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Craft Fayre in dorset

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  • Craft Fayre in dorset

    Hello all you crafters.

    I am a crafter myself, but just as a hobby in my spare time.
    The reason I'm posting on here is because as part of a fund-raising team for my daughter school Passage to India team, my older daughter and i are organising a Gift, Craft and fresh local produce Fayre for Sat Nov 24th.

    We're running it between 1-5p.m. and are charging £15.00 per table.

    As long as people don't mind, what I'm after is to pick experienced people brains on here, I see that quite a few of you do craft fayres .

    Is it normal to charge people entry to come to these events? If so, what is the average entry fee? Or does charging entry put people off coming along?

    What can I do to make sure that it's a good experience for the people who have a stall, there is parking on site, anything else that i should be aware of, be prepared for? How long does it take most people to put up a stall? Would one hour before opening be long enough? Or do people prefer a bit longer?

    The next question is apart from craft shops and libraries, where would it be best to advertise this event for possible crafters? We already have a few lined up, but as we have a big main hall, and a couple of smaller side halls, we'd obviously like to fill it with as many as possible to make it more interesting for the customers.

    We're also having a Santas grotto, and refreshments, here again i'm thinking along the lines of bringing in as many customers as possible to make it worthwhile for the stall holders, and ourselves of course

    I'm personally having a stall there too, (never done this before...quite scary) I make lacy negligees for larger ladies, and knitting in mohair, a strange mix I know...and advice oh how to best promote my items too?

    Many thanks, in anticipating your help,


    Any sort of advice would be much appreciated.

  • #2
    Dorset craft fair


    Whereabouts in Dorset are you holding it? I live in Hampshire, but will be going to Bournemouth that night to see Bill Bailey, so it'd make a day of it if I could have a stall!


    • #3
      Hi there

      Just a quick thought. My mum recently organised a craft fayre with her local ladies group raising funds for the RNLI. They did not charge an entry fee, but my mum did stand very near the doorway as people came in asking if they would like a strip of raffle tickets for a £1. Asked very nicely with a huge smile and a greeting most people were more than happy to buy, and I think they raised nearly £200 on that alone over 4 hours. Even if you asked only 50p a strip its quite easy to raise money.

      Many stallholders had donated a raffle prize, and they had already selected a specific top 3 prizes.

      I think it depends on the location, quality of goods and 'intention' of the fair as to whether you can charge.

      I know some people may disagree with apparent pressure into buying tickets, but I assure you my mum is not pushy, just welcoming and cheery. People can always say no thank you, and many did.

      Hope its a success and you raise lots of money


      [email protected]


      • #4
        I think Twisted suggestion of selling raffle tickets is a brilliant idea - I know charging an entrance fee will put some people off and also give some stallholders the hump. If you ask the stallholders to donate a prize most will be happy to do so.

        I think a Santa's grotto is a good idea too as it's another thing to get people through the doors...not sure if they need to be CRB checked nowadays but if you can persuade a teacher to be Santa then that'd get around that problem.

        As for refreshments, I know many will agree with me that at lots of craft fairs that seems to be the busiest bit..I'm sure I've spend more than I've made buying tea and cakes at some places You can buy big pre-sliced cakes (16 portions) from cash n carry places and tea and coffee would give you a big profit too - I think you need to be careful not to tread on any stall holders toes if they are selling local fresh produce though.

        Good luck with the fair and remember to pop back and tell us all how it went.
        Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies


        • #5
          Thank you for your replies, very helpful.

          Hi Elspeth, we're in Weymouth, about an hours drive from Bournemouth (depending on traffic of course....)

          Think I'll take your advice about not charging an entry fee, what I'd hate to do is to get it full with stalls, then not many people turn up, I'd feel terrible, mainly for the stall holders.

          A good idea about doing the raffle, we've already got a tombola stall with items left over from other events.

          I guessed that Santa might need approving!!! So it's have to be one of the teachers or similar . I have got the perfect person in mind, just need to let him know...

          I've already got it advertised on loads of websites and local papers websites. Luckily one of the India teams parents works for the local paper ,so we have articles in the paper about up and coming events. Also, our local radio puts events over the air for us.
          I 'm thinking that apart from filling it up with stalls, the most important thing is getting loads of people through the doors.

          What I really want it to be is a great day for all, sellers and buyers, and want to be prepared for all eventualities (can that ever be I wonder?)

          Probably more scared about having my own stall, I'm friendly and chatty, but when it comes to money I'm useless, I blush if i think people think I'm charging too much...that sort of thing.


          • #6

            Good luck with the event, you'll be great!

            Wood Tattoos
            Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)


            • #7
              Another quick query on this one, what is the normal size of tables you proved, or expect to be provided with at the fairs?

              One of my stall holders asked my daughter for a 12ft table? Is this the normal size? I was working on about 6ft length average, or should i be looking for something longer?


