Posted on June 27, 2019
To make your indie brand, small biz or side hustle successful you need to get as many eyes on your products as possible. And while social media is an awesome way to build community and brand awareness, it’s super important to get out into the real world too.
Making events work for you
Trade fairs and events for independent brands are the perfect way to show off your products, create a bond with each and every customer and demonstrate that there’s a real person behind the brand.
But with so many events out there, you need a solid plan to make sure you’re being effective with your time. Often there’s a cost element to having a stall or saved spot and you’ll need to factor in travel and other expenses too.
To get the most out of fairs and events, we recommend thinking about the big picture and planning your year in advance. This means grabbing a cuppa – and your calendar. Start by making a note of all the events that spark excitement and align with your brand. You can then whittle these down so you aren’t overwhelmed or over committed.
Once you’ve confirmed your place at the events it’s then time to start organising logistics and your inventory. Yippee!
Choosing the right trade fairs
We’re always inspired by the fiercely brave attitudes of small biz owners who just ‘go for it’.
So why not fight your fears and start by looking at big names such as Top Drawer London or the famous Harrogate gift fair? And don’t forget to check if there are well-known events specific to your niche.
If you’re just starting out, you may want to try out some smaller events or neighbourhood markets. If that’s the case, try The Craft and Flea, Crafty Fox or even pop up events such as Fashion Reboot Nights. These events are held across the country, so see if there’s one local to you or be prepared for a road trip.
We’re mega proud to be based in Derby which is a popular location for trade fairs and events simply because it’s smack bang in the middle of the UK. At the Roundhouse Events building alone, you can find the Mama Meet and Market (which is expanding to national events), Fabulous Places and newbie event Interior Junction. All perfect for showcasing your goods!
Getting event ready
You’ve done your research and have found an event that suits your brand. Now it’s time to apply for a stall or space. Here’s where it’s time to really up your game.
You’ll need to check if there’s a specific way to apply or if there’s an application form to fill out. And if you want to make an enquiry, it’s often best to skip the informal Instagram DM that’ll get lost in the shuffle. Instead, spend time crafting a snazzy email to the organiser to help you stand out.
An event organiser may also want to see your portfolio or some snaps of your work. Therefore before you apply make sure your online shop is stocked and your Instagram feed pops. Boom.
When you’re accepted (you rock, of course you’ll be accepted) it’s time to give your brand a little refresh. Legally speaking, you’ll need size and wash care labels to help customers understand your products. And don’t forget swing tickets, ribbon and woven labels to help them identify and remember your brand.
One last thing…
There’s no need to feel overwhelmed or under pressure because there’s no friendlier bunch than the makers community. Getting out to trade fairs isn’t just a way to generate new customers it’s time for you to let your hair down with other makers and designers. With that in mind, have fun, be YOU and make sure you send us plenty of snaps!