Top 6 Tips for a Successful Craft Market Stand

I’m getting ready for my 1stmarket event of the season and it’s next weekend, yikes!

I'm exhibiting at Lochness Knit Fest  come and see me in person! Check it out at www.lochnessknitfest.com 

But, no matter how prepared I think I might be to have a successful show I always end up winging it.

Shows can be unpredictable and surprising. A change of weather or a storm like the Beast from the East can completely derail all best intensions, hence my openness to ‘see what happens’.

If you’re thinking of taking a stand at a craft market or other event read on.  I’m not suggesting I have all the answers but at the very least you’ll have the benefit of my hindsight.

Here’s my top 6 tips for a successful show.

  1. Do your research
  2. Do your sums
  3. Plan ahead
  4. Display it right
  5. Advertise
  6. Have fun

 

 

  1. Do your research.

How do you know if the market will be right for you? If you can, try to rock up at one or two of the markets as a customer and check out your competition and the facilities you’ll be paying for. Talk to the other stall holders and ask whether it’s been profitable for them and whether there’s room for what you are selling. Make sure what you are selling will appeal to the same customer base.

 

If visiting the event in advance isn’t an option do your research on line. Check out the organisers’ website, read testimonials from other stall holders. Check the footfall, the location and transport links, its credibility and its reputation. Follow on social media some of the previous exhibitors and even customers that have shared their thoughts. Look for hashtags of the event for more insight.

 

 

  1. Do your sums

Once you are ready to commit do your sums. No matter how inexpensive the registration may be, make sure you factor in transport and accommodation and any other extras like furniture, electrics, insurances and car parking, it can all add up.

Once you know how much it will actually cost you to trade per day, work out how much stock you’ll need to shift in order to cover your costs and then work out how much you’ll need to sell to come home with a healthy profit.

 

Doing this basic arithmetic will also help you work out how much stock you’ll need to bring with you.

 

  1. Plan ahead

Once you know your stock quantities you’ll need to think about transporting it and how you’ll display it. Can you post it ahead, or will you need to hire a van?.

 I like to get it all out in a spare room and mock up what my space might look like. Check if you’ll have a table and what size it will be, whether there are walls or even a roof. What’s the floor covering?

I once did a market in an actual cow shed, complete with mud & straw! Now that was challenging – and dirty!!

Check how you will keep your extra stock if you can’t display it all. Does the venue have storage available, can you keep it in your car or van, or can you be clever and hide it under your table.

 

  1. Display it right

Your stand needs to be inviting and encourage shoppers to touch and interact. You need to stand out amongst the competition.

 

Look at how other stall holders have displayed their goods based on the space they’ve been given. Not all stalls will have walls, what are the challenges you might face in displaying your products.

 

Visuals are a great way of pulling customers over to your stand. Think about banners, posters, freestanding marketing displays.

 

  1. Advertise

Don’t forget to market the event. Don’t leave it up to the organisers to promote your brand as only you’ll know who your customers are and the best ways to let them know what your up to. Use all the social media tools at your fingertips, Instagram and Facebook are a great way to connect visually. Offer discounts or special offers just for the show to encourage visitors.

 

  1. Have fun

Above all enjoy yourself, engage with your customers and fellow exhibitors. Some of my best friends and collaborations have come from chatting on the stand. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t make as much profit as you’d like, treat the event as a learning experience, to better understand your customers, your products, and your selling abilities.

 

 

I hope you’ll join me @ Lochness knit festival in Inverness Scotland next week and see if I’m practicing what I’m preaching.


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