks everyone as usual great food for thought. At the moment as a fairly new organiser I am more interested in building a good repution than making a profit - making people aware that my craft fairs are only going to have exhibitors who are truly artists and crafters - and keeping my exhibitors happy. But in the end I'm going to have to make this pay otherwise my bank manager is not going to be too impressed. And just now it feels like juggling too many plates hence all the questions!!!

                Anyway - just two last ones for you all to go to bed on:

                Would you rather pay more for your table and have free entry?

                Would you pay a premium for a stall if the venue was near a shopping area (even if parking wasn't great)?
                Liz
                http://www.soapiehandmadesoaps.com
                [email protected]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AuntieBib View Post
                  Thanks everyone as usual great food for thought. At the moment as a fairly new organiser I am more interested in building a good repution than making a profit

                  Would you rather pay more for your table and have free entry?

                  Would you pay a premium for a stall if the venue was near a shopping area (even if parking wasn't great)?
                  Your first point - I think this is an excellent start to any business. Most new businesses take quite some time to make any sort of profit, but a good reputation will make profit much more likely in the long term.

                  Your two questions - I would say yes to both. Entrance fees just grate on me. I don't think people should be subsidising my business costs just for the "privilege" of being able to shop with me (and others, of course!!). The shopping area one depends on how busy the shopping area is, how close the fair is to it and how accessible. Touristy shopping areas are even better.

                  Oh, and can I add it's great that you're asking all these questions - it shows a lot of thought and planning is going into your fair-organising, which can only be a good thing, IMO.
                  Last edited by wendy; 11-06-2009, 09:50 AM.
                  digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
                  blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
                  hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
                  blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Most of it has been said already, I tried to rep Sparkysdad but apparently that's where my rep went last!! I agreed with all that was said in that first reply. Just an addition to the paying for entry, I certainly do not like to pay for entry and it would put me off. I had a battle when we organised a village event last year about entrance fees, I was able to win that round and felt that we had more people over the weekend because entry was free - get your money from them some other way!!

                    Someone mentioned a strategic banner well in advance of the event - just a word of caution about Council rules. We have to apply to the Council for permission to put up anything like that and it is normally only allowed for 7 days before the event. I asked permission for 10 days and that was granted and as we are on the main road it is quite a good way of advertising - but check the rules locally.
                    Cynthia
                    http://iforjonesdesigns.website.orange.co.uk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JulieB View Post
                      As an organiser here are my experiences.

                      Advertising for my last fair cost well over £500.00 and those prices were negotiated right down. That was for a village hall event so imagine what bigger venues cost. Then add on the photocopying, ink for the printer, laminating, printing costs, sign charges, petrol for driving a 20 mile radius of the venue to put up signs and then to take them down again, the time spent posting leaflets through letter boxes and getting shop owners to put up posters, hiring extra tables for the venue, making cakes, the cost of refreshments and then the hire of the hall - add it up and what have you got? NO PROFIT
                      Julie, I do see the points you are making in your post.. and I make the following comments purely on the basis of my own (different!) perspective.. they are very general thoughts, though in answer to points you raise, NOT a criticism of you (or anyone else) personally!!

                      Your £500 for advertising "for a village hall event" would be exactly the same for a larger venue.. Advertising is paid for by the column centimetre, not how big your event is!! So logic says, if you can't get your advertising costs down, you have to look at increasing the venue capacity.. Just because a hall exists does not mean you "have" to run a craft fair in it after all..

                      You also mention a lot of other expenses, and my point would be that photocopying and home printer ink are possibly the most expensive means of producing event literature.. there are many companies that do small print runs cheaply, or bulk print runs for a similar outlay.. yes you might have to invest in all your printing at the beginning of your season, but a crafter has to make their stock before coming to a fair.. I would look at making your print needs "generic", go for a bigger volume, and do it all at once.. a good poster with a blank space for putting venue times and dates on will do for every event, and some may even be reuseable..

                      Cakes... are you sure!! ?? what on earth are YOU doing making cakes and buying refreshments??? - have you not heard of the Womens Institute?? I gather they only do "naked" for calendars.. so no risk of scaring off the customers.. he heheheh - tap in to your local groups, persuade them to run your cake stalls - home made cakes for sale to eat in or take home.. and the option to provide the drinks.. If local schools near your venues still do Home Economics, you may persuade them to do it too as a fund raiser for the school.. give them free space to do it, in return for a reciprocal mailing to the parents..

                      Originally posted by JulieB View Post
                      How many visitors is a success. Well we had over 200 through the door and still you can't please everyone.

                      As an organiser I can only do the above, the one thing I cannot do is make people buy anything on offer - that is the stallholders job.

                      I do not think that £12.00 for a table is excessive nor do I think £20.00 for a table is excessive. The room charges for the venue where I am charging the latter are three times more than the first place.

