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attitudes to craft fairs
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gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 7083
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 10:50 am    Post subject: attitudes to craft fairs Reply with quote
    

A link to an article on UK Handmade
https://ukhandmade.co.uk/content/business-different-approach-craft-fairs
interesting, good ideas

Went



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 6968

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

The networking and marketing side have always paid dividends for us with the re-rushing and caning of chairs. Many people take leaflets and cards from us at the one market a year we do here in Spain and it generates steady work throughout the year via word of mouth or direct contact.

The other aspect we try and incorporate is a live demonstration - this stimulates a lot of interest.


Click to see full size image

MornieG



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 933
Location: Bromham, Wiltshire
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

There are a lot of good points raised in this article and I agree about local events being a marketing exercise as well as a sales platform. I don't think though that you can use that line for larger events where you may have paid out 250+ for the stand, plus fuel and maybe an overnight stay, you are getting into the realms of 500. If you do five of those a year say and only take 100 at each that's a huge loss we certainly couldn't write off as advertising.

We are definitely looking to do larger events this year and we have spent days agonizing over which events to try. So far only booked one two day Christmas Event in Dorset as we figure a specific Christmas Fair should at least produce a profit and we can stay with friends overnight.

The Oak Fair we have done for the last two years will be for two days this year rather than one and we have been fairly successful at that, though this time takings were down.

It's not only which events, but are we right for them and do we have the right products. Country fairs are popular but I think we need more hunting, shooting, fishing related items.

The article makes it sound so simple but when you are a full time business with what you make, not a hobby crafter or part time, you have to make money to put food on the table and pay the bills as well as fund the events in the first place.

Mo.XX

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34350
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

She thinks it's beyond her control if people who visit buy anything? Idiotic.

She's right about treating shows as advertising, rather than shop fronts, but it costs money.

Is there room for two or more Downsizers to bind together, and have a single stall, with stock from each one of you? Would take the pressure off, give you twice (or 3, 4, 12) times the advertising, for the same cost as doing it once? Imagine if 4 of you got together. You could do 4 shows, get 4 times the revenue, the footfall on your website, and 4 times the advertising, but only cough up for one show each, for the price, and the work. A courier would add slightly to the cost, for sure, but remove logistical headaches.

Getting people to your stand is the secret, and making them stay. People are attracted to people, and not stall holders. If you have a busy stand, it stays busy, so bribe people on. Have a box of chocolate open, or give away coffee. Or a prize draw, or a demo, or a video to watch. Once one person stops, the next person will, too.

What doesn't work is a an empty stand, with a person sat behind it, head down, knitting, or reading, or whatever. Everyone will pass that stand by.

Last edited by Nick on Fri Jan 24, 14 6:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

madcat



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 1265
Location: worcester
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

All most everybody, I tend to ask what somebody is knitting .

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34350
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Do you spend much money?

Went



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 6968

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I think it helps if you have a unique product or service though as well - so many craft fairs are full of the same old products with no imagination or relevance to customer needs.

earthyvirgo



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 7972
Location: creating prints in the loft, Gerlan
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Mornie G and Nick are absolutely right - there has to be interaction with potential customers.

When I've done the North Wales Art Fair, doing a demo always reaps benefits.

The ones where I let little 'uns produce a print from one of my lino blocks is even better ...watching out for their tiny fingers in the press of course - and making sure they remain ink free!

Even if people only buy a couple of cards, they have something with my name on it for possible future contact.

I'm thinking about doing the N Wales Art Trail again this year but it's definitely not just a matter of turning up.

EV

madcat



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 1265
Location: worcester
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Problem with me Nick is that I don't spend much money ever and my spend is usually on raw materials.

Quite a lot of what I have is somebody else's unwanted old one, this strategy doesn't help increase the sales of a craft stall.

A totally separate issue is the nature of a lot of the stock on some stalls. There's a lot of pointless tasteless tat, cutesy teddies make me want to vomit.

I suppose I'm most likely to buy a beautifully made tool like a drop spindle.

Bodrighy



Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 2157
Location: Near Devizes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

The smaller craft fairs have become places where people browse and will spend on the 'luxuries' they can justify to themselves such as soaps and small cheap jewellery but few will spend on anything that is more costly. Part of the problem is as said the recession but a big part is also the hobby crafters who are charging just for the cost of materials and in doing so not only undercut those who are trying to make a living but also give the potential customers a misunderstanding of the value of hand crafted items. At the end of the day those of us who are trying to do it as a living need to make sure that we have top quality work, sell for a sensible price and are approachable and happy to talk about our craft. I do get peeved seeing some stall holders sitting down reading behind their stalls, not even saying hello to people who approach and then whingeing at the end of the day that they haven't sold much. Most of what Karen says is true and comes from her own experience as well as her previous life before making her models.

Pete

MornieG



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 933
Location: Bromham, Wiltshire
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Another reason for going with the larger fairs is there will be little if any of the hobby crafters there as they wouldn't pay the money required for the event. You will still have the imported tat at some to contend with unless you go for the totally handmade ones. Country fairs are always full of so called fair trade items and mass produced imported 'handcrafted' stuff but you hope that the public will see the difference between them and you and choose to buy yours.

Pete has found that fairs he can demo at and give people a chance to have a go are better for us and organisers are always keen to have live displays if they can, and in return we generally get a reduction in fees or a large stand.

In reality though we nearly all make non essentials, luxuries large and small that when you are cutting back are the first to go. Food always seems to sell, it's a comparatively cheap treat. No one though has to have a wood vase or another pair of silver earrings.

Mo.XX

earthyvirgo



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 7972
Location: creating prints in the loft, Gerlan
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

MornieG wrote:
Another reason for going with the larger fairs is there will be little if any of the hobby crafters there as they wouldn't pay the money required for the event. You will still have the imported tat at some to contend with unless you go for the totally handmade ones. Country fairs are always full of so called fair trade items and mass produced imported 'handcrafted' stuff but you hope that the public will see the difference between them and you and choose to buy yours.

Pete has found that fairs he can demo at and give people a chance to have a go are better for us and organisers are always keen to have live displays if they can, and in return we generally get a reduction in fees or a large stand.

In reality though we nearly all make non essentials, luxuries large and small that when you are cutting back are the first to go. Food always seems to sell, it's a comparatively cheap treat. No one though has to have a wood vase or another pair of silver earrings.

Mo.XX


A bit of a way from you but I'm considering a Crafted by Hand event in Masham in May partly because of the statement below and because their focus this year is on printmakers. They seem to have a pretty good marketing plan as well - and it's a cracking location.

"Finally. An event where you can find fresh, contemporary, quirky art, craft and design that's being chosen for its quality & originality. No made-it-from-a-craft-kit assembly jobs, no peach coloured crocheted toilet roll holders"

If you want to have a peek at the details and applic form, I can forward it to you or attach it here.

EV

earthyvirgo



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 7972
Location: creating prints in the loft, Gerlan
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Here's the new website link to the Masham 'Crafted by Hand' programme for this year.

https://www.by-handevents.com/

EV

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4368
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Masham added to my diary

MornieG



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 933
Location: Bromham, Wiltshire
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 14 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

earthyvirgo wrote:
Here's the new website link to the Masham 'Crafted by Hand' programme for this year.

https://www.by-handevents.com/

EV


Thank you EV. A long way for us but not overpriced and looks just what we are searching for. I have contacted then with some questions re setting up etc and will see what the reply is before we can make a decision.

Mo.XX

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