Thinking of standing at a craft fair, market or trade show? It can be hard choosing which ones you’ll benefit most from and it can be a trial and error journey to find the good ones. But if you want to cut out some lost time and effort, here are some tips to go through before handing in that application form.
Scope The Organisers Out
Do they have a website? Do they have social media accounts? Will they advertise the event as much as they can? Knowing who you’ll be standing for is pretty important, it’s almost like you’re applying for a job and you research the company you’d be working for. Finding out vital information like was their past events a success, or do they have a quality standard they look for should all be taken into consideration when applying.
Check Their Past Events
Following on from above, checking their past events can you give you a lot of information just by coming across some pictures, a write-up about it or even last year’s poster. It can tell you the tone of the event, the success, the footfall, what type of products were there, etc. If this is their first event, be careful, they won’t be able to promise footfall numbers, what stalls they would normally accept or what kind of feel the event will have. This could still work in your favour however, it could be cheaper to stand as it’s their first one and you might be able to bargain a larger space.
The price is quite a biggy. When you see the price, find out what you are getting for it. Do you get a table and what size is it? Do you get a gazebo for outdoors? How large of floor space do you get? What extra things are included? Find out all the details. Once you got all the facts, compare to other similar events and what prices they charge. Then work out whether you can possibly cover that stall fee and still walk away with a profit. Is it still worth your money for the length of time the event runs for? Are they charging you £50 for a 5 hour event and that just includes the floor space in the middle of a field? Weigh it all up, write down pros and cons and see what you come out with.
Look Into The Venue
We’re going to split this section up as there’s a few things to think about. First off, what is the venue? Is it a hall? Is it a park? Is it a market? Research it. The venue type can be the deal maker or deal breaker. Do you want your high-end, luxury jewellery on a scuffed and chipped table in a working mens club? Believe me, I’ve been there and done it and I don’t recommend it.
The Location Of The Venue
Where is the venue based? Is it in a busy town centre where there’s a lot of organic footfall? Or is it further out of the way where people will need to purposefully travel to see you? Footfall is a big factor in the success of an event, but also knowing the type of people who are likely to come. Are they just looking for bargains or does it attract higher paying customers? If you are in a wealthy busy town, you should be good, but if you’re in poundland city, don’t expect them to be carrying a lot of cash in their pockets.
Go And See The Venue Yourself
If you aren’t sure what the venue is like or the location of it, just go to it. Go and have a look it, look at the kinds of places nearby, is there a lot of footfall, does the venue look nice and appealing to customers. The best way to find all these things out are just to go and have a look!
What’s Its Facilities And Loading
Either find this out on their website or when you go and visit, but have a look to see what facilities would be available to you. Are the toilets nearby, is there electrical plugs for you, would you have access to tea making utensils. All these little things that you might not think of at first but are things that could make your time there so much nicer and easier. For example, are the toilets on the next floor up and the other end of the building? Or are they likely to be portaloos that your still is right next to? If you know you have to leave your stall for at least 10 minutes to trek to them, would it be beneficial to have a helper come with you to watch the stall while you’re gone. Or are you going to have to bargain with the organisers to move your stall away from them? Other things to consider is the loading area and times you can do it at. If the loading area is big enough and easy enough to get in and out of, all is good. But think it through what things you’ll need to carry and how far you’ll have to carry it for and then you can make suitable preparations for it like having a big strong man come and help you.
Will Your Products Sit Right
As said earlier, make sure you products match the event type. Is it an artisan special event, or is it a Christmas handmade market, or is it their monthly fair? Does your products match their theme and their usual price points? You don’t want to be the most expensive stall there, but neither the cheapest. Are your products the right type that will fit well with the other stallholders but still being individual enough to get noticed. You don’t want to be the odd one out but still unique to have your own selling points above the others.
Ask Previous Stallholders
If they have had past events, find out who stood at them and drop them an email about it. Find out if they had a good time, what the footfall was like and other information they may have found out whilst they were there. This is like gold dust, direct experiences can tell you exactly what you need to know and how you can either improve on it or avoid it! If you can, ask a few people as they will all have different perspectives but if they are also standing at this year’s event, you’ll already have made a friend at the event before starting.
We hope you can be better prepared for choosing the right events to go to, here’s the last check list for you:
- Check out the organisers.
- Look at past events.
- Find out what the price includes.
- Find out about the venue.
- Make sure your products match.
- Talk to previous stallholders.