Attending craft fairs is a great way to get your business name out there, but with so much competition at the same event, is there anything you can do to make sure you stand out? Here, Richard Cutmore from a specialist pop-up gazebo specialist shares his top tips for boosting your brand exposure at craft fairs...
Thinking of attending a craft fair this year? Chances are, a lot of other businesses will be doing the same to get their name out there. But, don’t let this put you off. Taking the right measures to boost your brand exposure at these events can pay off and put you one step ahead of the competition.
Here are my top tips for ensuring your business stands out at the next craft fair you attend.
Pick the perfect craft fair
There are so many craft fairs happening it's unlikely that you'll be able to attend them all. So, thinking about which ones are relevant and likely to be fruitful for you is important.
To make your short list it can be helpful to consider where your target market is located and whether you think travelling to other places will be useful. For example, if you pride yourself on the fact you use local materials, your products may not appeal as much if you go somewhere other than the place your business is based.
Similarly, you may want to think about the exhibition space you'll need to showcase your products at their best. If you've got delicate crafts, it may not be the most sensible idea to attend a craft fair that's outside when it could be windy and rainy. You'll also want to consider the size of the pitch you're going to be offered, as some craft businesses will need substantially larger spaces.
Make use of social media
Once you've decided on the fairs you'll be attending, the next step is to think of how you'll get the word out. Advertising your attendance at various craft fairs can help stir up interest around your business and encourage people to visit you- one particularly good way of doing this is to use social media.
Many popular social media platforms are free to use, in comparison to other traditional forms of advertising. So, I would suggest making use of your profiles to show existing and potential customers where you'll be and when, as well as giving sneak previews of any exclusives or new launches you might be showcasing at the fairs.
If the fairs you're attending have social media pages of their own, it'll be a smart idea to interact on these to show you're an active, friendly and supportive business. This could involve liking and commenting on the fair's posts, as well as interacting with other user's comments wherever possible and relevant.
Plan an eye-catching display
First impressions count, and with so many other businesses attending the event, it's important that your display instantly attracts passers-by. As it's a craft fair, I would recommend getting as creative as possible with your stand to show people how skilled you really are. This could include knitting your own display tablecloth or making some colourful dream catchers and hanging them from your stall.
If you want to make an even bigger statement, I would recommend adding branding to your stall, so you are instantly recognisable. This could include getting banners or bunting with your business name and logo on, or simply buying a pop-up gazebo that has been personalised and can travel around with you and your business. My company, TFH Gazebos, specialise in printed gazebos for these types of events.
Choosing the right colours for these things is important, too. As craft fairs are full of creative people, you'll want to avoid dark colours that can look too serious, and instead choose something that'll emote positive feelings and show the light-hearted nature of your business. Bright colours and pastels will be great for this.
Create standout marketing materials
Once you've got people at your stand, you'll need to think of the marketing materials you should be creating to encourage people to like or follow your pages on social media, or to order or buy later. This could include having branded leaflets on the table which highlights any USPs (unique selling points) of your business: whether you use organic or recycled materials, or you donate a portion of your profits to charity, explicitly letting potential customers know about these can help to encourage sales.
You might also want to think about any freebies you'll give out. This could be complementary badges or canvas bags when people make a purchase. Not only will they appreciate the gift, but having people walk around with these branded materials can help to catch other people's attention at the fair and send them your way.
For more advice on running a successful crafts business and being a crafts tutor click here >