Monday 29 September 2014

Setting up for a art fair

It was the annual Pirongia art and craft market on Saturday. It was my first time exhibiting there and the first time I have exhibited on my own with my own stall.  It has been an amazing experience and learning curve for me.  So many people have been so helpful and have been so generous with their time and experience. Although there are so many negative things going on in the world around us it so is so good to know that there are still so many wonderful people that are so willing to help others.

Catherine Parkinson: Textile artist  
Stall at the 2014 Pirongia Art market.

I didn't sell very much (but most people didn't sell much.)  but I met some amazing people,  did some great advertising and I got some good new contacts, which I felt was the most important part of the whole day.  

Some things I have learnt for the first time setting up for an art fair.
  • Start preparing for the day at least 6 weeks before the event.  The earlier you start the more smoothly the event will run.
  • Make good lists of what you need to do and check them off as you go.  Be specific and break down tasks to make them more manageable.
  • Read about how other people set up for shows and learn from their experiences
  • Talk to other stall holders about their experiences
  • Ask specific questions about the event.  Know where you are going to set up,  what is required of you, costings,  equipment provided for you and what you need to provide.
  • Write down an inventory of what you will need for the event. Take what you think you may need even if you don't need it.  It is better to be over prepared than  under prepared
  •  Dress in layers so if it is warm you can take layers off and if it is cool you can add layers.  
  • Bring snacks and water to keep you going throughout the day
  • Make good signage for your stall.  People need to know who you are and it needs to be really clear.  Include your business name,  web page,  email address.
  • Use 3 a maximum of 3 colours in your stall layout.  I chose beige, black and white.  I wanted to bring attention to my artwork not my stall.

  • Use simple but effective display stands.  My pouch stand was made from an old pallet.

Pallet display stand

  • Clearly label everything
  • Have an alternative way of paying for things than just cash and put a sign up saying what payments you accept.

Business card holder and clear signage

  • Be approachable and be friendly
  • Talk freely and opening with everyone you meet. You never know who could be a future client.
  • Be supportive of other stall holders.  Be friendly to them and be interested in the work they are creating.  Network!!
  • Thank the organiser of the event for the day.

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