Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fairs and Festivals and Bazaars, Oh My!

Back and recovered from the First Annual September Outpost Festival at the Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO. It's been a while since I've done a fair, and I had forgotten much of what it was like. I do find them a great way to connect with other crafters, make some business connections, and in general have a good time.

We spent 2 days in the mall, which is great because they is no worrying about the weather. While there, we launched our new Halloween line, which I'll be adding to our ArtFire store shortly. In my downtime, I crocheted some ponchos, and thought up some new products for Christmas and beyond. Now if only I had enough time in the day to do all the projects I keep thinking up...

Here's some of my fair take aways:

1) Signage - Very important! You want the people walking by to see your name/logo somewhere, preferably big enough to remember later (when they go searching the internet for you).

2) Food - Unless you want to spend all your profits on food, come prepared. We brought a couple cases of soda and water, some sandwiches and snacks. Only thing we bought was a caramel apple from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and that's just because they are SOOOO good!

3) Change - Luckily I remembered this one, but have plenty of change! Nothing worse than someone not being able to buy something from you because you can't break a $20.

4) Receipts - If you don't want to splurge on printed receipts with your info on them, either write it on or print up some stickers to put on them. Be sure to include your phone number and website, so they can find you when they want to buy more later. This is also a good place to put a coupon code or special, to lure them back.

5) Product - Have a selection of everything you do, but don't overwhelm the tables with 50 of the same thing. Put out a couple of each, if someone shows interest in something you can let them know you have more to choose from that they can look through. And when you sell one, pull out another and replace it.

6) Business Cards - Have plenty, and when someone asks for one, give them two. Why two? Simple, if you only give them one, they won't have one to give to a friend later. Even if they just dump it somewhere, there's a chance an interested person will find it.

7) Marketing Materials - Brocures, flyers etc., are good to have, but not necessary. If you do have them, remember less is more. As someone walks around they don't want some huge magazine that they'll have to carry, instead a nice tri-fold or half size catalog would be a good choice. And, if you have bags you can give out to carry all those flyers in, you'll be the hero - make sure your logo and website/phone number are on there.

9) Set-up - Do a practice set up before you go, know how big your space is, where your neighbors are, and if there is a wall on any side of you. Set up your tables, display units, chairs, whatever then load in your product. figure out what you can fit, and if you have gaps in your display you need to make more product to fill. It's also a good idea to know how long it will take you to set up, and how much room it will take in your vehicle - make sure it will all fit!

10) Have Fun!!!!! - If you're having fun, you will draw in more people - customers and other vendors alike. If you aren't having fun, why are you there in the first place? These should be a fun way for you to get out there, meet people, and make a few bucks.

How about you? What takeaways and tips do you have for making fair life a little better for your fellow crafters?

Until next time, Happy Crafting!


  1. Take someone with you in case you need a potty break!

  2. Most definitely! I never do these alone.


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