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Are the big Fairs worth the money?

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  • Are the big Fairs worth the money?

    I was just wondering if anyone has tried exhibiting at the big craft & design fairs, and trade fairs? The cost of stands are so high (around £400 for BCTF) and I wanted to know from people who had attended them whether they saw the return in sales?

    Thanks,
    Emily
    (Love, Mimo)

  • #2
    There are several on here who do large shows with high rents and do well one time then not the next. Any event is hit and miss because of timing (if at the end of month near pay day could do well) weather, the news, yes I did say the news if all doom and gloom can effect sales, the retail giants reported and increase in sales after the wedding this year then slumped again, so feel good is currently short lived. Is the event handmade only or mixed with bought in goods.

    Have you visited this show? this could give you an idea projected footfall is again hit and miss as no one can guarantee visitor numbers. What do you make/sell? what are your price ranges. Tbh the only one that can tell if good or not is if you have the available funds to give it a go. Which is the event? as again some members may have attended and give you a better idea.

    Sorry not more help but welcome to the forum.

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    • #3
      I know a few jewellery designers in particular who do really well at the big fairs, though I've never plucked up the courage to try them myself. I just can't see me making the stall fee back let alone enough profit to be worth all the time and effort. Maybe one day!

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      • #4
        I think for something like the BCTF you really need to decide first of all if you want to supply trade. I'm not sure I'm geared up to producing in large quantities, although I do a small amount of trade.

        The good thing about them is it's all samples - people are placing orders rather than buying on the day like at retail fairs, so you don't have to worry about having loads of stock.

        I think it works well for people who have their designs printed up - such as on tea towels and cards.

        I've never done one though, so I can't report on how good they are. If you're keen on the idea, why don't you visit and chat to the stallholders?
        digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
        blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
        hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
        blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

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        • #5
          In a few weeks I shall be exhibiting at the Kent County Show for the first time. A 3mx3m marquee stand costs just over £400. Luckily for me my main business is selling pictures so I should do fairly well. This will be the first major fair I shall be displaying my commemorative stamp key rings (for pictures see my photo gallery). On display I will have over 400 key rings selling from £3.00 to £4.50. I doubt if I could be successful with just key rings, but you have to try a show to know if it is worth doing again. As this is an outdoor agricultural show, it is very weather dependent - heavy summer showers are not unknown, the weather forecast can have a big influence on attendance. I will report my experiences in a few weeks time.

          Roger

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          • #6
            Good Luck with your event Roger be sure to let us know how you get on
            I Melt Glass For a Living
            Website

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            • #7
              I think with any fair, you have to be prepared for the worst, then anything else is a bonus. With me, it comes down to whether I can afford to make the loss. I think the most expensive I've done was the Whitby goth festival, but it was just as the recession hit and people were saving their money for the entertainment, so I just about broke even. Having said that, I did make some contacts from it.
              Leigh

              www.dragonratjewellery.com
              www.etsy.com/shop/dragonratjewellery
              http://dragonratjewellery.blogspot.com/
              Facebook - http://on.fb.me/lJzyQn Twitter - @Dragon_rat

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