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Holiday Craft/Vendor Fair

16 years 9 months ago #137383 by threeboysmom

I like the idea of raffling off the donations from the crafters/vendors. I was thinking of just using them for door prizes, but I can see the $$ advantage of raffling some off.

Thanks everyone for the great ideas!!
16 years 10 months ago #137227 by trisha
We do a craft/vendor fair at our elementary school. We used to do it in November but moved it to the last week of October (November seemed to be jammed full of other craft fairs that we did not want to compete with).

We charge $40 a table. We open tables up to parents and staff first then go to the outside community to fill in slots. the only "vendors/ party plan" companines we have are those run by parents in our school. This way we can limit the number of party plans without offending our parents and we have a strict rule of only 1 rep per company.

We also try to limit the types of crafters we have. For example we only have 4 slots for jewlery makers and they are filled on a first come basis. We have apx 58 booths set up in the gym and the cafateria. We charge $40 a space they supply there own table etc...

craft fair takes place on a Saturday 9-3pm and there is no admittance charge. We have a large bakesale set up in the foyer. We also require that each cragter/vendor donate an item with a retail value of $20. We then set up a raffel table with all 58 items and charge 3 a ticket or an arms length for 10. This has been a great success and added money maker to the fair.

To give back to the community we have 3-4 booths that are given to non-profits at no charge. Last year are local cub scout pack had one to sell their popcorn, our village historical society had one to sell towm ornaments, etc...

The key to a successful fair is advertising. Our 2 local fire houses let us advertise the fair on their big community signs out front. We send home notices with all the schools in our district. We put postings everywhere~ library, post office, ymca etc...

I like the idea of having a children's crafting corner and may incorporate it this year.

Hope this helps
16 years 10 months ago #137180 by JHB
Replied by JHB on topic RE: Holiday Craft/Vendor Fair
One more thing. Be very clear what your vendors can and can't sell.

We did a smaller version at the elementary several years ago, with the PTO's money to be made from the booth fees and concessions. Unfortunately, the coordinator hadn't told the vendors they could not sell food (to be consumed on site).

A handful of craft vendors also bought coolers of softdrinks, chips, candy bars, etc. and proceeded to mark their prices less than our concession stand.

No one had considered that someone listed for something like "candles" or "homemade dolls" would be bringing food as a side item.

Note - we wouldn't have minded things like jams or those food gift jars like where you make soup or cookies. But we wanted concessions as OUR fundraiser.
16 years 10 months ago #137177 by threeboysmom
Thank you all for the great ideas so far! We truly appreciate it. Keep those thoughts & ideas coming!!
16 years 10 months ago #137176 by Debbieomi
I think if you are planning to do this in December, you have plenty of planning time. I can give you some info about we have done previously, both for a fall craft show and for a holiday crafts for kids day.

First, we charge $40 for an 8x10 space, whether crafter or direct sales. If they want a table, it is $10 additional. We do not have craftspeople and direct sales vendors near each other. The crafters HATE being near them. They feel it cheapens their wares. We also require that everyone give a product with a sale value of $15 for our raffle. This is because most craft fairs/shows in this area sell spaces for $50+ and this way they are getting a deal. They pay $40 in cash and the product's cost for them to make it.
We use our gym which is at the front of the school off our lobby. We use the lobby for the raffle tables, bake sale and lunch area. We serve sub sandwiches, slices of pizza, bowls of chili, sloppy joes and a lettuce-tomato salad, chips, beverages. We take our crafter's lunch orders about 10 am and we deliver to their booths. We also offer potty/cig break service. We have floaters who vendors can flag down when they need a break for a few minutes. The vendors LOVE this! Now, our floaters do not sell the merchandise, they tell customers that they are babysitting and the vendor will be right back. Right off our lobby is a large hall area were we set up children's crafts area. We offer 5 or 6 easy crafts, like from OTC, and charge $1 for them. Parents can leave their kids there to craft while they shop. We run this from 9 am to 3 pm, allowing 2 hours on both ends for set up and tear down. Plus we mark the gym floor and set up chairs, tables and the lobby on Friday afternoon, after school. Bake sale items are also packaged and marked then.

We have never done a Santa breakfast, etc. but on the first Saturday of December we have hosted a Holiday House Kid's Craft Shop. Basically, it's a huge crafting party for kids. We selected about 15 crafts from OTC and a two other companies. We set prices at $1, 2 and 5. When folks would come into the gym, they purchase any number of $1 tickets they would like at a cashier's tables at the entrance. They can always purchase more or turn in any not used. These are used at each table to "purchase" the crafts. We have one volunteer and two crafts per table. Like items with like items....paint, markers, glue, etc. We also offer a wrapping table where we have squares of the paper that moving companies use to wrap fragile items. We supply markers, stamps and ink pads, stickers, tape, scissors and tags for the kids to decorate their wrapping paper. We have a CD player nearby at a low volume playing holiday music. We offer free coffee for the adults and sell cans of soda and bottles of water for 50 cents each. We ran this from 9 am to 1 pm with all set up being the afternoon before.
Unfortunately, after a huge turnout and glowing responses the first year, this event fizzled. No known reasons, just way low attendance. The weather was gorgeous for a December day two years in a row and I think our rural town folks wanted to be out snowmobiling! :) This was not a fundraiser, we just wanted to break even, which we did the first year.

As a result, we are joining forces with our community rec center and our local commission on aging (COA) to be a sponsor of a Christmas celebration. Same time frame, first Saturday in December but it is held at the rec center where kids get free swim and/or skate time when they come to see Santa. There is also hot cocoa and cookies from the COA. We will be hosting a crafting area on the second floor, probably no more than six $1.00 crafts. There is also a mini craft show going on with no more than 10 vendors because of space constraints. We only charge $10 for this space because it's only for three hours and the space is basically whatever size their table is.

I'm sure you will get more info about Santa events from others. Just thought I would put out there what we do or had done.
16 years 10 months ago #137175 by JHB
Replied by JHB on topic RE: Holiday Craft/Vendor Fair
By the way, you might want to check out some sites for the big craft shows like the Sami shows. Be sure and look at the information sheet. It might give you some good ideas on policies, like reminding vendors it is their responsibility to collect/remit sales tax.

My Ladys' Fair and A Sami Show are arts and crafts marketplaces.

The prices for those range from $150-$350 depending on size and placement. But these type of shows are professionally managed, 2 day events with hundreds or thousands of attendees. They are often annual events, have radio and TV advertising, held in a huge venue, etc. So pricing wise - it's a different animal entirely. But still, you can get some useful ideas.

Our coordinator will be attending the local shows and selectively distributing flyers about our upcoming event to vendors.
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