You made the brave decision to start a little business GO YOU!!
You sold a few things to friends and family. You signed up to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Ebay, Pinterest, Etsy and goodness know what else. You’ve started selling and it feels AMAZING and you want to sell more… Now what? Take a deep breath and take the plunge into the bustling of events!!
In my little sparkly world of tutus and all things fairy I was completing these steps without even realising, but before I got to the last one I started to understand that to feel the true magic of tutus you just have to see the dresses in person, feel them, swoosh them about and this is when you know you want one!! So, that could only mean one thing… I had to sprinkle a little fairy dust over myself and take the bold decision to dive head first into Step 5… events!
Events are mostly fab, on sunny days it’s a wonderful day to spend the day chilling in a gazebo, on rainy days we wish were hadn’t bothered, at busy events we spend the whole day chatting to our customers and on quiet days networking with other stall holders. If there is one thing I have learnt it is no matter how busy or quiet the show there are always orders to be found, new businesses to collaborate with and new friends to be found!
So you are at the stage where you want to head out in to the big crazy world of shows… good for you, where do you start?
Here is the good news… Luckily for you we all had to start somewhere and that means there is no need for you to make the same silly mistakes I did. Follow this series of blogs for top tips and get set to take on this new adventure!!
First things first… find out what it’s all about and remember to take baby steps. Let’s face it, you are probably not going to get it spot on the first time but there are lots of things you can do to help you on your way!
Know your audience!
Ensure you know who you are looking to sell to. If your product is for children you will need family friendly events, if you are hoping to sell to the wedding market you will need wedding shows, hand painted or hand carved – craft markets or craft tents within large shows and the list goes on. Make sure you know what type of event your potential buyers will enjoy as this is where you should be
I did many craft markets before realising they attracted an older audience and I needed families, which meant family friendly events, if you are not sure then book a few different types and keep good notes of what worked well for you.
Research local events
Find out what is coming up near to you, remember that events that are further away will use more fuel which needs to be taken into account when working out how much profit you are making.
Top tips for finding great events:
- Google (obviously)
- UK Craft Fairs – they also have a newsletter to help you keep up to date
- Destination websites – these often have what’s on page and links to the events own website to contact the organisor
- FB Craft Fair Groups – there are often shout outs for stall holders needed
- Local schools – contact the school to be put on their mailing list for summer and Christmas events plus some also have pamper and shopping evenings
Find out ALL the information
Once you have found an event you are interested in, find out as much information as you can.
- The date and exact location
- Set up times
- Running times
- Pitches available
- Indoors – Are tables and chairs provided?
- Outdoors – Will you be in a marquee?, do you need your own gazebo?
- Pitch Prices?
- Do you need insurance?
- Is there Parking? Is parking free? If not how far away is it and what are the fee’s?
- How big is the event? how many stalls are available? what other entertainment is on offer?
- Does the venue offer free wifi?
- How the event will be marketed?
- Other info such as, will you get in a mention in the programme or on the event organisors website? will you be asked to provide a free raffle prize? (many schools do this to help raise funds for the school and/or PTA)
- Sign up to the event organisors newsletters
Know your budget
Some events have been established for many years and attract very large footfall, this means they can set pitch fee’s high. Start with smaller events to get a feel for it, see what sells, work out how to set up and have a go. Smaller events will be cheaper and as you start to make money, put a little aside each time for the next event.
Don’t run before you can walk
This is an exciting time and it can be easy to get carried away but make sure you take baby steps. Each and every event is different and you will learn from every single one so start small and work your way up.
Making a booking
Once you have decided which event/s you would like to do, all you have to do now is book it. Find out who the organisor is and drop them an email.
- Make it easy for them – include the products you sell and a link to your social media pages or website as the organsisor is likely to want to know you have quality products before saying yes
- Fill in the booking form they send you
- Make your payment – The majority of events will ask you to pay out up front with the exception of some very small events such as schools who may let you pay on the day.
- Ensure you receive a confirmation email which should include all the information you need
- Save this information somewhere safe, you will need it later!
You’ve done it
Sit back and give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve done it, you’re in, you are now a fully fledged stall holder but hang on… what about all the things you will need??
Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring, calm down. Yes there is lots to do but luckily we are all here to help you.
Blog 2 – You’ve booked your first craft event… Now what?
Blog 3 – How to be a great craft event stall holder!!