I have been doing a number of arts and crafts fairs over the last 3 months, and it's quite interesting on other stall holders take on what is a good day at the fair.
Apart from the obvious making sales, there are a number of positive outcomes.
The key issue is that not all fairs, just like in life, are equal, and there are a number of factors that come in to play, including:
The time of the year
The date in relation to pay day, and of course
You never know who or what is going to come through the door to make or break your day.
To most stall holders I meet, for them a good day is making or covering the cost of the table, but I think that this a very simplistic view.
Personally having a stall at an arts and craft fair, is more than just a selling activity, I see it as part of my marketing strategy, get some customer feedback and an opportunity to network with other stall holders.
For example my first ever arts market was 2 weeks after I set up Joolzery, and cost me £104. It was in one of the grandest buildings in Liverpool. I had no connections within the crafting community, and to be quite honest with you had no idea what to do.
Luckily for me I am a quick learner, and very few people can resist my charm & charisma, especially when you are on your own and a novice.
By the end of this 2 day event, although I had lost £300 in sales, due to not being able to take card payments, I gained the following:
Positive feedback about my jewellery and they way it was displayed
Where I could find other arts & craft markets
The arts & craft markets to avoid
How I could take card payments
Taking to potential customers and talk about me and my business journey
Provide business cards to send potential customer my the website
So bearing this in mind, would you say I had a good day at the market?
What for you is a good day at the market?
Thanks for reading
November 25, 2013
December 09, 2013
I've been working the events scene for seven years and can identify with your blog!
For me, Seres is a business and as such, it is no good to simply cover the cost of the table. There is the petrol, the cost of the stock, my hours, childcare and the additional cost of what I could be earning if I wasn't working with Seres!
You are right that takings are a simplistic view when taken on their own. All the points you have raised are spot on - the talking to customers and stallholders, learning the importance of taking cards, etc. and the learning curve of "would I do this event again". All help to form an invaluable picture and a plan for moving forward.
It sounds to me as though you have your head in gear and will do well in business - despite the fact that jewellery is one of the most competitive markets you could have chosen!!!
Best of luck!
Sophie, Director, Seres Gifts Limited
Sophie Davis from Seres Gifts
December 18, 2013
Thank you for your comments, they are really useful.
Unfortunately there are so many factors that can dictate how successful the fair is for each individual stall holder, and so i general I have a 3 time rule, i.e. try the venue 3 times and then review, I will have to at least break even to carry on.
Yes I am finding that jewellery is a little over subscribed, but by differentiating and positioning oneself within the market, as well as knowing what my USP is, makes it an easier sell. I do get a little disheartened when I see other stallholders offering other crafts and a bit of jewellery on the side, but then I realise that they are really aiming at a completely different market, as they tend to use cheaper materials.
When I started I did not realise how competitive the jewellery market was, but the great thing about business is that if it was easy everyone would be doing it.
The markets, arts & craft fairs is really more of a marketing strategy, once people see the quality of the pieces, and take a card, I feel that they feel more comfortable buying on-line, so I am looking at the long term view, rather than the sales on the day.
I am already getting repeat customers, so they must love the pieces, and everyone I have had some kind of contact with has been very positive with their feedback.