How to get ready for a fair - Manchester Print Fair

So I’m going to be at the Manchester Print Fair on Saturday 11th May.

The Manchester Print Fair is in the beautiful cathedral in Manchester, just near Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

I’m so pleased to get accepted to exhibit and I can’t wait to see all the other stall holders work. I’m hoping to see a few familiar faces.

There is always a lot of planning to do before an event and I’ve now got a check list I created to make sure I don’t forget anything. There is so much advice online these days for getting ready for events  and fairs. One of my favourite resources for all things creative business wise is The Design Trust - and there is an excellent article here  that I highly recommend to you.

Here’s the top 10 things I make always  sure I’ve got sorted.

1. Plan your display
Every event is different so making sure you’ve tried and tested out how your display will look before you go will make set up when you get there so much easier. If it’s a table top event - I will test out a few ideas - try to change the levels of the table- I use wooden Ikea drawers turned upside down and in recent years have made some collapsible display shelves.  Remember you often have a bit of distance to carry all your display and stock so the easier you can make it to transport it the better. I often use big suitcases with wheels to move my stock about in.




2. Make sure you know where you’re going

Sounds obvious - but plan your route - check how long it takes to get there. Read all the info about set up times and the logistics of the building. Are you on the ground floor or the first floor, is there a lift?  Just makes things less stressful when you know what to expect.

3. Business Cards and Promotional Material
Not everyone will buy from you on the day - sone customers need a bit longer to decide - so make sure they have got some info about you that they can take away with them.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1-XE_6rln848xqf-aWvpXf_1BIV0cTY6I

4. Mailing List

Fairs and events can be a great place to add to your mailing list - be sure to have a sign up sheet or book for potential customers to add their details. Make sure you’re up to date about GDPR.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Afl_-Yosg8ISoZgrDd-fvdQcZ7aQ9LuK

5. Promote the event on your social media

Telling people where you are going to be and when is a good idea!  - the organisers usually have social media accounts too - so you can share and retweet those. It’s good to give people an idea of what products  you’ll be taking but also which other makers will be st the event too.

6. Packaging

Have you got enough bags, tissue paper - do you need bubble wrap? It’s handy to create a spot in you stand for packing up any purchases too.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=115GDaxQ83BHduybURqVKw5Y9NE4AqOo-

7. Float and payment machine

Make sure you’ve got some change. It’s worth investing in a card machine- there are plenty available - do your research and decide which is best for you. I’ve got an izettle one.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1z8aXRTrdELOt30lqQn5zP7NT_Erzp7OY

8. Stock!

How much to you need? Always a tricky one but consider if it’s a one day or 2 day or more event - can you nip home in the evenings to replenish or is it too far away from home. Have an orders book in case you run out of stock and someone wants to purchase from you.

9. Fuel

Not petrol!  but food and drink - it’s not always easy to get out from behind your stand because hopefully you will be super busy- so make sure you’ve got some sustenance to keep you going.

10.  Stock up your online shop

If you can - try to stock up your online shop for customers who can’t get to the event.  Because you and the organisers have been busy promoting - you might find you get increased traffic to your website too. Its a pattern I have seen when I have been doing events over the last year - it also means people who didn’t buy on the day have the opportunity to purchase online when they get home and think “I wish I’d bought that”

Hope you found that helpful - right - I’d better get on with it and pack up my car for tomorrow.

Maybe see you in Manchester
Love Fiona

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