Business Advice

How to Prepare for the Craft Fair Season

Craft fairs are a great way to get your products in front of the general public. However, if you’ve never done it before, it can be a little overwhelming.

In this guide, we’ll share our top tips on how to prepare for the upcoming craft fair seasons.

When is craft fair season?

You may think the only craft fair season is during the Christmas period, but spring and summer are also very popular.

Spring and summer craft fairs are the perfect time to share a variety of handcrafted products, as well as locally produced food and drink.

Many crafters see spring and summer craft fairs as the perfect way to share seasonal products, including:

  • Easter related products
  • In season flower arrangements
  • In season food and drinks
  • Outdoor crafts
  • Spring/summer clothing

When should you start preparing for craft fair season?

Generally, when you apply to have a stall at a craft fair, you will be accepted two or three months in advance. Once you’ve been accepted, it is the perfect time to start prepping and to consider making checklists for closer to the time.

If your craft can be made and stored until the fair, it’s a good idea to get pieces made in advance that you safely put away.

If you make products that need to be made fresher to the craft fair date, we suggest making a schedule to follow in the weeks leading up to it. For example, if you bake cakes, consider buying all the long life ingredients early on so you have them well in advance ready for when you start baking.

What kind of crafts are sold at spring and summer craft fairs?

When you’re considering what crafts to take to a spring or summer craft fair, you should consider what your potential buyers are looking for.

Many people see these seasons, spring in particular, as a fresh start, so products you could sell may include:

How do you prepare for a craft fair?

Preparing for a craft fair isn’t always as straightforward as it may seem, especially if it is your first one. We’ve listed out top tips below for preparing for a craft fair.

Do your research

Think about what kind of fair, show or market will suit the products you’ll be selling. Would a farmers market work best, or is an inner-city pop up more fitting? Try to visit a few local craft fairs to get an idea about what products are being sold where.

Going to fairs will also give you an idea of the footfall you could expect and how other crafters set up their stall. You could try testing the water by going to smaller fairs first and then working your way up to larger ones.

Once you’ve decided which fair is right for you, you can start applying for future events. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to prep, ideally a few months or so.

Make sure you’re insured

Many craft fair organisers in the UK will require their sellers to have craft fair insurance, so it’s a good idea to get it early so you’re ready to start selling.

Craft fair insurance can be conjoined with your Public Liability and Product Liability insurance policy, ensuring you are fully covered legally to sell your products to the public.

Plan your dates

Craft fairs happen fairly regularly up and down the country, so you will have plenty of choice to go to one throughout the year.

When you’re looking at dates, consider ones which may be busier in order to gain more sales. For example, mid week may not work the best during school term time, but during half terms or the summer holidays, it could be the perfect time to set up a stall. Alternatively, look for dates that are around a holiday like Easter weekend.

Prepare your products

Once you’ve applied for the fair and been accepted, you can now start preparing your products. For items which can be stored away, now may be a good time to start preparing them. For example, if you produce pottery or glassware, you could make the pieces and keep them safely stored away until the fair date.

If you’re making fresh items like food, drink or flower arrangements, you could buy the items that will last until you need them, and then start creating your products closer to the fair date.

It can be tricky knowing how much stock to bring to your first craft fair, so be prepared to adjust your stock levels as you go on. You’ll quickly find out which products are the most popular.

Think about branding

It’s worth considering how you’ll present your business, even if you are a new trader. Branding can be as simple as a logo and a business card, but if you want to go further, moodboarding the design you want can help.

Think about fonts, colours and packaging that will compliment your product and entice craft fair visitors to buy from you.

Think about prices and payment

It’s no shock since most places accept card payment, that many craft fair attendees may just expect every stall to have a card machine. In fact, not having a card machine may reduce your chances of selling as many products.

Many companies like PayPal have their own card readers at affordable prices, even for small traders. You will have to pay a fee for using a card reader, usually a small percentage of sales, but it will quickly be earned back.

As well as considering how your customers will pay, you should consider how much you are selling your products for. Take into account the cost to produce the product, as well as other factors, such as the time spent making them.

Decide what to bring

While your products should be the main selling point, you should consider bringing items that will elevate your stall.

Even if it is simple things like a tablecloth, props, trading name signs or business cards, it will all help to make your stall look more attractive and encourage more shoppers to browse.

Pack efficiently

The day before the craft fair is when you should start packing. Don’t forget to charge your card reader the day before. It’s a good idea to bring the charger with you on the day, just in case the battery dies.

Consider the safest ways to carry your stock safely to the venue, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you can’t carry it all yourself.