Some craft fairs are just, well, not that great.... It may be that there are no customers, or that folks are interested yet no one buys.
So will you sit, tapping on your mobile phone, bitching at fellow stallholders? I hope not, because if so, get out of this circuit now, craft fairs aren't for you! Will you ponder how to make the most of this minor disaster of an event? Yes? Read on!
"The only waste of time is the one you fail to learn from."
Firstly, a few don'ts!
• Don't ask the organiser questions which sound accusatory, nor should you flat out accuse them of running a bad event. I've seen one hardworking woman reduced to tears by a stallholder who'd sold nothing, and loudly and publicly laid the blame wholly at her feet.
• Don't pack up and leave hours early. This makes the event look empty if anyone does visit, and gives it a bad reputation which deters future customers.
None of these actions make anything better, and may mark you down as someone other event organisers are advised to steer clear of. Instead, use this quiet event to do positive things, either to help the event, or just help yourself.
Help the Craft Fair.
• Contact local radio or TV about supporting local independent businesses. Even if you just get the event mentioned in a song request, someone may hear it!
• Check what promotion is on the streets and in shops nearby. Ask the organiser if promotional and directional posters been put up, and take a walk to see if they're still in place, and obvious to pedestrians. Are there flyers or posters which could be taken take to nearby cafes, social hubs etc? Remember, what goes up, must come down: don't damage or litter the area!
• Get out on the streets. Go and talk to local businesses about the event, and encourage them to send folks your way, to help show that's it's a vibrant and buzzing area. Hand out flyers to passers by: think this one through though, flyering needs a license, so you may get a police person having a chat with you.
Help Your Business
• Chat to other stallholders, and get social media linked up with folks. Even if not someone you want to link up with, can you just tweet a picture of their stall? Networking is a good way to support other small businesses, and get their support in return. Remember though, just because you want to follow them, they aren't obliged to follow you in return.
• Chat about local events and their pros and cons. The best way to find the events which are right for you is word of mouth and recommendation, and you have the time now to do that. (See the don'ts section though, and avoid it becoming a bitch about this event!)
• Get feedback on your stall and items. Chat with other stallholders, and ask those who seem approachable and friendly if they could critique your stall. Offer to do the same in return. You have time, you have your stall, you have others in the same business, so trade ideas.
Next blog will tackle the dreadful day, when the fair is a-hopping, but you just can't seem to sell anything. Will you despair, or make the most of the opportunity?