Craft fair tips for visitors: your complete event checklist 

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03 February 2020
If you’re new to the world of craft fairs or haven’t been to a show for a while, you might be wondering where to start. Fear not, crafters – we’ve got you covered with our craft fair tips for beginners in the form of a handy checklist. Image credit: Linda Towerzey.

Whether you make cards, bake and decorate cakes, design and build dolls houses and/or appreciate all things miniature, craft fairs are THE place to celebrate your interest or hobby. A jam-packed day (or more, if you’re lucky!) dedicated to your passion – what could be better?!

We talk about how to get the most out of every craft fair, from preparation for the big day through to the day of the event, and even tips for after the show! Here’s how to get the most from your next craft fair…

Craft fair tips - before the show

  • Invite your like-minded friends. Why not set up a WhatsApp group to organise plans?
  • Buy your ticket(s). Check out ticket offers and explore what you’ll get for your money. You can often find offers or vouchers on the show websites. It’s worth looking at exhibitor websites, too. Bringing along friends, family or fellow craft lovers? Look out for group booking discounts. 
  • Arrange travel. It’s a good idea to book in advance (usually cheaper) and keep an eye out for any travel updates and/or possible disruption to your journey. 
  • Write a list of things you need to get (not just want!). It can be tempting to buy everything in sight, so writing a list will help you stay on track so you shop wisely. Keep your list to hand as shows can be busy, and beautiful distractions are everywhere!
  • Pre-order items to collect. Some exhibitors give the option to pre-order craft items/kits and collect them on the day of show - contact individual brands for information. 
  • Download the floorplan. Familiarise yourself with the exhibitors attending and make a plan of who you’d like to visit and in which order so you make the most of your time on the day.
  • Familiarise yourself with the timetable of activities. Shows are the ideal opportunity to improve your skills and learn new techniques. Look at the list of workshops, demos and speaker slots taking place throughout the day and plan which sessions you’d like to go to. Find out if you need to book a place, check timings and set reminders. Warning: Some venues can be big so allow yourself plenty of time to find where you need to be!
  • Follow exhibitor social media accounts. Stay up to date in the leadup to the event and get involved in the conversation. 
  • Sign up to email newsletters for event news… great for early bird offers, too!

Tiny dolls house furniture show stand

Image credit: Tiny Doll House New York.

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Craft fair tips - on the day

  • Dress for the occasion. Comfy shoes are a must! Layer-up in winter and if you’re heading to the show early in the morning, remember your woollies in case you end up waiting outside until the show opens. 
  • Come prepared. Bring strong bags or a trolly to fill with your finds/buys/swag throughout the day… and don’t forget your shopping list (and a pen) so you can cross items off as you go (we love a list!).
  • Have a hearty breakfast. What’s the saying? Ah yes, “Eat breakfast like a king…” – you’re going to need the energy!
  • Bring a packed lunch or explore nearby lunch venues. Allow queuing time if you’re eating at the venue as it’ll be busy. It’s worth doing some research on the eateries available ahead of time, especially if you have any specific dietary requirements. Remember to budget for hot drinks, too!
  • Make sure you have enough cash. Not all exhibitors will have card machines/accept card, so it’s best to come prepared. Make sure your cash and valuables are kept in a secure place, not easily accessible.
  • Have your ticket at hand… so you can get in swiftly and enjoy the day!
  • Locate the toilets… obvious, but one of the first questions asked at shows! 
  • Locate the ‘help and information’ stand… should you have any questions/queries on the day.
  • Prioritise stands that might sell out. Supplies at stands will be limited, especially if a new product is being released, so prioritise your must-visit brands to avoid the disappointment of missing out on special purchases.
  • Check out exclusive subscription offers. There are always fabulous magazine subscription/membership offers to take advantage of (both digital and print) so if you’re thinking of subscribing, shows are a great time to do it! Becoming a subscriber brings lots of benefits - expert knowledge to develop your skills, a wealth of ideas to inspire your next project, not to mention opening you up to a community of crafters who share your passion. 
  • Pace yourself. Regular show-goers will know this… shows are tiring – but so worth it! Prepare yourself for a long day with plenty of walking. Remember to pace yourself – stay hydrated and take regular breaks. 
  • Network and collaborate. Shows are a great opportunity to socialise with your favourite brands and fellow hobbyists. Why not share your makes with exhibitors? You never know what opportunities/collaborations might arise as a result.
  • Listen for tannoy announcements throughout the day… listen out for reminders, offers, locations and other helpful information. 
  • Enjoy the experience. Shop for supplies, discover new brands, improve your techniques, try something new, gather inspiration, meet likeminded people and most importantly, enjoy! 

Craft fair tips - after the show

  • Appreciate your stash of goodies. There’s only one thing more exciting than the show itself… appreciating your craft haul afterwards! Time to get cracking with your next project…
  • Subscribe. Don’t forget to subscribe to magazines that caught your eye at the show and make the most of exclusive offers before they expire! 
  • Share your makes on social media… and tag brands.
  • Get ready to book your next show. Calendar at the ready… sign up for newsletter notifications so you’re among the first to hear show date announcements.  

Bookmark this page for easy access to craft show tips when you need them. Don't forget to share them with your friends, too! Happy crafting.

Looking for an amazing miniatures fair where you can catch up with like-minded people, shop until you drop and enjoy ogling at doll’s houses? Come to the York Dolls House and Miniatures Fair on 7th June 2020 (here are seven reasons to attend as told by our exhibitors)! What’s more, bag yourself a fantastic show offer: subscribers get 50% off tickets (up to two per show) and non-subscribers can take up our wonderful pre-show offer with the following benefits: 

  • FREE entry to the show
  • Get in 30 mins early
  • Hot drink on arrival 

Make sure you pre-subscribe! Find out more about the Dolls House and Miniatures Fair.

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