The first time I stepped into a Country Living Fair back in 1999, I had that 10 second reaction that you get when you walk into a house and know it's where you want to call home, in this case it was for my business!
In 2011 I had my first stand, and I've been there each Spring and Christmas since.
So, if like me, you've dreamt of having a stand at the Country Living Fair, here are 15 top tips to help you prepare and prevent the dream becoming a nightmare!
- Plan... every last inch.
- How are you going to fill your space? Cover a table? How can you add height? Is the display stable? Colours? Does it reflect your product and branding?
- Practice your set up. Get feedback from a friend whose taste you trust. Photograph it for reference on the day.
- Stock, I still struggle with the quantity question. A good mix of what works best. You rarely sell out of everything and if you are only left with one item of a bestseller take orders (with free P&P?)
- Pricing, tricky subject! Make sure labels are clear. Have a price list for yourself, when the adrenaline is running your brain and tongue can fail to coordinate. Mine does!
- Float. Do you have the ability to take credit cards?
- Website - obviously.
- Business cards, this is your shop window, I have had commissions years after a conversation at a Fair!
- Different price points. I love champagne but often only have beer money.
- Mailing list, any offers to entice?
- Tea! There is an exhibitor lounge where free tea and coffee is available. Hooray!
- Don't worry you will make mistakes. We all have. Don't be so hard on yourself. Learn and move on!
- Smile. you are selling your creation which you have put hours into. people will be interested in your work and you. This is the time to promote yourself....
- Lastly, you've worked hard to get here, enjoy the feedback and hopefully the takings too!