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Forum Newbie - Organising a Craft Fair

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  • Forum Newbie - Organising a Craft Fair

    Hi - I just found this forum today and hoping that someone here might be able to help me

    I'm a crafter (I make fused glass jewellery) and I have been asked to organise a Craft Fair as part of our local festival (it is in Woodseats, which is in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and near to Chesterfield and Rotherham)

    We've got a venue and a date (7th July), but I really need some advice from anyone who has organised a craft fair before. Finding crafters for the fair seems to be a first priority - but how to go about it? I haven't ever sold any of my own stuff at a fair yet, so I'm unfamiliar with how they work and I'd be grateful for any advice about organising an event like this.
    Thanks
    Michelle

  • #2
    Hi Michelle,

    I too am organinsing a fair for 7th July - lucky they're so far apart (i'm in Bristol)!!!

    The first thing you need to do is decide what type of fair you are organinsing; are you going to allow companies such as pheonix cards and usbourne books or stick to genuine crafts?

    Next, decided how many of each craft you can reasonably allow - i think three is a good number as long as they are all slightly different. (You're likely to get loads of jewellers so be selective!!!)

    Then you need a booking pack with a letter detailing costs, table size, whether there will be electricity etc, booking form, terms and conditions and a bit about the venue.

    Then you need to contact crafters!!! Advertise anywhere and everywhere!

    Once you have done all this you need to come up with a room plan, advertise the fair itself, sort out refreshments etc (if you are having them)

    I can't think of anything else at mo....Jules of Apple Tree Crafts might be able to offer further insight!!!

    Hope this helps,
    Laura
    Last edited by BeyondBeads; 26-04-2007, 11:48 AM.
    Beyond Beads
    Handmade Beaded Jewellery for all occasions

    [email protected]


    www.beyondbeads.co.uk
    www.myspace.com/beyondbeads

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    • #3
      Hi Michelle - I make and sell fine silver jewellery, beaded jewellery and gifts, and (dare I say it) fused glass bowls and jewellery. I live in Leeds, and currently have 7th July free....... If you think my stuff might fit what you want, would be very interested to have more details re costs and stuff when you are ready.
      Mary
      www.somata.co.uk
      www.stitchnglass.co.uk
      www.gemstoneboutique.co.uk
      www.somata-pmc.co.uk

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      • #4
        Hi Michelle,

        Hello and welcome to the forum. Jules from Appletree Crafts is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to crat fairs get in touch with her.

        Cheers.

        Lisa
        Bowed Over
        Handmade Dog Collar Accessories
        www.bowedover.co.uk

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        • #5
          Just Ask...

          ...I'll help if I can!

          Get your venue & date sorted, then spend a couple of hours on your computer sourcing free adverstising for your area. There are lots of free sites for local events in most areas.

          Also, list your event in the diary on www.craft-fair.co.uk This is a free site, and lots of crafters use it.

          You'll need fliers to put up in local shops and businesses, and quite often, local newspapers will have free community pages. Local supermakets usually have community notice boards too. On your fliers, give the important details, like place, time, type of event, and a contact number for anyone wanting a stall.

          That should be lots to keep you busy ! Just shout if you need help!

          Jules
          Last edited by Apple Tree Crafts; 26-04-2007, 05:59 PM.
          Apple Tree Crafts
          www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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          • #6
            Thanks so much for your help and suggestions.

            Mary - Thanks for your interest - I am going to my first meeting about the Fair on Monday, so I should be able to send you more info after then.

            Laura - can I ask who Phoenix Cards are? - I've been asked by someone if they can sell them at my fair - but I don't know anything about them.

            Michelle

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            • #7
              Pheonix cards are a company, much like virgin vie etc who have 'reps' to sell their goods. Except they sell cards! There are similar companies such as party light (i think - who do candles).

              They tend to annoy genuine crafters ar fairs as they don't make the items themselves and can easily underprice us lowly crafters!

              Hope this helps,
              Laura
              Beyond Beads
              Handmade Beaded Jewellery for all occasions

              [email protected]


              www.beyondbeads.co.uk
              www.myspace.com/beyondbeads

              Comment


              • #8
                Here are some tips that make my events childs play to organise

                I always make a webpage for my event you can then quote it to interested parties,

                My current one is here: (add the necessary www and .com) summerevent.moonfruit -
                Moonfruit costs nothing to build a site.

                I use google email to mail out - You can use a feature called canned messages to paste the same information into each message before sending. Don't bulk mail personalise the To section of the email.

                I then use surveymonkey (dot com) to produce my booking page - and can close the booking page when I want. Survey monkey is free and you can view the responses page by page and cut and paste the information into an excel document.

                I opened my bookings 7 days ago and have 15 stalls provisionally booked, by searching the web and emailing. 3 enquirers today.

                Use technology to your advantage to save time and advertising money. Also put your fayre on as many sites as possible and crafters will find you from your submitted information..

                Please feel free to check out the site and try the booking form just note on there that it was a test and I'll scrap the form my end if you save it

                This is the 5th Year we have run this style of event - we always do free tea and coffee for all crafters all day and treat them as our friends.

                Good Luck Dave.

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                • #9
                  Hi Michelle,

                  I'm a hop and a skip away from Woodseats so let me know if my craft is of interest to you. I handmake leather gifts and jewellery. You can view my work by looking at my website (link in my sig). My contact details are here too.

                  Good luck with the organising

                  cj
                  www.curiouscatcreative.co.uk
                  Become a facebook fan
                  Check out my blog

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                  • #10
                    Good luck,

                    As to getting crafters.

                    Signs in shops, sub post offices, community notice boards. Some only allow limited time for display, but we had some success from a sign that said "Local crafts wanted" and then some basic details.

                    Handouts at craft shops. Four to an A4 sheet size. Date time costs, contact. Tag line "Could you sell your craft here?". These get passed on.

                    Other craft fairs. I've got a stack of business cards picked up from fairs I have sold at or just been to. We've had people come up to the table and say "Would you be interested in attending my craft fair?". So long as it's not clashing with

                    Other organisers. In the past, I've been phoned out of the blue by people organising craft fairs who've had my details passed on from a previous fair organiser. Suited me, suited them.

                    Usborne books. I actually invited thelocal Usborne seller. She'd been to previous "Village Markets" as they were. I figured that crafters don't actually make childrens' books and it did seem to get people into the habit of spending. As it happened, the seller didn't apply, but she was a nice cheerful lady who seemed to jolly people up as they entered the hall.

                    Other franchises, Jamie at home... these are turning up and honestly, I'm a better cook than him and better looking.

                    Chris

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