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My first fair

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  • My first fair

    No more the Craft Fair Newbie.

    My first fair was run to raise funds for a local nursery. Well organised, lots of advertising, but disappointing on the day. A sign of the times - but surprising given the area it was located in. Although I was a little disappointed, I had gone into this without too high expectations of selling anything really (negative, I know, but I felt it best to approach it that way and possibly be pleasantly surprised). I am pleased to say that I sold 6 cards, and took an order for one as well - I covered the cost of the stall, so I feel a plus there. Lots of compliments about my cards, which was motivating. I wasn't the only one who had a poor evening though, as all the stall holders I spoke to had had a very disappointing evening.

    The local school's choir sang twice at the event and this meant that most of the 'buyers' were parents. So, what happened once the second round of singing was completed at 7.30 pm? 90% of potential customers went home.

    The event had apparently attracted more stall holders than usual and was packed to over-flowing (in fact they had over-flowed into a second room). I was in a corner, which was fine until I was asked to move a little to let the choir on and off the stage. The lighting along the edges of the hall was dreadful - the hall is, I guess, appx 15ft-18ft high and tiny spot lights were the only lighting - in the middle of the hall the lighting is excellent. The stall holder next to me spoke to the organiser about providing additional temporary lighting and she said they had nothing and it had never occurred to her that it was needed (this is not the first year of the Christmas Fair, so wonder how others have managed?). A children's clothes seller had the stall at the right angle to me and they had a rail which was pretty mobile thorughout the event and often caused a blockage in front of my stall - no, I am not staying I would have sold more but this coupled with 'being in the dark' meant people often just missed my stall.

    Sorry for the negativity and to be honest I do feel really positive about the experience. I have received so much good advice from the Forum, and bearing in mind yesterday's experience, I feel more organised for the next fair, and I am looking forward to it.

    Jill
    One craft project, like one cookie, is never enough!

    http://christmaspiecrafts.blogspot.com/
    Twitter: @jillspain
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristmasPieCrafts

  • #2
    Well done, Jill.

    Add a longish extension lead with a 4-way shoe and some suitable lights to help display your stock - those flexible-necked desk lamps are very handy.

    Then if the ambient lighting is poor, you stuff still stands out.

    Best wishes
    David

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Jill

      Sorry you didn't have the best experience at your first fair but as you covered your stall costs you can count this as a learning experience. I always ask to have access to electricity at indoor events (sometimes this costs more so watch out for that) and always check the space allocated to make sure it is sufficient for what I need.

      Unless electricity is not available, I always light my own stall (sometimes looks like Blackpool Illuminations!!) as I find you cannot rely on ambient lighting.

      Well done on your sales despite some difficult circumstances, hopefully you were able to give out lots of promo stuff so that you might get more sales on the back of this. I also used to print off lists of upcoming shows I was attending and give those out too - if someone likes your cards, they may well come to see you at a different event and bring friends along too.

      I hope your sales go from strength to strength from now on!
      Ali x

      Etsy Shop: aliscraftstudio.etsy.com
      Facebook: AlisCraftStudio
      Follow me on Twitter:
      @AlisCraftStudio

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by David Smith View Post
        Well done, Jill.

        Add a longish extension lead with a 4-way shoe and some suitable lights to help display your stock - those flexible-necked desk lamps are very handy.

        Then if the ambient lighting is poor, you stuff still stands out.

        Best wishes
        David
        That's a great idea, David, many thanks. I have extension leads and lights, so no probs to take them with me.
        One craft project, like one cookie, is never enough!

        http://christmaspiecrafts.blogspot.com/
        Twitter: @jillspain
        http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristmasPieCrafts

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by AliCat View Post
          Hi Jill

          Sorry you didn't have the best experience at your first fair but as you covered your stall costs you can count this as a learning experience. I always ask to have access to electricity at indoor events (sometimes this costs more so watch out for that) and always check the space allocated to make sure it is sufficient for what I need.

          Unless electricity is not available, I always light my own stall (sometimes looks like Blackpool Illuminations!!) as I find you cannot rely on ambient lighting.

          Well done on your sales despite some difficult circumstances, hopefully you were able to give out lots of promo stuff so that you might get more sales on the back of this. I also used to print off lists of upcoming shows I was attending and give those out too - if someone likes your cards, they may well come to see you at a different event and bring friends along too.

          I hope your sales go from strength to strength from now on!

          Thank you - despite my whinge I did enjoy it as it was good practice relaly

          I noticed that a couple of the jewellery stalls had battery-driven fairy lights. They did look nice and certianly helped with the dim lighting.

          I think the handing out promo material is also something I need to take on board. I had my biz card, details of forthcoming fairs and order form - but didn't like to push them on people. However, sometimes it may pay to be pushy

          Jill
          One craft project, like one cookie, is never enough!

          http://christmaspiecrafts.blogspot.com/
          Twitter: @jillspain
          http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristmasPieCrafts

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Jill

            It is important not to push information on to people as this can really be a turn-off but I make sure that if someone makes the right noises and likes my stuff, I will always make sure that if they are starting to walk away without buying something that they are given a card with my details on.

