How to choose the right craft fair
We know your time is precious. As a maker and a business owner, you’re probably juggling multiple projects alongside looking after your families, keeping up with social media (and the laundry) and trying to make time to see your friends. Let’s be honest, the to-do list is endless. So when you’re limited on time, choosing the right market for your products is essential. You need a market where the demographic suits your creative business, where the atmosphere makes you feel good and where you can interact with like-minded people.
In this article Nicki Capewell, founder of Pedddle, shares her 10-step plan for choosing the right craft fair.
10 steps to choosing the right craft fair
1. Do your research
The best place to start when you’re looking to learn more about a market is online. This could be on social media platforms, via their website or on Pedddle! Each of the markets on Pedddle come with a short description, location, the dates the market is running as well as other information, such as accessibility and parking.
2. Figure out who else will be there
Who else is going to be at the market? Are they similar to you? On Pedddle, each market page tells you which Pedddle members have attended or will do in the future. This way, you can make sure you have a good overview of the kinds of products that may be available, and whether yours will fit in and be competitive.
3. Check how the organiser advertises the event
As part of your online research, take a look at the organiser’s marketing. Are they proactive in their approach? Attending a well-marketed event will take a lot of the legwork out for you.
4. Ask questions
If you’re feeling brave enough, ask questions. Drop the organiser a friendly email or DM on Instagram. Find out more about the logistics, the audience, how many other makers may be selling similar products, the market layout etc. That’s what they’re there for.
5. See how the organiser interacts with you
How does the organiser respond to your questions? Are they approachable, friendly, easy to communicate with? Having a good relationship with the organiser will make for an all-around smoother and more pleasant, experience.
6. Interact with the organisers on social media
For bigger events, follow the event organisers on social media. You may find that interacting with the organiser this way leads to being scouted for markets where they think your products are a good fit. It’s important to give markets the chance to choose you!
7. Visit the craft fair before applying
If your research so far tells you that this market may be suited to you, the next step is to go there in person. Not only is visiting a market a great way to find out everything there is to know, but it’s also a good excuse for a day out with friends and family (efficiency is key here!). You’ll be able to chat (in person) to fellow makers and the market organiser, while also scoping out the venue. You’ll soon work out whether it’s the place for you.
8. Look at the audience demographic
While you’re at the market take some time to look at the demographic of the audience. This isn’t exactly scientific, but it will give you a good idea of whether your products will be of interest to those attending.
9. Email the organiser
Once you’ve decided that a market is a good fit for you, send in your application! This might be via an online application or by email. If it’s an email application, write a well thought out but snappy message to the organiser. Think of it as a short press release and ensure that you feature 3-4 quality pictures of your work. The standard is high, so showing off your business in the best light will most definitely work in your favour. Include your social media and Folksy shop or website if you have one. (If you don’t have a Folksy shop yet, you can set one up here – https://folksy.com/selling)
10. Don’t give up after just one event
Finally, when it comes to selling at a market, make sure that you give it at least three tries before deciding whether you want to continue doing it (unless something catastrophic happens to make you not return!). We can all have a bad day, whether it’s the weather, the time of year or simply slow business, but it won’t necessarily be the same the next time you go. Just remember that in order to do well, the market goers need to trust you and the best way to do this is by showing up on a regular basis.
We hope this has given you some food for thought when it comes to choosing your next market. With the mounting pressures of running a small business it’s sometimes easy to forget why you began doing this in the first place – your passion for making, creating and curating. By taking time to do some research we hope you’ll find a selection of markets that truly suit you and everything you believe in.
Pedddle is a website where you can find independent, creative markets and their stallholders. You can search by name, location or dates for events and see the stallholders who will be attending the next market and those who’ve been at previous ones. And if you’re regretting not buying that piece you saw on the day, you can buy directly from the maker through Pedddle (which links straight through to your Folksy shop).