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How to Hold a Craft Fair and Make Money
eHow.com | http://www.ehow.com
A craft fair is a gathering of multiple sellers, called vendors, who are showing and selling their handcrafted items. These days, handcrafted may also include technology assisted items. If you hold a craft fair, you will be the person who gathers the vendors together, promotes the show and keeps it all running smoothly. You should have good organizational and people skills.
1. What types of crafts will you accept? Some craft fairs limit the types of crafts they accept to a theme or method. If you want to have a themed fair, be sure you will find enough vendors who are interested in paying a fee to show and sell their stuff.
2. Non-juried vs Juried Craft Fair A fair that is non-juried accepts its vendors on a first-come, first-serve basis. The costs to sell are usually very low. Expect to charge anywhere from $10.00 to about $75.00 for a 1 day fair with the most common price about $20.00. Will you have a juried fair? This means that you assess the merit of each vendor’s work and decide if it measures up to your standard to be included in the fair. If your fair is juried you should request photos or samples of the applicant’s work with their request for space. The booth fee for a juried fair is much more expensive, but the number of people who generally attend this type of show is much greater. Juried shows are more expensive and may run from about $100 up to as much as $3500 depending on the size of the booth and the type and duration of the show.
3. When and where you hold your fair are often intertwined. The venue you prefer may only be available on certain dates. Some places to consider are reception halls and cafeterias (recreation center, church, school, large companies, wide hallways in large company or school, VFW, Masons, Fraternal Groups, etc). If you have a retail business building that is vacant you could also hold your fair there. I knew a lady who held an annual craft fair at Christmas time in her home. She and her friends set up in her living room, kitchen, dining room, patio, and a bedroom. Other rooms were closed off. There were always very large and interesting items in the front yard as well as a big sign. Her craft fair was always successful.
4. You will also need to check on what licenses or permits you’ll need. Call City Hall for the town where you are planning on holding the craft fair to start.
5. As the organizer of your craft fair it’s up to you to find vendors as well as to advertise the event so that your vendors make money. Talk to art and craft supplies stores in your area about advertising in their store bulletins. Be sure to advertise long in advance of your show date so that any potential vendors will have time to build an inventory. Put up fliers. Send or drop off fliers at churches, retirement centers, and recreation halls. Be sure to have a mailing address, and phone number on every flier and ad so that vendors can request more information or send in their entry fee. You might also include an email address and/or web site URL. Advertising the event will focus on another audience. Make your ads and fliers for the event very fun and exciting. Tell what sort of fair, where – with an address and directions – and when. Contact your local newspaper and ask if you put an ad in the paper if they will write an article about your craft fair.
6. You will make money by receiving the booth/table fees from vendors. Out of that money you’ll repay yourself for the cost of the advertising, licenses, permits and space rental. If your fair was a success consider making it an annual or seasonal event. Keep all of your vendors’ contact information so that you can contact them when/if you have another fair.
Tips & Warnings
1. If your town will let you, have a food vendor on hand. Even soda pop in cans, coffee, and cookies will be a big hit and probably won’t require any other sort of Health Department inspection. Some places will give temporary food permits for fairs allowing more involved foods to be served.
2. Get your family to help you the day of the event as trouble spotters. Walk around, pick up trash, fend off trouble before it gets too big, etc.
3. Be fair to your vendors, even when they are unreasonable. Word of mouth is the best advertisement.