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Craft Fairs Newbie SOS...

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  • Craft Fairs Newbie SOS...

    Hi,

    I've never had the chance to participate in a craft fair, but I would really like to atted a few next year. I'm about to take on a chip and pin machine on a twelve months contract (I really need it for my upcoming jewellery parties) so I think that I should try to make it useful
    I was wondering if you could please tell me how long in advance do you usually book your spaces on craft fairs. I had a look at a few different websites, but unfortunately I didn't have much luck with finding info about fairs for 2012. At the same time I'm worried that if I leave it too late I may end up missing my chance to attend a really good fair beacuse of the amount of people who sell jewellery.

    Thanks,
    Karo
    Blue Lizard
    Member
    Last edited by Blue Lizard; 20-09-2011, 12:14 AM.
    My handmade fashion jewellery site: http://www.bluelizardjewellery.co.uk

  • #2
    Hi Karo

    I don't sell jewellery so my experiences are different to those who do but even without having the 'we're full for jewellery' issue in my situation, I still book my big fairs as soon as they are released (often up to 10 months in advance). For smaller shows where space often is less of an issue, these are done on a rolling basis over the course of the year so I can spread out the costs, otherwise I end up having to make a lot of payments out at a time when I have very little money coming in (i.e. January-March).

    From speaking to jewellery-making friends at fairs, it seems the key is to stay in contact with organisers (for those last minute cancellations) and once you get your foot in the door, life is much easier.

    Make sure you have checked online for reviews/feedback regarding the mobile card company in particular in relation to any hidden charges/cancellation fees with your card machine before taking it on, especially if you haven't done parties/fairs before. I can go through fairly long periods without being offered a credit card for payment - this seems especially true at the moment where lots of people are using cash only so they are able to keep a tighter control over their spending.

    Good luck with your fairs and jewellery parties - contact as many organisers as you can regarding fairs and don't give up trying!
    Ali x

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

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    • #3
      Yes I second all that.
      Once you get going you might get a cheaper rate for a space if you book at a fair for the one next year....so I have 4 (very big) fairs booked a year in advance. The bigger well PTA organised school's ask me 6 months in advance. Village hall fairs tend to be 3 to 1 month in advance. Sometimes someone really gets a rocket under them. One really good fair was a charity one organised in a month! But a month is sometimes a warning something is not quite right. However, the short notice fairs will be the ones you might find yourself chasing (people get ill and there's a space going) for your first year. Markets, you just turn up on the day and in this economic climate there'll be room for you.

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      • #4
        Hi have you tried searching on www.stallfinder.com nothing much to add to what has already been said except if you do get in be prepared not to sell much but do give out loads of business cards, fliers etc. espech if you can do parties. It may help to get in if you have a different range to the usual jewellery. I promote 2 of my lines which are different to help get me in,
        Handmade jewellery, to buy gifts or just to treat yourself visit my website, commissions welcome or join me on facebook for a chat

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        • #5
          It's worth forking out to be on www.stallfinder.com . The fair organisers ring you up.
          Since I did it I'm being asked to more fairs than I can cope with.......because there are only so many weekends in a year

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