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Editorial blog

How to market your small business at a craft fair

25 Oct 2019

Andrew Dark, director and co-owner of branding and printwear specialist Custom Planet, has five handy tips that will help you to get your business noticed.

Attending craft fairs is a great way to get your business in front of lots of potential customers at once — but as you’ll be competing against many other vendors, you’ll need to make sure your branding stands out.

Wondering how you can make your stall stand out among the hundreds of others at a craft fair? The secret is good branding. In this article, I’ll be sharing a few ideas that will help you to create a beautifully branded stall that will entice customers, as well some marketing tips for securing repeat business after the fair is over.

Make your stall stand out

You only have a few seconds to grab the attention of passing customers, so make sure your stall is beautifully designed and arranged in a way that is consistent with the rest of your branding. Your stall design should use your brand colours and fonts: for instance, cool neutrals for a trendy modern brand, or a more eclectic, chintzy set up for a vintage-inspired feel. And, don’t overlook the little details, like price tags — everything needs to tie in with the look you’re trying to create.

You’ll also need a large, eye-catching sign, positioned somewhere that shoppers will see it. This needs to feature your logo and signature font to unify your branding. You could even include a photograph or two of you at work on your creations, so people realise that you’re the maker of all your products.

Add personality and decoration

You can even add a few props and accessories to help showcase your products and add personality to your stall. For instance, if you sell jewellery, you could hang necklaces off a vintage candlestick, or place them inside vintage jewellery boxes. If your branding is modern, you could mount your creations on a cork pinboard and decorate your table with a couple of glass jars filled with fairy lights. As long as the objects you choose match the overall aesthetic of your brand, it should help to entice your target customers over to your stall.

Be careful not to go overboard with your props, however. It should be immediately clear to anyone who approaches your stall what sort of products you offer. So, don’t load up on so many decorative knick-knacks that customers won’t be able to make out the stuff that’s actually for sale.

Wear your brand

Every interaction with a potential customer is a chance to make a sale, build relationships, and promote your services to capture repeat custom. Wearing branded clothing is another opportunity to promote your business during face-to-face interactions, and it can set your craft business apart from the other stalls at the fair, especially if many other attendees are amateur hobbyists rather than small businesses. And, if you work with a business partner or employee, it will help to create a cohesive look.

So, think about getting some custom T-shirts or accessories made up with your logo and branding. If you sell clothing or accessories — like woolly hats, knitted cardigans, or handmade jewellery — then don’t forget to wear these as part of your outfit to show off your talents.

Bring marketing materials

Even if casual browsers don’t buy anything from you during the fair, there’s still a chance you’ll make a sale at a later date if they take a business card with your contact details on. So, if you don’t have a business card designed yet, be sure to get some printed before your next fair! And, make sure to place your cards in a spot near the front of your stall where people can easily pick them up.

If you do custom or bespoke work, it’s also a smart move to make up some pamphlets or leaflets which explain your services in more detail. Remember to include your social media handles on all your marketing materials so people can keep up with your business online.

Offer a few freebies

People love freebies, and offering a few promotional goodies is a great way to win over potential customers, as well as getting some more exposure for your brand. For example, you could give out free samples of a particular product, a selection of pick n’ mix sweets in a branded paper bag, or even free tote bags printed with your logo for your first 30 customers (if your budget will stretch to it).

Exactly what you give away is up to you, but whatever you decide, just be sure to include your logo and details on it somewhere. As well as attracting customers to your stall, this also means that other people at the craft fair will see your logo, giving you some extra exposure and drumming up interest in your brand.

Craft fairs can be competitive places, especially when there are hundreds of other similar businesses all vying for people’s attention. But, as long as you create an eye-catching stall that’s true to your brand, and ensure that all your marketing materials are consistently branded, you should be able to entice customers to your stall.

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