Designing your arts and crafts stall
You have booked a space at a local arts and crafts fair and your attention turns to designing your stall. Donít underestimate the important of this, as first impressions will attract customers to your stall and hopefully buy something.
First of all, what is the size of your stall? How much space will you have? This really depends on the event you are attending. Most events in town halls, village halls etc provide a 7ft x 5ft space with a 6ft x 2ft table. You must work within this space as you will upset other stall holders and worst still, the organisers.
In larger craft marquees you may be provided with a 10ft x 10ft space (3m x 3m). This provides more of a challenge as you will have to design and use the space to its best advantage. You may have a corner to work with, in theory, more selling area.
Other fairs you may have to provide your own gazebo, typically 10ft x 10ft. These donít have to cost a fortune it will depend on how much you will use it. For these larger spaces you will have to consider partitions, wall display frames and other props.
Before you attend your first of the above events, consider doing a mock-up of your stall. Draw up a plan. Consider the products you will be selling how you can display these to their best advantage consider providing height and interest perhaps have key products that will attract people to the stall. Think about how many tables you will require for the bigger spaces. Take time to review gift shops, garden centres and other retail outlets and how they display their wares. Charity shops are a brilliant source for baskets and other display infrastructure. Take photos of your mock-up, be objective. What do you think? Is your display balanced? Overcrowded or not enough stock displayed?
Donít forget brand image. Would people know who you are and what you are selling? What is your artwork about? Consider a banner at the back of the larger stalls, together with leaflets and cards with your contact details. Provide details about you to provide that vital connection. Pay attention to table coverings that will set off your artwork and provide a look and feel.
Stock Ė provide a range of products from affordable to the more expensive items. At some events, you may have to modify the stock you take to cater for the expectations of the customers. How much stock to take? Difficult one this as you may not know what will sell on the day. But itís a good idea to have spares to enable you to replenish your stall. Do pay attention to what other stall holders are selling. I never take greeting cards as everyone sells them! Also how other sellers are pricing their items.
Next. How will you manage payments? Very few people carry cash these days, so consider buying a card reader that can be use via an app on your mobile phone. Do also consider a battery pack for recharging your mobile and card reader. Do check that this works before you go to the craft fair and you understand how it works. Also, have a small float for those people who prefer to pay cash.
What about packaging? Boxes, wrapping tissue, paper bags and paper carrier bags. If people are buying some of your beautiful artwork, it would be an excellent idea to pay attention to how it will be packaged. These items are readily available and inexpensive from Amazon and other outlets. Donít forget to pop in one of your cards or leaflets. Consider adding a little something extra if the customer has bought a few items.
Other equipment such as scissors, tie wraps, Sellotape, bulldog clips, first aid bits, pens, pencils, labels for prices, calculator and so on are useful. I have a bag resembling that of Mary Poppins that carry all these things.
Your resulting stall will become your shop window and will say a great deal about you. Spend time on its design making it dynamic and attractive. After all, we are an artistic mob.