Whether you’re selling seasonal gifts or you’re in the festive food business, we know that craft fairs and markets are popular with a range of businesses between now and December every year.
For some businesses taking the plunge, this year may be their first time exhibiting but no matter whether you’re a regular stallholder or just starting out, the one thing that all businesses will share is that they’ll want to use Christmas markets and craft fairs as an opportunity to boost profits.
But how can you make sure that you are doing everything you possibly can to make sure your stall is successful? We’ve gone ahead and created this blog to guide you through our top tips for running a successful Christmas stall and how you can keep track of your event success.
Consider Setting and Tracking Your Budget
A great place to start is to consider your budget. Setting a budget will help you meet your targets easier and will also ensure that you make a profit and not a loss.
How much is the event going to cost in total?
Start by setting a realistic amount that you can afford for the whole event. You’ll want to consider the fee for the stall, any equipment you may need,staffing and wages, printed marketing materials and more! You’ll also need to include any personal costs, including food, fuel and parking.
What’s included in the event fees?
When you’re booking your stall, the event organiser will usually make it clear how much the stall will cost and what’s included in their fee, this is also usually laid out on the webpage of the event, but it’s important to check the details, so don’t be afraid to reach out directly to the organisers. Some fairs will provide you with the option to add necessities such as electricity and charging points, internet access or even gazebos and table hire, so remember to also factor this into your budget.
Have you got the equipment you need for the event?
Once you know what’s included, you’ll need to source anything you else need to complete the day. You should have already thought about the display of your stand when completing your initial planning, but make sure that you consider things such as extension cords, lighting, storage and refrigeration.
To make sure that you’re staying within budget, now would be a perfect time to think about if you’re likely to do another event like this in the future, as you can decide whether to purchase equipment or if better left rented or hired.
Consider whether it's more cost-effective for you to purchase a card machine or to just hire one. Many machine providers, including Wireless Terminal Solutions, will provide you with comparisons to make an informed decision.
Don’t forget your stock!
The final thing to consider when it comes to your budget is how much it’ll cost you to create the products you plan to sell. A great place to start is by looking at any old stock you have left to sell, as this does not provide any upfront costs. After this, look at your initial plan and your current inventory to work out how much it’s realistically going to cost you to prepare and create your products.
It may feel like a lot to track, so we’d suggest creating a spreadsheet! This is a great way to keep an eye on your planning process and will help support you in ensuring that your budget is stuck to over the course of the event.
Leverage Social Media To Promote Christmas Fair Attendance
According to Statista, around 57 million people in the UK are active social media users, so maximising the use of these platforms can be a great tool to guide your stall to success.
During the run-up to the event, make sure your customers are aware that you’ll be attending the fair. If your customers aren’t aware that you’ll be there, how can they see your goods for themselves and make a purchase? Some customers may have even followed your page for a while but held off making a decision until they can physically or experience your products.
Creating some posts to build FOMO (fear of missing out) in the run-up to the event is a surefire way to start building a crowd who’ll come visit your stall, and even help with word of mouth if they tag a friend. A busy stall is always more likely to attract more customers due to curiosity!
Throughout the event, you can provide your audience with more information, inspiring customers, and giving them a preview of what products you have. This not only helps pique people's interest, but also encourages tentative customers to come to your stall, especially if they see a product they have considered purchasing.
Utilising tools like Instagram’s stories and reels is a great way to do this passively throughout your event - you can even use the same content in your highlights after.
Perfecting Your Pricing With Christmas Sales in Mind
It’s easy to overthink the pricing model of your products, especially when you’re holding a stall at a Christmas fair.
Consider your demographics
A great starting point is considering the type of people who will be attending the fair, what their motivations are and what mindset they will be in.
You may have been to one yourself, so try putting yourself in your customer's shoes. You could consider doing research into the specific fair and speak to businesses who have sold there themselves to learn from them.
Is it likely that customers will splurge at Christmas? Consider offering special discounts or free items when a customer spends over a certain amount. This will help them spend more than they probably intended.
What’s your current pricing structure?
At many pop-up events, businesses tend to offer discounted pricing to encourage their loyal customers and possible new customers to attend. This could be a great way to cross-sell products with old stock and new exciting products in your range.
Measuring Your Success After the Event
It’s important to note that the whole point of attending a stall is to get your business out there. Whether you’re looking to raise awareness of your brand or make some real sales, it’s important you have something to benchmark your stall against.
It’s always good practice to have a clear goal or target in mind. It’s also important to remember that success doesn’t just come from this event, as its a great opportunity to connect with all kinds of people who will remember your business later down the line.
Track your ROI
Return on investment, also known as ROI, is how much you have made from your investment, in this case, your stall.
Using the spreadsheet which you created during your budget planning, you can measure the ROI in terms of profitability.
The most simple way to find out is by taking away the cost of the event (stall fees + equipment and any other necessities) from how much money you made on the day.
So for example, if you made £1000 in sales, and spent £200 on the event it would look like this:
£1000 - £200 = £800
This means that you’ll have made £800 profit after all of your payouts.
Check your analytics
Have a look at your analytics for your website and social media platforms. If you’ve made an impression on people during the event it’s highly likely that they’ll want to find out more about your business and offerings.
If you see an increase in views on your website or followers on your social platforms, this is a great sign that you have people who are interested in you and your business - which is ultimately another measurement of success as you are increasing your brand awareness.
Review any tracking methods you’ve set up
If you’ve handed out marketing materials with a QR code, unique discount code or specific URL, it would be wise to review the data a few weeks after the event.
QR code scans are great to find out how many people were intrigued in finding out more about you and your business, and it’s a great way to direct people to your platforms, whether that be your website or social media channels.
Discount codes tend to have a great impact on the LTV (Life Time Value) of your customers.
Giving customers a discount code encourages them to make a purchase, creating a unique code that was only given to customers at your stall is a great way to see how many people redeemed it and shopped with you.
Selling at Christmas fairs is a fantastic investment for your business which can lead you to receiving great exposure for your business, which will benefit you both in the short term and long term.
If you make sure that you’re fully prepared, you can ensure that you’re going to be able to optimise the potential from the event and continue this momentum into the new year.