Stallholder Etiquette

We all know that there are certain things that a Craft Fair Organiser should be doing. Advertising the event, making sure the layout is as optimum as possible, making sure there aren’t too many of the same craft attending. The list is pretty long.

But as stallholders, what should your responsibilities be? Should you be just rocking up on the day and expecting everything to be perfect? We think not.

1. Advertising

This isn’t the sole responsibility of the event organiser. You know that as a small business you have to work your butt off every day to make your business a success. So why leave it to chance when you are going to an event? You must have your own network you can tap in to. You will most likely have your own facebook page or twitter account at the very least. Perhaps you are attending because you don’t have a network at all? That’s fine. But at least put in a bit of effort. Spread the word in some local Facebook groups. You shouldn’t be expected to pay for any advertising (that’s why you are paying to attend an event that someone else is organising!).


prompt2. Arrive Promptly

Don’t be one of the people who rocks up 5 minutes before the fair opens and disrupts everyone. If you are late because of a real reason, apologise, and get on and set up as quickly as possible. It’s hugely frustrating to the other stallholders when there’s a massive pile of boxes sprawled out on the floor in front of them. The stallholders need to all be set up and ready as soon as those doors open. This is to make the event as appealing as possible to passers-by. If the organiser tells you to arrive an hour before the doors open, be there an hour before the doors open. It’s just good manners.


3. Don’t complain about the venue

You had the choice whether to attend the fair or not. If it’s “not in a great location” then the onus is on you to have done your homework in the first place. If you are sitting there with no customers and you start complaining that the venue isn’t right, you will sound like a complete plonker. As a stallholder, you’re not forced to attend every event in your area. If you don’t think the venue will be good enough, quite simply, don’t go.


4. Don’t block the entrances

There will be a number of reasons why there are spaces left near various entrances and exits. Most probably because of fire regulations. But also so that people can get in! Don’t stop your customers from getting through the door. This does you and your fellow stallholders no favours. No matter how much advertising your event organiser has done, if you are there with your massive banner half covering the entrance, it will detract people from wanting to go in.


stallholders drop out5. Don’t be a Drop Out

Simply not turning up to an event without notifying anyone is inexcusable. Even worse is when you are one of the people who have been trusted to pay on the day. This can put your event organiser out of pocket. And if there are several of you, it can have a detrimental  affect on the whole event. Imagine being a passer by looking through a door or window and seeing loads of empty space in a venue. Would you still want to go in? And even worse, if you are one of the people who has turned up and done everything you were meant to, don’t start blaming the event organiser for drop outs. Possibly they could over book like airlines do, but you could potentially then end up with too many people. If you have been to an event where one stallholder has to be turned away because there is physically no space for them, you’ll know why event organisers don’t want to put themselves in this situation.

Not turning up to an event when someone is expecting you is such bad practice, and it make you look terrible as a stallholder. Yes, there are occasionally instances where this simply cannot be avoided, but we hear this happening too often for that to be the case all of the time.

Have some manners. Cancel well in advance, or show up as you are supposed to. And don’t get funny with the event organiser when you are refused a refund when you have been a total no-show.


6. Be realistic

You are not going to sell every single thing you have brought with you. People are going to try and haggle with you. Don’t be disappointed when you have to pack some things up to take home with you. Also, understand that there will always be an event where turnout is low. Yes, you might attend an awesome fair and sell loads of stuff. And that’s great. But there are so many variables that can affect a craft fair, especially if you are taking a chance and going to a brand new one, or one which is especially small.


7. Don’t be rude

There is never, ever an excuse for bad manners. NEVER. Be polite at all times. Even if the event is a wash out, suck it up and don’t go back to it. You will never get perfect events every single time. Yes it can be soul destroying when you have been sitting there for the past 5 hours and not sold a single thing. But you know what? Sometimes these things happen.


8. Don’t try and get other stallholders to gang up on the Organiser

Yes, this really has happened. One stallholder went around to the others and was basically getting them to all go over to the organiser to complain. Even though the stallholders didn’t really want to. This was utterly disgraceful behaviour and this person has been struck off the stallholder lists of many events in the area.


So basically, you should be nice, and do your homework. Of course, there are lots of things that the event organiser is responsible for. But even the most seasoned of event organisers can have the occasional bad luck. So if it’s clear that they’ve done pretty much everything they could have done to set up a good event and try to get people there, how’s about you give them a bit of a break.

Are you an event organiser? Share your stories of exceptional stallholders!

Author: yvettie86

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