Summer is around the corner and with summer comes plenty of events to keep people entertained throughout the warmer months. Summer fairs are a staple here in the UK, with school fetes, community fairs in local parks, craft fairs and markets all taking place throughout Summer on various scales.
If you have a craft business or any business that could benefit from a stall, you’re likely already planning your set-ups for this year. Whether you’re new to the Summer Fair game, or you’re looking to improve your chances this year, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you get started.
Make Sure You’re Prepared
Preparation is often the key to success, and making sure that you have everything you need for a successful event is a must. From making sure you have enough stock on hand, or even bags and boxes for your products, to having Market Trader’s Insurance ready in case of accidents or injury to the public, being prepared before you even book a stall can give you a strong start. Insurance, for example, provides you with financial protection in cases where your stall or your products cause injury to customers or other members of the public, whether they harm themselves on a stray pin, trip over your stall or a falling product causes an injury. Having a personalised policy ready to go will sure you remain protected.
Pick The Right Events And Audience
Everyone’s craft is different and not every product will suit every audience. Stuffed animals and baby clothes, for example, might fare better at family events or school fetes, while jewellery or gourmet foods could be better suited to craft-specific fairs where people are likely to be searching for higher-end goods. If you have a particular craft that could suit any audience, try and tailor your product offering to the event – if you make crochet items, a collection of smaller, more affordable items might do better at school events, while larger, more costly items could serve better at specialist fairs or where footfall will be higher.
Have Proper Displays
While not everyone can afford the top-of-the-range displays for their stalls, making that initial investment could be the difference between a high volume of sales or barely breaking even. You don’t need anything super fancy – depending on your products, a simple wooden shelving unit could help to add height to your display while showcasing your items without taking away from their wow factor. Having a collection of hangers, rails, clips, cable ties, signage and shelves where needed can give you a good arsenal for setting up in any bare-bones environment.
Don’t Overload The Stall
While it can be tempting to pile everything onto the table just in case they catch someone’s eye, overloading your stall with too much could actually turn customers away. Creating an overwhelming display makes it difficult for people to spot key items from a distance and may prevent people from looking any closer. Make sure you have a good variety but without overcrowding to enable people to get a clear view of what you have to offer and what your brand stands for, without overwhelming the senses. Remember, you only have a few seconds to catch a potential customer’s eye and bring them closer, so clear signage and well-displayed products will do a lot of your work for you.
Look Busy But Approachable
There’s nothing as unsettling as being watched or followed while you’re shopping, so making yourself look busy can give customers the comfort of being able to browse without feeling pressured. However, you also need to seem approachable, like you’re ready for a conversation if they want one. You could spend time restocking parts of your stall, or even be working on another product in the background (if your craft allows that) while remaining approachable and easy to talk to or get the attention of when someone wants to ask questions or make a purchase.
Similar to the previous point, being present at your stall is a must, and we’re not just talking about being physically present. Sitting behind the table on your phone or chatting with friends or family members can set you away from customers and make it seem like you are unapproachable. A customer who can’t grab your attention when they want it may be likely just to walk away and find something or somewhere else to browse without waiting around.
Offer Something Unique
While each person’s craft is unique in its own way, customers browsing through a fair might find themselves stumbling upon multiple of the same kind of stall. They could pass two crochet stands, four knitting stalls, and a handful of jewellery creators or photo prints – having something unique you can offer will help you stand out against your competition. It could be something as simple as mystery boxes or lucky dips for your smaller products for a quick sell that might also encourage them to buy something bigger, or you could opt for offering samples of foods or ‘Feel Me’ signs for your softer items or clothes to encourage people to try for themselves before they buy and take away their fear of coming closer.
For more information about our insurance products for market traders, get in touch with Ashburnham Insurance on freephone 0800 1696137. We are on hand to help!