How to survive craft fairs?

Came across this question on Stamford Artisans Guild Facebook Page from Handmade in Peterborough Group.

“I’m doing a web article on how to survive craft fairs with your dignity and will to live intact… and how to make a profit from them! What are your top tips? Could you share and ask your crafters please?”

I have just posted some of my thoughts and I think its a good idea to share them here as well. I am sure there are many more but this is what I could think of straight away. Its not so much about how to make a profit on the day but how to enjoy a craft fair when you are a stall holder.

This is just my experience and I don’t know if it works for everyone but I come back satisfied from most events even if I have not made many sales.

  • Look interested in your surroundings and the people passing by instead of burying your head in a book or your phone.
  • A smile & hello goes a lot further than pouncing on everyone and doing the hard sell to every visitor who pauses at your stall.
  • Talk to other stall holders about their work even if they are selling the same craft as you. Treat the event as a networking opportunity.
  • If possible take something to do a demonstration of your craft at the stand. It helps to start a conversation and occasionally results in a sale.
  • Always have plenty of business cards / leaflets handy. Not everyone buys on the day but I have often received bespoke orders and sales via my website from fair visitors.
  • See it as another form of advertising and not just a selling day.
Dave at Goal Street Craft Fair in Oakham, 2011

Just realised I don’t have many photos of me at my stand at fairs!

Anyway… to highlight my point about demonstrating what you do. This was at Gaol Street, Oakham in July 2011. So many people stopped to watch Mr A wrapping a wire tree and talked to us both. We had a very satisfying day of sales, contacts and fun!

And DO try and stay positive people!

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