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Craft Fayres tips for organisers

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  • Craft Fayres tips for organisers

    Hello, we're doing our first ever craft & local food fayre this month as a fund-raiser.

    What can we do from the point of view of sellers to make it more organised, better and easier for them?

    I'm arranging for someone to be on duty in the car park, to show them where to park, then someone inside to show them where set up their display.

    We're providing tables, and a couple of chairs?

    What normally happends about food? As we're setting up from 11a.m. starts at 1p.m. until 5p.m. Do people bring their own? We will be doing refreshments for the event, would it be avisable to start them off earlier so's the sellers can eat and drink too, or do most people bring their own? Should we provide something a bit more substantial than just cakes?

    Can people think of anything else that helps when you go along to one of these events? I'm doing a table myself, so I'll see it from both sides...

  • #2
    Jules from Apple Tree Crafts is probably your best person to get in touch with as she is an event organiser - and very good at it might I say too.



    Bowed Over
    Handmade Dog Collar Accessories


    • #3
      I would say that the best thing you can do to keep your stall holders happy is to:
      • make sure that everything a craft seller sells is made by them rather than bought in mass produced stuff.
      • make sure that you have a maximum of two sellers for each type of item, two jewellery, two cards, etc. Even better if you only have one of each.
      • Go around halfway through the afternoon and take drink orders.
      full time mum and very very part time crafter.


      • #4
        How Long Have You Got?

        ......This could take me ages! You're lucky I've got baking on, cos this is my all time favourite subject.

        Ok, you've got the basics manned. The only other thing to add there is a stall minder. Lots of crafters get friendly enough to ask the person on the next stand if they'll mind the 'shop' whilst they nip to the loo/take a break/ have a shufty at the other stalls, but some people are quite shy so if you can provide someone to stall-sit when needed, it does help.

        We provide free coffee, tea & cakes for the crafters if we have use of the kitchen at a venue. Quite often we have to pay extra for the kitchen but we don't mind this as happy crafters are important. If crockery isn't provided ask your crafters to bring cups.....

        Make sure crafters know where the loo is. We have one particular venue where the toilets are for the hall hirers only, not the public, and you need a code to type into the door lock......this causes endless amusement when crafters are, just joking

        We provide tables, with two chairs at each but there's normally spare chairs (and occasionally tables) at most venues. I try (!) to have everything in place before crafters arrive with tables named so crafters know where to go. We also try our best to supply power to all those who need it, but this varies hugely from venue to venue. Mostly, power can be supplied to tables around the walls but not to those in the centre of a hall because there are HSE issues with trailing cables etc.

        A floor plan is essential so that you don't get two of the same crafts next to each other. This does come a cropper when crafters decide to move themselves, or don't turn up at all, or worse when they turn up with completely different crafts from the ones stated on their booking forms.

        Above all, be flexible. Crafters will frequently arrive with racks, rails or swirly stands that they need to have accommodated. Or in the event that crafters don't turn up (with no prior warning) you may have to remove the spare table or fill that space at the very last moment. Lots of crafters are more than willing to spread out onto another table! If there's space to be filled for this reason we never ever charge for that space - the crafters are doing the organisers a huge favour by filling empty spaces, which otherwise look very unprofessional. cakes to dash. PM me if you've got any questions, I'm always ready to help.

        GOOD LUCK!!

        Last edited by Apple Tree Crafts; 06-11-2007, 01:01 PM.
        Apple Tree Crafts


        • #5
          Thank you so much, lots of things there I hadn't considered.There are points in the halls, but no-one so far has said they need electric, do they normally ask when booking? I hadn't thought to ask them! But we'll take a few extension leads, bearing in mind your comments about H&S.

          I did think about floor plan, who next to who, good idea about stall minder though...I'll assign a couple of people to that.

          There are toilets right by the hall, so that ones covered.

          Maybe tickets for stall holders to take over when they get their refreshments , so there's no hassle about having to pay every time, the people behind the tea stall chnages?

          Another quick question here, someone said to ask the stall holders when they get here to ask if they'd mind donating something to wards the raffle? Would that be a bit cheeky? Or does this happen normally, or should we have asked them when booking?
          I don't want to pounce on them when they arrive, and then upset them before we begin.My daughter suggested leaving a pice of paper on each stall with any instructions..i.e. about toilets/facilities etc...and adding a bit on the bottom about donating a prize...then they don't have the embarrasment if they don't wish to/


          • #6
            You usually get asked when booking to make a donation for the raffle but having said that I have also been asked on the day to make a donation for the raffle. I don't mind, raffles are a way or advertising your product.



