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Stall Holders - how can we improve our craft event to benefit you?

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  • Stall Holders - how can we improve our craft event to benefit you?

    I've been running an annual Craft Fayre for 9 years now, lots of events but being a year between events, we can always learn to do better.

    We have set up some guidelines to try and provide the best experience we can for our crafters and visitors ... have we missed anything?

    We have a website and promotional video ....we publish details of our next event and do some blogging linked with a Paperli Twitter and Facebook. Let us know what you think about the site craftsandmusic.co.uk

    we accept online stall bookings and payments is this the preferred method for you as a crafter or would you prefer a letter and a cheque?

    We promote local crafters websites and other Craft Fayres on our our social media during the year.

    We provide support for disabled crafters to and from their vehicle and in setting up their stalls

    We provide Free Hot drinks all day brought to our stallholders, and will take food orders and deliver food.

    We promote on banners and in local newspapers.

    We provide a cafe and other entertainment at the event including musical performances.

    We keep stall holder charges low we think £20 per stall is reasonable ?

    This year we are charging £2 per car load of visitors, we think that this encourages footfall or do you think we should, charge more on the door and less to the stall holders.

    We often consider running more regular events... But our 'gimmick' is providing a full day of entertainment and crafts and have opted to do one big event a year instead.

    These are discussions we often have in our committee, but we are not the experts ... What do you think.

    Many Thanks

    David

  • #2
    Is it a 'hand-made crafters' fair or a 'craft and gift' fair, or a fair where almost anyone who wants a table to sell almost anything can have one by paying ...?

    Most genuine crafters would like to have this made clear, rather than risk ending up beside the man selling carpet-cleaning solution, as I did a few months ago ...

    No other form of shopping that I am aware of charges customers a fee to enter, even if entertainment is laid on, and I don't see why craft markets should be any different on this respect to street markets, supermarkets, market halls or Bond Street shops.


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    • #3
      I agree with Eena, looking at the vid I saw bought in items so not really a craft fair but a gift fair such as Jamie at Home and picnic baskets available in most garden centres. Any exhibitors like these including Phoenix Trading are alarm bells for most crafters and says not a craft fair. I have done mixed events before and they could be good but think needs to be clear in your advertising as misleading for stallholders and buyers.

      Also an hour to get set up with as stated over 50 stalls that is really pushing it, to have to unload a car possibly re-park, set up all 50+ helpers at once, this should be at least 2 hours before the start of the event. Being on my own I could never get it all done in an hour and would be a dripping wreck. Not all the stalls had full length cloths, this is my pet hate at events, no one should be able to see under the sides or front of a stall.

      do you ask for a copy of the stallholders pli, could not see that in your t & C's unless I missed it.

      Sorry trying not to sound too negative but having attended so many events over the years I think I am now a bit pernickety.
      Last edited by Caroleecrafts; 06-02-2013, 05:26 AM.

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      • #4
        Thanks both I'm taking a look at those replies ... Keep them coming
        David

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        • #5
          I've done this fair and it looks lovely and has a lovely atmosphere.

          My only niggles were it wasn't obvious where to park. You need parking attendants. Having said that I had it sussed for the second time I did it.

          Something that happened every time I've been was going in and looking for my table (it's a big area). 'The boss' was busy elsewhere and it took ages to find my space. Something the best organisers do is give their stall holders a plan in advance (it can be done by adding it to the website and letting us print out a copy). Then the stall holders are independent and efficient.

          What's the hour thing? (I haven't looked at the T&Cs as I've moved away.) Is that the time allowed to set up? If I have to drive a fair distance I allow an extra 20 minutes for each hour of journey time in case of accidents, hold ups, getting lost. (Is the satnav thing sorted? You weren't appearing on my satnav as the venue was new build.) This means I can arrive early. I much prefer fairs that give you 2 hours to arrive in, 1 and a half is good, one hour is tight.

          The thing that affected me most though was the visitors were there for the music and not in a mindset to spend money. Families seem to be there to hear their children play, then whisk them off. They need to be tempted to linger. Having activities for the little children is a good thing. Parents were also saying things like I haven't brought any money with me. Is there some way of subliminally suggesting this could be a spending fest?

          But I don't want to be negative. It is a lovely event. Do go along if you can, peeps.

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          • #6
            It is something that we are possibly interested in though part of our reservation is the 1 hour set up time. Simply can't do it with my wood turning. Personally I don't have problem with mixed markets, in fact find them usually better though I would like to klnow in advance as I would take different things if it were just a craft fair. It is a fair way for us to go and so travel costs are a significant factor and it would be all too easy to sell and still make a loss due to fuel costs but having said that it does seem a fun day and potentially worth the trip, especially after reading Annie's comments.

            Pete
            "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci
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            • #7
              We will make the set up time longer I will chat with the site.

              Originally posted by bodrighy View Post
              It is something that we are possibly interested in though part of our reservation is the 1 hour set up time. Simply can't do it with my wood turning. Personally I don't have problem with mixed markets, in fact find them usually better though I would like to klnow in advance as I would take different things if it were just a craft fair. It is a fair way for us to go and so travel costs are a significant factor and it would be all too easy to sell and still make a loss due to fuel costs but having said that it does seem a fun day and potentially worth the trip, especially after reading Annie's comments.