                      As for room hire charges here's one for you. I have been spending days searching for suitable venues all over the country, places where there are always visitors, customers etc. I thought I had found the perfect place today. Guess how much the room hire was?

                      £3000.00. Yes I kid you not!! Three thousand pounds. Anyone want to put a price on those tables!!!!!
                      I recently went to a "venue" as I was looking at it from a business point of view.. one of my preconceived ideas was that it could host small fairs and events.. but it is licensed for weddings, and a wedding brings in £2,000 a day, plus profits from the bar.. so if a craft fair organiser wants to use it on a saturday, how much would I charge?? £300 because it is a craft fair?? or £2000 because thats what I get for it from everyone else??..

                      When you go on holiday, you can buy a package tour for a few hundred pounds.. or you can fly first class on a scheduled airline to the same destination and book identical accomodation.. British Airways doesnt provide "First Class" for £150 just because thats what your flight would cost with Thomas Cook

                      Sadly, as an organiser, you will always fail to please the person who has unsellable stock.. even if 80% of your vendors make good money, the other 20% are likely to be aggrieved! (poor you! ).. as you so rightly said, you can only make your best efforts to get the folk there, you can't make them buy.. But part of the organisers remit is to tailor the offering to suit the market.. in the same way a big department store buys different ranges, you have to decide what will and wont sell.. there's always too many jewellers and card makers apparently.. but that allows you to pick the best.. not just accept the first to book... (hard as it may be to confront a potential stallholder and say so!).

                      Originally posted by JulieB View Post
                      So, should we charge an entrance fee. Well yes I think we should. If we didn't we would have to charge you more for tables.
                      Playing devils advocate.. if your vendors cant make enough to cover the "real" cost of the fair.. either it is the wrong event, or the wrong event for them... Selling crafts is a business, and it behoves those who do it to be professional.. Show me a shopping centre that decides to put on an admission charge... Either your business is profitable and you think paying venue charges is a viable cost, or you give up selling and stay at home.. After all, if these folk are so certain their goods are commercially viable, let them set up a shop.. and pay all the associated overheads..

                      Craft Fair organisers are a business too - you only make it work if you can bring an event together at a reasonable cost.. neither the organiser OR the vendors should expect to be given charity..

                      I suspect many (not "all"!) "organisers" lose the confidence in their product, in the same way a number of crafters lack the ability to charge a realistic price for their crafts..


                      Originally posted by JulieB View Post
                      You may get a lot more people through the door by not charging but ask yourselves this, are they people who want to buy anything? If they won't part with 50p to get in then you can bet they won't part with any money when they get inside either. SO what would you rather have. People who want to buy or loads of people looking and not buying?
                      Have you put that to the test? - I wholeheartedly disagree..

                      I would not pay 50p to go in to a village hall with 20 crafters.. let alone £1 a person or more.. EVER.. Do I spend money? you bet I do.. I have a hand made leather wallet (£50) Silver/enamel Cufflinks (£120) Assorted jewellery for friends as gifts (£100's over the years) Porcelain (£300) Turned Wood (£300 over the years) Limited Edition and Original art.. (over 20 items, cheapest £65, most expensive £350).. Thats just off the top of my head.. I "dread" to think how much I have spent on hand made crafted items.. at least £5,000 at a conservative estimate.. I certainly can't/don't spend like that most or all of the time, but when there is spare money it is easily parted from me for quality items either for myself or for gifts.

                      Not only do I spend, the folk I tend to go with do too - I specifically took one friend to a fair because I had seen a dressmaker with some stunning evening wear there the year before.. As I suspected, the lady's clothes suited my friend, and she spent £350 on the day, and arranged to visit the dressmaker (150 miles away) to commission 2 suits.. total cost for those £1100, plus a weekend away in Cheltenham..

                      I think your 50p test possibly shows more about your expectations and perhaps the crafts that typically book stalls at your events than it does about the willingness to spend of those who attend. .

                      Some folk love the £1 shop, some love jumble sales and charity shops, some prefer M&S and some only shop in Harrods and Fortnums.. A few will do more than one.. But the bottom line is, your customers are attracted to whats on offer..

                      I have paid to get in to Hatfield (expensive) but in return I got parking at the event, 13 marquees with maybe 20 or 30 vendors in each, good facilities, entertainment laid on, and a space to have our picnic..the value of the event offset the cost of admission, and there was a high expectation to purchase, knowing that some of my "preferred" vendors would be there.. contrast that to a fair in a Scout Hut locally, where admission was £1.50 per person.. I could see through the window that there were probably only 20 tables.. most selling "knitted toilet roll cover" type craft..There was an interesting looking Jam lady.. but if I am paying £2 - £3 a jar for nice jam, I need to buy a lot to make a £3 surcharge worth it..


                      Originally posted by JulieB View Post
                      So why do I do it?

                      Because I love it. I love it when all the hard work and effort pays off and the day is a success for everyone.

                      I hope I haven't offended anyone, they are only my experiences.