            Bowed Over
            Handmade Dog Collar Accessories


            • #7
              Thank you Lisa, thats very reassuring, I wouldn't make a very good business woman, I'm too soft, and hate asking for things...I'm good with organising on paper and fine details, but my eldest daughter is the main organiser, and doing all the phone calls and arranging.


              • #8
                I've been asked for donations on the day as well. I dont have any issue with it.

                Cheers Janice


                • #9

                  Yes, I was asked for donations on the day for the tombola, it caught me by surprise a bit but I didn't really mind.

                  As a stall-holder I take thermoses and sandwiches with me, otherwise any profits ( ha!!) go on tea and buns and bacon butties......but it is nice to be able to get a drink when the thermos is empty, and often the cakes are irresistible.....

                  Craft organisers usually ask for a little extra for electricity to the table, and for sparkly things a lot of stall holders semm to use a light.

                  Have you thought - if you can - of offering a little extra space for those crafters wishing to demonstrate?


                  • #10
                    No i hadn't thought of that primmer, we're still booking folks now for tables...I'd have thought that most people would have booked earlier, so we won't know how much extra room we have until the day. Though there are more rooms we can spread into if necessary, so I guess room isn't an issue.


                    • #11
                      I really like the idea of a bit of paper with instructions/guidance on left on each table.

                      As a stall holder I also much prefer to go to a venue where my name is already on the table so I can get on with unloading the car and start getting set up, without having to queue to see someone who tells me where to go - it will be like that this Sunday and there are always people who keep pushing in front of the queue.



                      • #12
                        organizing craft fairs

                        I've just seen my spelling mistakes in my last post, oh dear. I can never be bothered to spellcheck on this forum: takes too long!

                        I would think that most crafters, if they're willing to demonstrate, would like to be able to use a little bit of their own table to work on. I know tables come in standard sizes, and not all craft fairs can offer that little bit extra length of table. Just a thought.

                        I took some decoupage to my last craft fair: I can do that on my lap. Trouble is, I have to take my specs off to see the fine work properly and then I can't see potential customers to say hello to!

                        Oh, and if you can find a way of getting customers to part with hard cash ( AK47, Axe, Whip, Shotgun?????) I'm sure that would be appreciated too!


                        • #13
                          craft fairs organizers

                          And I forgot to say, I agree with craftdancer - label your tables! Pelsall's fair was already laid out and the tables had our names on them. There was a greeter at the door, and he directed us all to our tables, so it was a really smooth set-up.

                          There was a bit of an argy-bargy when one lady, arriving very late indeed, was miffed to find her table had been given to someone else to spread out onto. ( I do hope it wasn't Katianne).

                          The documentation I received from the organizers made it crystal clear that table-holders were to be set up and ready by 9.45: the customers coming in at 10. And the place was open from 8, so we had plenty of time to set up.

                          The miffed lady didn't arrive till 11.30, so it really was her own fault. Reminded me of Airline, when all those passengers miss the check-in times and then get all aereated because they won't take responsibility for their own shortcomings.


                          • #14
                            I knew it would be a good idea putting it on here, so many helpful people.

                            Sometimes you think you've got all bases covered, but seeing it from the 'customers' (sellers)point of view makes a big difference, things you haven't even considreded.

                            we having someone in the car park, directing people to the main hall, or which ever one they're in, then people inside showing them exactly where they are. Never thought thought to tell them to be set up by a certain time....they've got 2 hours, thinking that it would be more relaxed that way for people, and maybe spread out the arriving times...who knows.

                            at what stage should I consider that someones not going to arrive? And share out any spare space? And how do we do that? Just offer it to the two tables either side?

                            Hopefully we won't need the ammo to make people part with their money...they'll be doing that freely

                            Fingers crossed.............

                            And I really appreciate all the advice, and taking it all in...well, after all, I'm going to be a stall holder too(scary)


                            • #15
                              The normal etiquet is to give an empty table to anyone who is standing next to it. ie. if a table is between two stall holders they get half each.
                              if it is at the end then the table next to it gets the whole thing.
                              Most experienced crafters will have spare cloths etc with them in case of this happening.
                              I would say that if by half an hour of opening time the stall holder has not arrived then it is time to hand it over.
                              full time mum and very very part time crafter.