            You never know!! Often people go to fairs but don't really know what they are looking to buy and can frequently end up buying nothing, however there is bound to be a time in future (especially with your cards) when they could use one so if they have your details they may well be in touch directly or order something online (if you have a website set up with shop).
            Ali x

            Etsy Shop: aliscraftstudio.etsy.com
            Facebook: AlisCraftStudio
            Follow me on Twitter:
            @AlisCraftStudio

            Comment


            • #7
              That is very true - one lady took an order form as she said she liked my cards and had recently been looking for a good card for an 18th birthday (had eventually found one) and took my details so that in future she woul dknow where to go.

              Must admit, I don't really feel happy being the pushy sales person. I know how I feel when it is tried on me.

              I am in the process of setting up mywebsite and building up the LittleBigShop spot. So fingers crossed......

              Jill
              One craft project, like one cookie, is never enough!

              http://christmaspiecrafts.blogspot.com/
              Twitter: @jillspain
              http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristmasPieCrafts

              Comment


              • #8
                Sorry to hear you had a disappointing first fair, at least you covered the cost of the stall, so no money lost. I hope your next fair is a much better experience for you.
                el oh vee eee...

                Blog Twitter

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JKS View Post
                  That is very true - one lady took an order form as she said she liked my cards and had recently been looking for a good card for an 18th birthday (had eventually found one) and took my details so that in future she woul dknow where to go.

                  Must admit, I don't really feel happy being the pushy sales person. I know how I feel when it is tried on me.

                  I am in the process of setting up mywebsite and building up the LittleBigShop spot. So fingers crossed......

                  Jill
                  How about looking at this differently? Instead of thinking of being a pushy salesperson, just be enthusiastic and confident of the quality of your work and that will speak volumes! After all, if you can't sell yourself and promote your talents through the love of your own work, who can?
                  Ali x

                  Etsy Shop: aliscraftstudio.etsy.com
                  Facebook: AlisCraftStudio
                  Follow me on Twitter:
                  @AlisCraftStudio

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Jill, well done on your 1st fair and you covered your costs, that's the main thing. Glad you can be positive about it now and as someone said have a light and extention lead with you just incase. Good luck with the others coming up and maybe us Surrey group can meet in the new year, cheers Linda
                    My blog http://setters-delight.blogspot.com

                    Folksy http://www.justgifts.folksy.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Having a battery might be because sometimes there are issues with brought in lamps needing to be checked by the caretaker. Some schools went health and safety mad at one point. They may have calmed down a bit now.
                      I've noticed schools don't bother to ask to see my insurance, village halls do. School need lamps checking, village halls don't. It's very confusing.
                      But welcome to the club.
                      The only way is up, now.
                      AnnieAnna

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jill dont see it as been a pushy sales woman - just be honest, friendly and above all helpful " Im sure I can do that for you" "Why not take a card and call me when you need your next card and we can discuss your requirements".

                        People dont see friendliness and helpfulness has pushy they do actually see it has been friendly.

                        Of course its good to get the key marketing words in such as being local (if you are) unique designs, you welcome commisions but if you blend these words into sentences such as your passion for your craft and your joy at the thought of someone receiving your card etc.
                        Cheryl


                        http://www.facebook.com/pages/Befascinated/118463183977

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Argh, the dreaded PAT stickers (Portable Appliance Test) green and white with illegible scribble and a date by some supposedly qualified sparks. An annual requirement if H&S are around...some venues are hotter on this sort of thing than others. Schools are usually rabid on this one, because they have to have all their own electrical items PAT-tested (at considerable expense) each year.

                          However, brilliant defence, works almost every time (provided your lights and extension cable look half decent) - "This doesn't apply to items under 12 months old, and I only bought this a couple of months ago from John Lewis".

                          Hopefully the jobsworth won't ask for a receipt

                          Reminds me, I must get my son-in-law ( a sparks) to get me another roll of signed off stickers!

                          Best wishes
                          David

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AliCat View Post
                            Hi Jill

                            It is important not to push information on to people as this can really be a turn-off but I make sure that if someone makes the right noises and likes my stuff, I will always make sure that if they are starting to walk away without buying something that they are given a card with my details on.

                            You never know!! Often people go to fairs but don't really know what they are looking to buy and can frequently end up buying nothing, however there is bound to be a time in future (especially with your cards) when they could use one so if they have your details they may well be in touch directly or order something online (if you have a website set up with shop).
                            It's the difference between pushy and persuasive (gently persuasive) - I had my details (biz card, order form, etc) on the table, but perhaps should have made them more obvious
                            One craft project, like one cookie, is never enough!

                            http://christmaspiecrafts.blogspot.com/
                            Twitter: @jillspain
                            http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristmasPieCrafts

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by razorbladekisses View Post
                              Sorry to hear you had a disappointing first fair, at least you covered the cost of the stall, so no money lost. I hope your next fair is a much better experience for you.
                              Many thanks. It was interesting and all part of the learning curve. Great support here, with really helpful ideas too. It's good to know what could work, should work and what I could do differently.

                              Jill
                              One craft project, like one cookie, is never enough!

                              http://christmaspiecrafts.blogspot.com/
                              Twitter: @jillspain
                              http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristmasPieCrafts

                              Comment

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