You would think that setting up for Christmas fairs and markets is easy. But no, there are a whole loads of things that I have learnt are essential to have in place before the doors open at your first fair.
Here are my 10 tips you would think are obvious but some of them have been a surprise to me. I have picked up some of these tips from experts who have had market stalls at fairs before me. It’s no good finding this info out once your trading at you’re first fair, preparation is key and I hope that these tips might help you get ready for a christmas market, fair, trade fair or design show!
1) Check application dates well in advance. I discovered this year that I needed to apply in March/ April for most of this season’s Christmas markets and for some I needed to apply as early as January! We applied in September, which was too late!
2) Include really good photos of your stuff in your application. It’s not enough to send photos taken on your phone of your products, you need to show them off!
3) Map out your stall and include an artistic sketch within your application. Use plenty of colour to portray the vibe of how you want your stand to look, as your stand needs to make an impact!
4) Apply to a lot of fairs as some may not accept your application for lots of different reasons. For example, if they have already accepted a stall holder with similar products then they may reject you so that you are not in direct competition, which is another reason to apply early!
5) Check all of your products 1000 times before printing. When I think something is finished and the text has been proof read, someone else nearly always finds a mistake so it’s really good to check your products over and over again before printing.
6) Connect with other stall holders by tweeting them or mentioning them in Facebook posts, they are then more likely to check out your stall on the day and it’s nice to support your fellow stallholders! You should also email shops in the surrounding area to invite them to visit your stall.
7) Be prepared for rain even if the forecast says that it will be sunny all day! When you are moving stock into the venue, make sure everything is wrapped up and in plastic boxes.
8) Keep cash on you in bum bags. You obviously want to be able to keep your cash safe and make quick sales. Make sure you have plenty of change, you don’t want to run out as this will slow everything down! Also, be prepared to issue receipts as a lot of people will want proof of purchase.
9) Check phone signal before you go there and wifi connections, especially if you are planning on accepting card sales.
10) If you will be at more than one market then make sure you have everything packed up and ready to go as you will have a lot of follow up work to do in-between fair dates.
I hope this has been helpful! Feel free to comment with any questions and I’d be happy to help. If you’d like to come along to one of my fairs then you can find out more here.