Folksy Ltd

British Craft Trade Fair

Hi Guys!

I’m wondering if anyone had exhibited at the British Craft Trade Fair before? How was it? I’m thinking of exhibiting this year, and it would be great to hear what people have to say about it!

Jessie :smile:

Is it in Harrogate? I did 27 years ago, I didn’t know when I booked it I would be heavily pregnant! It didn’t really work because of that!

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I did apply a few years ago but decided against it when it came to booking. I heard from others that had exhibited there that the buyers were mostly looking for wholesale and were more likely to take away price lists etc for possible orders later. I got the impression that very few sales were made actually at the event, it was more about marketing and getting interest from galleries, gift shops, retail outlets etc.

Depending on what you make and what your goals are, it could be a great way to get some contacts and get your stuff seen, but it didn’t really fit with what I wanted to do.

Good luck if you do it :smile:

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This is definitely a wholesale trade fair, and although I haven’t visited, a couple of local gallery owners have said it’s one of their favourites because it has a very good reputation and encourages the sale of handmade and small mass produced products, which is what they want to stock in their shops. The lady running it (Margaret) is very helpful so if you are thinking about wholesale I would give her a call and have a chat. You’ve nothing to lose and possibly everything to gain!

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Attending this fair is one of my goals for next year because I don’t have the cash available to make enough pieces to sell wholesale at the moment. Its great to hear other people’s opinions about events like this because they cost a lot of money and can be a real disappointment. I’ve had a couple of friends attend with their jewellery businesses and they have found it really worth while.

Let us know if you do decide to attend and how you get on!

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Trade fairs are not like craft fair, sales follow on if visitors to the event like your product. Being trade customers they are only interested in trade prices, generally not open to the public which means you will get accredited trade buyers. the chances of taking money on the day are probably nil you have to look it as a shop window for your products the key being successful in the wholesale market is to be able to produce in quantity be it large or small high quality and consistent products on demand. (Crafts block or other such notions cut no ice with trade buyers they are looking for products to fill their shelves and would require repeat items of the quality they saw at the fair guaranteed. Not only on the first order but also any subsequent orders.
Trade fairs can be extremely worth while but be prepared to write off the cost of going which can be high. Be prepared to have to front up the money for materials and be aware of the time it can take for you to receive your payment. You are entering a world of hard faced business and it can be a tough market place. The key to success is shrewd buying on your part (forget the likes of hobby craft ) and consistant quality production.


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Thanks for all the help guys! It really is an investment, then. Looks like all good feedback, and yes! @Textiletreasure I e-mailed Margaret and she got back to me very quickly and was really helpful!
Hopefully I’ll have the cash to get here! :neutral_face:

J :smile:

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I looked into this as I currently sell in a couple of local gift shops, but at over £500 for the weekend, I couldn’t justify it! I know it’s a marketing fair and I may get a nice big order out of it, however the gamble is too great for me.