              • #8
                Good luck with the event!

                I think probably 6foot is average but work on how many tables you can get in the room/s comfortably and also with chairs behind too. You don't want them crammed in so that stall holders have to knock over the next persons items (and yes I have been a victim!) If you can then afford a 12foot one for one person then that is fine.

                I think if you post this in another thread asking for advice you might get some more - thinking of Jules from Apple Tree Crafts would be very helpful


                • #9
                  Cheers Tip top, I want happy sellers on the day, so trying desperately to do things right.

                  Which other forum should I put it on do you think?


                  • #10
                    Start a different thread - not in a different forum
                    Perhaps under 'can you help?'


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cannasue View Post
                      Another quick query on this one, what is the normal size of tables you proved, or expect to be provided with at the fairs?

                      One of my stall holders asked my daughter for a 12ft table? Is this the normal size? I was working on about 6ft length average, or should i be looking for something longer?
                      If you are selling 6ft tables which I think is about average and somebody wants a 12ft table, they can always pay for two together, this would be fair on the other stall holders.

                      I do a large shopping event in my local town and am paying £10 for a table + a donation of a raffle prize. This is a possibility for you, you could charge £15 for a table or if they wanted to donate a raffle prize you could charge them £10. Just a thought.


                      • #12
                        I've only done one craft show myself and can give you my 'experience'!

                        There was no entry charge, just an offer to purchase 1 ticket for entry into the raffle price...........all prices had been donated by local businesses as the craft fair was in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind. They actually called out one number every half hour which gave those there a chance to claim their prize.

                        Have to say that I thought the charges for their tea and coffee were a bit high at £1 a cup of coffee.............would have probably had a couple myself if they were about 50p!

                        Tables were on offer at £15 small, (4' 6") £20 large (6' 4") and £35 for a 12' foot one. (some of the crafters there were saying that was a bit high!)

                        They had made a mistake in putting the advert into the local paper as somebody had delivered it to the wrong department, so no paper coverage. Hence there was only about 150 that came through the doors instead of the many more than could have! I think parking was a bit problem as well for the visitors as the centre was way down a side street with double yellow lines on each side.

                        All stall holders were asked to donate £3 towards the 'best table display' that the customers voted on - the best stall holder then won £20............this part was kind of 'strange' because the best table that did win was the Guide Dogs for the Blind stall, and at the risk of sounding all mewowie, it was not a nice stall at all.

                        Apart from that, I thought it was really nice - plus the venue was lovely!

                        I am doing one in November where they are having a children's crech so mums and dads can wander around the stalls without having to worry about the be honest on that one, I'm not sure if they are charging the parents for this!

                        They are having a sit down refreshment area so will sell their teas, coffees, sandwiches etc to the visitors, which I'm sure will raise a lot more than just selling to the stall holders.

                        My sister lives in Weymouth (Portland Bill) and we are making plans to go down and visit........hmmmmm, may be worth me looking into visiting the same time you have your craft fair and having a table!

                        Last edited by [email protected]; 15-10-2007, 06:36 AM.
                        Personalised Wedding Cake Toppers


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the replies both of you, some more things to consider there.

                          Loads of info Amanda & Pauline.

                          We're also planning on having a childrens area too, so parents can wander round in peace, hopefully might have childrens entertainer too ,if he's available that date.

                          the parkings not a problem as it's right outside the school hall in a designated car park. And the school is straight off the main road, so easy access.

                          I've done loads of advertising already on various web-sites, and posters up in lots of villages around Weynouth too, Po's, village halls etc.

                          One of the kids in the group going has a parent working at the local paper, so we always get great coverage, and the local radio station are brilliant at promoting our events. there's also a possibilty that the kids might be going up to do a slot on a program, so more advertising there.

                          Refreshments are going to be 50p, make it easy...I was in charge of the refreshments at the last event we did, and got sooooooo confused trying to add up all these silly prices...must have looked a real numpty!!!

                          I have brother-in-law who's a master baker, am going to sweet talk him into making some cakes for us..he's done it before, especially his Portland dough cake....yuummmmmmm.

                          I'm taking on board everything people are telling me, as I've not done one of these events before, and I want it to go smoothly for us and everyone else, trying to organise it down to the last detail..

                          Last query is regarding booking forms.

                          The stall holders we have so far have booked over the phone, or the net.
                          I have made a booking form, with the basic questions on there i.e.

                          contact no
                          web address
                          product being sold
                          space required
                          no of chairs
                          any other requirements
                          time of arrival for set up

                          Do you think Ineed to have anything else on there? Have Imissed anything obvious?


                          P.S. I love Portland Bill, go there quite often for tea or an ice-cream at the Lobster pot, lucky sister.Mind you, the fog-horn was going yesterday, not so sure about it then!!!
                          would love to see you if you're down this way.
                          Last edited by cannasue; 15-10-2007, 10:32 AM.