              Pete
              I will chat with the site manager and make the set up time longer as this is a clear concern for some.

              We have tried many different venues over the years searching for one that fits the bill , the venue that Anne was talking about is the one in the video. And parking was a nightmare and the rules for use caused us major problems. This year we are at a new venue and the best venue yet and there is only one access point off the A33 Basingstoke to Reading Road and plenty of parking. We are very happy to be on a main arterial route for promotion and signing purposes and to benefit from the council Leisure department 'Basingstoke Festival' promotions as an official Festival event . Promises to be our best event this year .... Fingers crossed.

              thanks for your comment very helpful. I do keep wondering about running. Just a craft fair, but it would defeat our wider purpose of supporting our Orchestras and Choirs, and remove the fun aspect of the event.

              David

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              • #8
                Hi Anna

                Thanks for your kind comments, yep I was never in the right place, a lovely venue but very poor for logistics and access. We have therefore moved this year to a public school on the outskirts of Basingstoke off the A33 at Sherfield on Loddon. We've tried many venues and this is the best yet all round with such a helpful and accommodating onsite team, easy access and parking, and they'll even let us cook food on site, which the other site wouldn't.

                I'll have a look at table plans but may just stick with a site plan and many tables to choose from on arrival.

                Hope to see you again this year.

                David

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                • #9
                  The biggest impression I got from that video was it was in the main a music event with some stalls tacked on the end.

                  If I was going to have a look at this event one thing I'd find diffucult would be to talk to any stall holder when there's a performance going on as I would think it rude not to watch and listen and instand be asking stall holder about their items. Besides if I'm was a bit heard of hearing I'd have to shout and ask the stall holder to shout. Gentle very low key soft, quiet background muisc is fine but to have a full blown concert blarring out is not conjuivie to trying to buy from a stall holder or in fact for a stall holder trying to commuicate and sell to a potential customer.

                  You need to show more of the craft stalls, and if you are going to interview a craft seller 2 points for marketing we need to see their stalls ie items and please we need to be able to hear them so no background music.

                  If someone has said that parents of children performing don't bring money with them it means they are not interested or might not even be aware it's also a craft fair. You need to address this issuse.

                  The only craft stall I could really see in the video was the wood turner what other types of crafter were there? Was it a craft fair, or a bought in reseller venue or was it a concert. Sorry but it was not very clear.
                  Last edited by aisles; 06-02-2013, 09:50 AM.
                  So many projects, so little time

                  http://folksy.com/shops/eileenscraftstudio

                  http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fol...92535377497013

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                  • #10
                    Hi Aisles,
                    in the old venue the music went on in the hall and the stalls were in the lobby and corridors. I was in the corridor, but I couldn't hear what was going on in the hall. I was opposite the cafe, however, and there were performances there dotted throughout the day. Loud music does interfere with the talking crafters need to do. It tends to stop the buying too. To have a half decent day I need to be interacting with my customers, every minute, because you can only fit so many people in front of a table at a time. Dead times are bad times.
                    Which crafts? Many and varied and definately not rubbish. I bought a lot........

                    Dave. If not an online plan some organisers stick a blackboard up with the pitch plan pinned to it. Only hiccup would be if you had several entrances. At the last place you could come in through 'the back door'. You need to catch everybody however they come in.

                    Having it as a music festival is a good thing. It makes it different and memorable.
                    Last edited by AnnieAnna; 06-02-2013, 09:41 AM.

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                    • #11
                      There were a lot of different craft stalls, there was the odd reseller .. books and jamie at home ......but we have banned card resellers I think you know the one I mean.

                      we always find it a bit of balancing act. There were jewellers, artists , wood turners carpenters, wildlife photographers, handmade sweets ..toy manufacturers, glass painters and producers, pretty nappy arrangements, and a henna artist, And I'm trying to remember exactly what else. This year being part of the Festival the promotions will be far greater. One year at the venue referred to the weather was so bad we had less footfall than normal which meant we didn't get much other than the parents who had to bring their children other years it has been much more varied.

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                      • #12
                        Then you need to show this on your promotional video otherwise how are potential attendentiees to know? And I mean both potential stall holders and potential customers.
                        So many projects, so little time

                        http://folksy.com/shops/eileenscraftstudio

                        http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fol...92535377497013

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                        • #13
                          Just thinking about the music bit. Having the craft fair mixed in withthe music element is a plus. The musicians HAVE to be there and their parents HAVE to bring them so at least you've got some potential customers through the door come rain or come shine. (Dave was that when there was hail and a gale?) (To the craft forumites - I had chosen to be outside but they took pity on me and pulled me into the dry )

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                          • #14
                            Good point ... the video was a project we gave to some teenagers as an educational opportunity for them, we will revisit that.

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                            • #15
                              Yes that was the hail and gales, you hope that isn't going to happen in July... Was probably the worst day of the summer that year.

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