If in the previous post we valued the advantages and disadvantages of participating in fairs and markets, as well as the preparations that these require, today we will focus on key aspects for their development. Thus, we will see what factors we should consider to sell at craft fairs.
Sell at craft fairs: from theory to practice
If you have already decided which fairs you will participate in, the next step is to gather and evaluate all the items that will allow you to develop it successfully. If you have already registered, you should know the dates on which it will be celebrated. This will help you to get an idea about the weather that is expected, although it is advisable that you are always prepared for rain or sun. Remember that not only should you protect yourself and your products from the inclemency of the weather, but also create a comfortable space where your customers can see, decide and buy without needing to get wet or suffer a heat stroke.
In addition, the wind is another element that is not always valued and that can ruin your day. Therefore, it is important that you fix your products and your own stand, preventing them from flying or capsizing. The use of weights, counterweights and fixings to the floor or walls are necessary. Ask the organizers or other participants who advise you or if you can make holes in the ground.
As you prepare against the adversities of weather, you may need to modify your stand. First of all, it is important that you comply with the measures you have contracted in the registration, but also that you optimize this space to the maximum. The design should be attractive and elegant, according to the values you want to convey about your products. But it must also be functional. It is a common mistake to prioritize aesthetics or design over usage, directly affecting communication or sales. Consider yourself if your stand is recognizable from a distance, but also from close up. Do people who pass by, see my brand and understand what I do?
On the other hand, fairs are the perfect scenario to be known and create your own brand. For this, you can place a photo or video of your workshop, your products or your portfolio. If you can, allocate a part of the stand to improvised workshop. Seeing an artisan develop his craft is very attractive and will allow you to demonstrate the value of what is made by hand. Choose the times with less affluence and if you see that you have clients that should be served. Although this does not translate into immediate sales, it is very likely that they will remember your activity and buy you in the future.
Logistics and personnel
Preparing a fair is not easy. However small, it requires spending time and money. Even if the registration cost is low, it is important that you take into account the logistics and personnel. Often, it is where you will spend the most money.
In the logistics, to sell at fairs you must ask yourself what pieces you will take to the fair and how you will move them there. Remember the meters you have hired from stand and distribute the products in this space. To get rid of doubts, it is advisable to carry out a simulation at home or in the workshop. Assemble the stand as you would at the fair, assess its distribution, brand visibility, number of pieces that you are going to exhibit and if the set is elegant and attractive. If you share it with friends and family, they can help you to contribute new points of view or suggest modifications.
In the distribution of the stand, be sure to include products of different prices. Think about how much money you usually carry and if your products fit this budget. Also, show the public what you can do and show off your best and greatest works. Part of the attraction is in diversity, without saturating or leaving the stand half empty. If the fair will last several days, take enough stock to ensure that you always have a rich assortment where your customers can choose.
In addition to the products you are going to sell, you must include the table, chairs, hangers, change box, tool box to assemble / disassemble the stand, bindings, shelves, tablecloths or fabrics for the table, tape, rope, exhibitors, lighting, batteries, posters for prices, business cards, catalogs, poster with your name and web, paper and pen, … Depending on the type of product and location of the fair, you may need more or less supports or accessories. If the fair is going to last several days, you must also include fabrics or canvas to protect the stand during the night, as well as elements for its closure in a safe way.
“Consider the stand as if it were a store: to sell at fairs, you must have everything you need to be able to exhibit your project and your products, as well as being able to serve your customers.”
One of the most important parts of the stand is the warehouse, where you keep the stock of products, packaging, tools, warm clothes, money, food or drink. If you have little space and your products are small, you can place the warehouse under the table. In any case, it must be in a place that you can easily access and have it controlled. And, for security, this should not be able to access other people.
In parallel, the staff is a strategic factor. It is recommended that at least 2 people attend for a stand of standard size, 3×3 or 3×4 meters. In this way, they can take turns in the tasks of customer service, collection and packaging. Also, it will be much easier to go to the bathroom or go to eat. Remember to avoid eating or smoking inside the stand and less in view of everyone. It gives very bad effect, you will stain your works or you will get dirty in an environment where you probably can not change your clothes.
If only one person can attend, you can ask other nearby artisans to watch you on time if you must leave. Even so, it will give a bad impression: an empty stand gives a sense of neglect and prevents customers from buying during the absence. Therefore, we recommend that at least 2 people attend, with enough age and knowledge to attend to clients in an autonomous and polite way.
Finalmente, otro factor importante es el dinero. Es
Finally, another important factor is money. It is important to carry a lot of change, especially in coins and small bills. We also recommend that you round the price of your products to whole numbers or that they imply little margin of cents, for example: € 15, € 7.50, … This will allow you to better optimize the change and reduce the time in each payment and return. Remember also that the fairs are not usually near banks and also are held on holidays, so you will only have the change you have.
Do not forget to bring a payment terminal by bank card. In Europe fewer and fewer people use cash, so offering this option is a necessity. To resist the whole day, make sure you have an electrical outlet to recharge the terminal, as well as enough Internet signal. If you want to ensure its operation, take two terminals. It would not be the first time that for some strange reason a terminal stops working together when there are more people.
To be able to evaluate the day, it is essential to keep a sales record. You can help yourself with a receipt pad, a calculation notebook or an Excel. The important thing is that you record all the sales you make and what type of product they were. This will allow you to evaluate the success of selling at craft fairs and see if it has been worth the investment. This we will analyse it in the following post;)