                      Julie
                      Well, I say brilliant for you, if you enjoy it, that's a great place to start from.. My friend used to run the tea fund at work.. everybody hated having to do it, so she set about it with avengeance.. at the end of the year she announced she had enough money in the tea fund kitty to pay for half the cost of their meal out at Christmas.. anything can be profitable with care and planning.. and occasional flashes of inspiration about how to do thinks better/ cheaper /faster and at the end of the day you deserve the profit and praise for putting your neck on the line!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I started organising craft fairs after being disappointed with the ones I had attended as a seller. I never make a profit on the organising because I always leave a stall for my own goods so effectively my payment is my free stand.

                        With Regards to advertising - my next event is a small village hall with 20 stall holders. I have charged £20 per stall and the income generated has been spent on the following:

                        Hall hire, 2000 flyers, distribution of flyers, posters, newspaper advertising, goody bags and balloons (free for the children) and a petrol allowance.

                        I can't see how I can do anymore than I do and yet at every event I still get really nervous about getting people through the door! I always worry that people who have paid me for a stall will blame me if they have a bad day.

                        Fingers crossed my events will continue to be successful!
                        www.totallygifted.co.uk .....beautifully handcrafted gifts

                        www.baby-fair.co.uk.....Baby & toddler fairs throughout the Midlands

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Totally Gifted View Post
                          I started organising craft fairs after being disappointed with the ones I had attended as a seller. I never make a profit on the organising because I always leave a stall for my own goods so effectively my payment is my free stand.

                          With Regards to advertising - my next event is a small village hall with 20 stall holders. I have charged £20 per stall and the income generated has been spent on the following:

                          Hall hire, 2000 flyers, distribution of flyers, posters, newspaper advertising, goody bags and balloons (free for the children) and a petrol allowance.

                          I can't see how I can do anymore than I do and yet at every event I still get really nervous about getting people through the door! I always worry that people who have paid me for a stall will blame me if they have a bad day.

                          Fingers crossed my events will continue to be successful!
                          Have you tested your advertising, to see what works? A great idea, earlier on in this thread, Fair Organiser suggests a coupon for a free cuppa. The idea could be used in different ways, but it's a good idea to see what works. Free goody bag in exchange for coupon? (Maybe have some printed up too, on the day, for people to fill in and claim their goody bag). You then also have email details for letting them know of future events, and address details to target specific areas for leafleting. Of course, they can tick a box if they prefer not to be told of future events...

                          Leafleting 2000 people isn't a lot of people reached for an awful lot of work. I know a lot of people hate leaflets and throw them away without looking, but they do work for some businesses (my daughter is a dog groomer, and leafleting is her preferred advertising route when she needs a few more customers - some people will keep the leaflets for six months or more before acting on them).

                          Websites like wherecanwego.com may also be more useful than craft fair-specific websites, especially when advertising for visitors, not crafters.
                          digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
                          blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
                          hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
                          blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Totally Gifted View Post
                            I started organising craft fairs after being disappointed with the ones I had attended as a seller. I never make a profit on the organising because I always leave a stall for my own goods so effectively my payment is my free stand.

                            With Regards to advertising - my next event is a small village hall with 20 stall holders. I have charged £20 per stall and the income generated has been spent on the following:

                            Hall hire, 2000 flyers, distribution of flyers, posters, newspaper advertising, goody bags and balloons (free for the children) and a petrol allowance.

                            I can't see how I can do anymore than I do and yet at every event I still get really nervous about getting people through the door! I always worry that people who have paid me for a stall will blame me if they have a bad day.

                            Fingers crossed my events will continue to be successful!
                            I would look at having a competition of some kind.. then you get folk to register their email, and you have a "free" list of contacts to tell every time you do an event..

                            Data Protection act says you have to have "reasonable" cause to retain the data, and you should not use your list to promote anything other than your events without "express consent" but as long as you remove folk from your list if they ask you to and provide them with that opportunity, you need do no more than that... see below:

                            Electronic mail marketing

                            The most important thing to remember is that you can only carry out unsolicited electronic marketing if the person you're targeting has given you their permission.
                            However, there is an exception to this rule. Known as the 'soft opt-in' it applies if the following conditions are met;
                            • where you've obtained a person's details in the course of a sale or negotiations for a sale of a product or service;
                            • where the messages are only marketing similiar products or services; and
                            • where the person is given a simple opportunity to refuse marketing when their details are collected, and if they don't opt out at this point, are given a simple way to do so in future messages

                            When you send an electronic marketing message, you must tell the recipient who you are and provide a valid contact address.
                            The rules on emails don't apply to emails sent to organisations, though you must still identify yourself and provide an address.


                            You may also be required to complete a Data Protection Notification/Registration, but that may be applicable anyway if you already hold "personal" data as a result of registering vendors and processing payments..



                            You can telephone the notification helpline on 01625 545740 between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. for guidance about whether to register or not.

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