Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to organise a craft fair in 3 easy steps - blogtoberfest day 26

Ever thought about running your own art and craft fair/market/show?

It's not as hard as you think....though it does involve some work!

1. Find a venue
2. Find people
3. Advertise

and that's it!

Of course there is quite a lot involved in those 3 dot points.

1. Find a venue.
What are your choices?
It depends on how big or small you want to go, but generally if you want customers to come and browse and have a variety you'll want to have a venue that can fit a number of stalls in.
I'd suggest that for a starter between 10 and twenty may be a good number, but you could always think big and go for 30 or more. Of course that does all depend on #2 - finding stallholders.

a. Your own home - if you have a big room or a big shed or a big yard.
b. A public hall. In my area we have halls that are run by the local council or by a local committee.
There are school halls and church halls.
Sports club halls.
Some organisations have function rooms you may be able to hire.

c. An outside venue.
There may be a public park.
Or a special area set aside for such things.
Some of the places above may have outside sites - schools, churches, sports grounds.
Pubs and hotels, they are often willing to lend their carpark or other outdoors area to you.

d. A pop-up location. This is becoming a popular concept to help revitalise some town and shopping centres. You rent a vacant shop for a period. Some councils have great schemes going - see here.
Or if you see a shop in your are that has been vacant for a while, find out if you can use it for a day - never hurts to ask.

Now with these options I am not able to help you with thing like government regulations, public liability insurance and such.
From my experience here in Australia you will need public liability insurance to cover you and your event. It is worth finding out about this beforehand as this can be quite costly.

2. Find people.
You need stall holders.
Decide what sort of market/event it is going to be.
All handmade? Vintage? A mix of both? Or something specialised eg. dolls and bears, or children's goods.

Are you going to find people by invitation only?
Or are you going to advertise for stallholders?

If you are crafty yourself you may already know a few other craftsters who may be interested...and they may know others.
Or you can advertise - in your local press, on facebook, on your blog, on twitter, on local noticeboards?

You'll need to decide how many stalls you can fit in and how big they will be.

3. Advertise.
This is the crux of the success of your venture.
Places to advertise
- your website or blog
- facebook
- twitter
- local press
- signs around your venue, depending on where it is an local regulations, you may be able to have signs out side on the day and/or before hand.
- public noticeboards
- shops
- get all your stall holders involved. Give then handouts and flyers to distribute to their frinds, family and customers. Get them to blog, facebook and twitter about it.
- and anywhere else you can think of!

You'll need a budget.
Work out how much your're going to spend on hall hire, advertising and insurance.
Then work out how much you are going to charge the stallholders.

Very important - Make sure you get payment before the day.

 Go on - give it a try!

Or maybe you've organised an art and craft event - what ideas do you have to share with us?

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