How to prepare for a craft fair as a Designer?

Updated: Jul 26

Me and my stall and banner at a recent event
My stall at a recent event

Attending a craft fair can be very daunting, especially if it is your first event.

Once you have took the plunge and booked your event, it's time to make sure you are as prepared as you can be.

Since launching Crafty Penguin I have attended many craft fairs and have experienced the highs and lows of these events. I have also learnt many invaluable tips and tricks along the way. You can't predict how these events will go, but you can ensure you prepare well each time. Most importantly make sure you know the date and time of the event and where it is. You don't want to get that mixed up or turn up at the wrong place. I have spent time driving around trying to find places in the past and it doesn't help to calm the nerves.

So to help you get the most out of your craft fair here are my top tips.

Tip #1 - How to make your stall eye catching

Your stall needs to be eye catching to those attending the craft fair. Strong use of your brand colours is a good way for people to get to know you and your brand. People who already know you will recognise you instantly. At a recent event a lady came up to me and said she remembered me from a previous event she had attended, she remembered my brand name.

Personally I like to use a banner on my stall and branded bunting, I also colour code my table in my brand colours. For me this is primarily blue and white.

Adding height to your stall is also important, so people can see some of your products before they get to your table. You can do this in various ways, I use a range of different shelves to draw peoples interest.

Make sure your stall is easy for customers to explore. Don't add all your products to your stall, showcase a collection of your products and designs.

Tip #2 - How to plan before the event

Before the event it is a good idea to get everything prepared. I like to do a stock check so that I know exactly what products I have in stock. I use google sheets, where I can easily update my inventory on my laptop or on my phone.

Always make sure you have the correct information for the event. Know the times, date and location. Also check whether you need to provide a table for your stall. I have done

stalls where they have been provided and where I have had to take my own. Also if you are outside don't forget to check about gazebos and think about how you might protect your stall and stock if the weather is against you and it rains. I bought a large plastic sheet that I can lay over the top of my stall in the event of bad weather.

Tip #3 - One the day

On the day of the craft fair make sure you leave enough time to pack all your stock, table, promotional items and food and drink for the day.

I always take a bottle of juice and a small snack with me just to make sure that I have something to keep me going for the day. You never know how busy it may get and if you're on your own you might not have time to join a long queue. Most events have stalls where you can buy food. I have had some lovely food courtesy of other stall holders. I do love a good bacon sandwich and a chocolate bun.

Make sure you have a float of money and somewhere safe to keep it. I use a cash box but also have an apron that I tie around my waist to allow me to take everything with me should I need leave my stall.

Chat to other stall holders. I always like to have a walk around an event before it starts if I get the chance. It's a good idea to get to know the stalls next to you as you never know when they might come in helpful. Usually when you need to nip to the toilet or fetch a cup of coffee. As a lot of people are often on their own, you may need to keep an eye on each others stalls for these moments.

Make sure you arrive in plenty of time at the venue to get set up before the event starts, and check on the rules for packing away at the end of the day.

Most importantly of all smile and enjoy yourself.

Tip #4 - Do you need insurance?

I have read many different opinions on this question. Personally I would advise you to get a Certificate of public and products liability insurance and Certificate of professional indemnity insurance. For the amount that it costs I think it is much better to be safe than sorry.

Tip #5 - Buy a trolley!

The best thing I ever did for attending craft fairs was to buy a trolley. It has made my life so much easier. I bought a small folding sack trolley that fits easily behind the seat in my car. It's great, I can stack all my boxes with stock onto it and any bags, meaning I generally only have to make one trip between my car and my stall. One slight downside, it's not that easy to lift up and down steps!

Just go for it!

If you are a designer, illustrator or a master of some other craft and are considering doing a craft fair or attending an event the best tip I could give you would be to go for it!

If you want to keep up to date with all the latest events I'm attending check out my social media.

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