Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without markets, fairs and an array of handmade and unique gifts. If you’re a market trader with a craft to sell, hosting a stall at a Christmas market or fair can put you at the very heart of the festive season.
Whether you book a stall at a traditional German-style market surrounded by the smell of mulled wine and rich mince pies, or you’re setting up at the cosy local craft fair surrounded by twinkling lights and the best local produce, there is truly no better place to bring your Christmas crafts to the public. Whatever your craft or produce, we’ve put together a handy list to help you host the perfect Christmas craft stall this festive season.
Set Off On The Right Foot
To really make the most of the season, setting off on the right foot is crucial. Everything from choosing the right fairs and markets for your goods, to conducting risk assessments and getting the right level of insurance, can all play a huge part in ensuring that you not only set off strong but can do so safely, too.
- Insurance – Craft fairs or markets will require you to have public liability insurance in place when booking and running a stall, in order to protect you and your clients against any third party claims. Claims can be made by any customer or passer-by who has been injured by any part of your stall or set-up, or even by other stall-holders if you were to damage their goods while moving your own.
- Choosing A Fair – Choosing the right fair for your goods will ultimately depend on what you’re selling and who your target audience is. One way to tell which fairs might suit you best is to see a list of any existing stallholders, or how successful previous years or occurrences of the fair have been. New seasonal fairs can be popular too, but make sure they are well-promoted and that you have confidence that they will be successful.
- Risk Assessments – Some craft fairs might conduct their own risk assessments on stalls, but it’s always best to do your own to be safe. Make sure you check that any shelving, displays, banners or other props are sturdy and well-secured and that there are no trip hazards around the stall. Boxes, long tablecloths and even banners can become trip hazards if not tidied or secured properly, so make sure you conduct your own risk assessments to be sure.
Consider The Target Audience
While some craft fairs might attract all kinds of people, such as those set up in town centres, others might have a more niche audience. Everything from the products you’re selling to the decoration on your stall can attract different audiences more effectively so it’s important to bear this in mind. If your products are aimed at kids, having a stall that embraces all things Christmas such as tinsel, Santa motifs and more can really capture their attention, just be sure not to take away from the products themselves! For higher-end products or craft fairs that have a more elegant atmosphere, keeping the decoration simple and understated.
Pick Your Star Products Carefully
So you’ve booked your stall, now it’s time to pick out your star products. Depending on the craft you are looking to sell, this could mean picking out the right pieces for the audience, or even arranging pieces by budget. In some cases, it can mean swapping out the summer-worthy pieces and breaking out the wonderful winter alternatives. If you have seasonally themed pieces, take this opportunity to showcase them front and centre!
Budgets are also worth considering – if you’ve set up your stall at a school craft fair, you’ll likely want to focus on the lower-cost items that you sell to adhere to kids with a bit of pocket money to send. A high-end or vintage craft fair, on the other hand, may benefit from an array of higher cost items as the main focus, with slightly lower-cost products also available to catch the attention of those who might otherwise just be browsing.
Setting Up Your Christmas Craft Stall
When it comes to setting up the stall and making it stand out amongst the rest, you need to keep one thing in mind – customers want to know what you’re selling at first glance and be captivated enough to step closer to take a look. If you’re selling products that can be used or consumed, why not offer samples or testers? By offering a try-before-you-buy element, customers will be more confident in what they’re buying and are more likely to make the purchase.
Adding some height with boxes or small shelving units is also a great way to grab the attention of passersby and a great way to make sure your more expensive items are kept safe. The further back on your stall they can sit, the less likely it is that they’ll be damaged or stolen. You may also want to invest in additional lighting such as fairy lights, spotlights and candles, wherever safe, in order to add some atmosphere and keep things bright.
Consider Your Marketing Materials
A market stall is a perfect place for marketing your products not just for Christmas, but all year round. Christmas markets are typically very festive-themed, but by including something as simple as business cards or leaflets, you could secure buyers throughout the year too. Even just stickers or the packaging you wrap products up in can act as a form of marketing and advertising. Event-specific marketing can come in the form of banners if you have a wall or surface behind you that you can hang banners or posters from – simply invest in a banner with your logo and hook it up where needed for easy viewing by passers-by. Capturing attention is a guaranteed way to get customers at a market, and could be the difference between making sales or going home empty-handed.
Boost Your Christmas Sales
So your stall is set up, your marketing is on point and you’ve got the perfect range of products – now what? Well, there’s never any guarantee that you’ll make sales at a craft fair. Some days, it simply isn’t the right time. However, there are tactics you can bring into play that might help improve your chances. Standing rather than sitting if you can, as well as being as warm and as friendly as possible can really make all the difference when it comes to making a sale. Customer service really is everything for market traders – being friendly could also start a conversation about your products, how they’re made or how much work has gone into them, which could be what triggers them into making the purchase.
Running a stall at a Christmas market or fair is an exciting prospect. Being surrounded by all things festive can be a great way to get your brand and your products outright when people are looking for gifts.
For more information about market traders insurance for your craft fair stall this festive season, or for a free quote, get in touch with a member of the team at Ashburnham Insurance on FREEPHONE 0800 1696137.