Running a Stall at a Christmas Fair: Tips to Survive and Succeed

Miranda Stamp of Twinkle on the Web has been in business for many years and attended countless fairs, shows and events. As you may be getting ready for a Christmas fair right now, she shares her tips to help you survive any event with your sanity intact.

  1. Arrive early – you can stake your plot if not pre-allocated and also allow plenty of time to set up – you can then shop / grab a glass of wine / mince pie as other people set up. I’ve fine tuned mine to 15 mins from park car to completely set up over the years.
  2. Always enquire size of table they will give you. Take your own if necessary
  3. Take a tablecloth – I’ve a colourful deep blue piece of polyester velour that doesn’t show creases or dirt.
  4. I always build my stand UP – I’ve some Argos wooden shoe rack ‘shelves’ with wooden extensions with poles to hang things above head height. Stick your most colourful stuff up high so people see it above the rest and make a beeline.
  5. Decorate your stall with Christmas decorations to give it a festive feel. A tree with ornaments and lights hanging around your stall would be perfect. If you’re looking for great Christmas villages sets for decoration, check out Holyart.
  6. Take a means of taking credit cards be it via laptop or hand held terminal.
  7. Take plenty of change for £20 notes – you can always spend it if not used.
  8. I always take a little basket with:
    • duplicate book to take orders of things you stock/have run out of/haven’t got right size/colour/ with you
    • pens, marker pens, card to write offers on etc
    • sellotape
    • bluetac
    • stapler
    • staples
    • string
    • scissors
    • clothes pegs  … You never know what you’ll need to ‘fix’ on the night
  9. Price everything. It saves time and people like it esp if you do an offer eg any 3 items in this basket £xx – folk love the bargains!! Take your pricing gun if you have one.
  10. Have  plenty of signs with your branding on so they know who they’re shopping with and where you are.Pre-prints signs with your shop signs/webaddress and make sure you stick them up high.
  11. Pack a bottle of water. If busy you won’t get a drink unless the hostess is very efficient, and you might do a lot of talking.
  12. Remember customers may need bags – we stick stickers on takeaway brown bags.
  13. Get a sacktruck or fold up trolley to cart your stuff in and out to the car. Try Argos.
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  • Am gearing up for quite a few Christmas fairs starting this week and these tips are brilliant!! I always feel a slight sense of panic before each event, but great to have such a great list. I’ve done 3 fairs so far since I set up my business last year and have my own little to do list, but this is way better. Thanks very much!!

  • Great to see these tips are still relevant in 2017!

    I could update no 5 to add that people also now like to pay by phone or transfer direct to your bank a ccount, so having a laminated card avaialble with your bank details is handy.You can get gadgets eg iZettle or a Paypal terminal relatively cheaply to work with your mobile.

    And the point I forgot is always take far more business cards than you think you might need – often someone will want a handful to give out to another group.

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