You might have seen from my posts that I have been organising a Craft Fair as part of a local fundraising event at our local Rugby Club. I've also attended quite a few fairs over the years and organised my first fair for other sellers in 2014. Along the way I've learnt a few things about applications, which fairs to apply to and what makes an applicant stand out...
1) RESEARCH THE FAIR BEFORE YOU APPLY
Not all fairs are made equal. Some events (such as my favourite, Crafty Fox Market) hand pick an array of design-led, modern handmade sellers for their bustling creative events. This market is going to be completely different to one organised by your local Church. A bit of research will help you find out which ones will best suit your products and give you a better chance of securing a stall - plus you will know where you will be most likely to find your target customer, ensuring more sales!
2) CONSIDER YOUR STALL COSTS
A well-established fair in a busy city can command high table fees as the footfall is almost guaranteed to be worth the costs. A smaller, less well advertised fair at the same price is not going to give you the same return on your investment. Factor this in along with any travel costs, additional display outlay etc before you commit to an event. High cost fairs tend to attract sellers with more established businesses and elaborate displays so think this through before you get your application form.
3) DON'T FORGET THE BASICS...
When you are filling out an application form be sure to include all the information the organisers ask for. The number of applications I received with no website details, product photographs or full product descriptions was crazy! Most fair organisers won't have time to chase you up on these things, or to seek your business out online without your web info, so if you want to avoid a rejection email make sure you've covered all the basic requirements!
4) ...THEN MAKE SURE YOU STAND OUT
When you've filled in the obvious points then is the time to make sure your products stand out. Tailor your application to suit the fair you are applying for, highlighting your most relevant products for each fair. And definitely make sure your website or internet page is up to date and your product photography is looking good, these first impressions could make or break your stallholder success.
5) SEND YOUR FORM / PAYMENT ON TIME
Once the application deadline has passed even the best applicants can be turned away. It's a lot of work organising a fair so late applications or delayed payments can mean that you miss out on what would have been a fabulous opportunity!
6) MAKE YOUR PRESENCE KNOWN
You can be instrumental to your own success at these events with a little bit of good PR.
If two people have very similar products but only one has a well presented web presence, regularly updates their customers on events they attend, and has shown a willingness to promote and share Craft Fair info, they are going to edge ahead of their competitor every time. Plus it's just good business to do these things anyway so everyone's a winner!!
Hope these help! If you want to come along to the event I am organising you can find out more details here, it's happening on Sunday 26th April in St Neots and has lots of great stalls.
I've also written some handy reviews of Craft Fairs as well as some other tips and tricks, you can see those posts here.