The fall season is the ideal time to hold a crafts fair, making it possible for exhibitors to display their Christmas wares and for shoppers to find that special gift. Crafts fairs take time to organize and should be carefully planned. Here’s what you need to know about organizing your own event.
Find like-minded people. You have items you want to sell and you know a number of other people that want to do likewise. Gather a group of individuals who can commit to a crafts fair to help you organize same. It can take three to four months to organize an event, so allow plenty of time to arrange yours. For instance, planning for a Labor Day crafts fair should begin the preceding May.
Choose a location. Crafts fairs are typically held indoors, but outdoor shows can work too, depending on the weather. Find a location that can hold your anticipated number of vendors and map the space.
Get permission. Your town may require you to obtain a permit to hold your event. You might also be required to obtain tax forms for each vendor. Make sure the legal and tax documentation is handled well before the date set for your crafts fair.
Ask for help. A crafts fair can have a mind of its own — you think you have everything in place and you suddenly realize that you forgot to do something. This is where having others involved in helping your organize your event is important. Ask for people to spearhead different parts of the crafts fair, with one person handling advertising, another keeping track of cash and still another to liaise with other exhibitors. Each of these people can report to you, enabling you to concentrate on other matters.
Put money down. To rent a place, you’ll need to put money down for a deposit and then make a final payment. If you do not have the funds, ask for someone to front you the money. You’ll get more money from each exhibitor to pay this person back and then some. Ensure that your exhibitor fees are reasonable enough to cover advertising costs, banners, signage, table and chair rental and tent rental, if needed advises Weatherport.com.
Spread the word. Likely, the advertising part of your budget is fairly modest. This is understandable as few crafts fairs are big money events. You want to conserve your scant resources, therefore seeking different promotional measures is in order. Here, you want to encourage everyone who will exhibit and who is helping you with the event to spread the word. If they own a blog, ask them to tell their readers about the upcoming event. You can also ask them to share on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and on other sites.
Hold your crafts fair. On the day of your crafts fair, show up early to ensure the site is ready to go. Tables and chairs should be in place, banners and signage hung, lighting working and ventilation in sound order. Your exhibitors should be set up well before the fair opens — if allowed to set up the night before then do so. Make sure that all outside signs pointing people to the fair are in place and the the lot has sufficient parking. Five minutes before you start everyone should be in their place.
Craft Fair Evaluation
Once your fair has ended, evaluate how it went. Meet with your key people to discuss what problems came up and what changes should be made. Take notes because the next time you have a crafts fair you’ll be referring to them. If you’re satisfied with how your fair went, then make plans for your next one.