Craft fairs are always popular around the festive season, as people search for unique and homemade presents. They’re a great place for your customers to pick up a gift for someone special but also enjoy a memorable day out, indulging in the festive atmosphere in the run-up to Christmas.
Setting up a Christmas market stall can be a fun and potentially profitable exercise for your business. Whether you’re selling jewellery, homeware, food, or anything else, we’ve put together the general steps to set up a stall and how to make it a success.
If you’re planning to sell your products at a Christmas market, here are a range of things you’ll need to consider.
If you’re wondering what sells well at a Christmas craft market, make sure you put some time into planning your stall and considering which products will work best. Think about what items are most likely to be given as gifts, whether you’re analysing trends for the current year or considering more traditional products.
A few ideas for what you can sell at a Christmas market include:
Hand-painted or custom-printed clothing and accessories
Baked goods like cookies, cakes, and pies
Gourmet chocolates, cheeses, or speciality sauces
Art and craft supplies like beads, fabrics, or paints
Old books, records, and memorabilia with a Christmas theme
Soaps, candles, and skincare products
Handcrafted ornaments, wreaths, candles, and festive decorations
Potted poinsettias, Christmas cacti, or miniature Christmas trees
Research the Christmas market you plan to attend to understand its target audience, size, and other relevant details. In any case, you might want to avoid too many Christmas-themed items, as these are often less appealing to customers than products that can be used all year round. You also don’t want to be left with unsold stock that can’t be marketed for another year.
Make sure you review your finances. Look at the cost of hiring your stall at the fair and then consider your outgoings. There are a range of fees and costs you may not have realised would be involved.
Unless you already have them, you’re likely to want to buy festive props and decor to help make your stall as eye-catching as possible. It’s easy to get carried away at this time of year, so set a budget for decorations and make sure you stick to it. If you can reuse items from previous years, this will be much more cost-effective.
Price your products competitively but also profitably. Be prepared to offer discounts or deals for the festive season. Accept a variety of payment methods, including cash, credit/debit cards, and mobile payment options. The more customer preferences you can cater for, the better.
Ask local authorities or the event organisers whether you’ll need permits or licenses. If you need a power supply at your stall for any Christmas lights, make sure you contact the organisers of the event in plenty of time to arrange this. Other necessary supplies you’ll need to gather include:
Tables, tents or canopies for shelter (especially if the market is outdoors)
Display racks or shelves
Signage with your stall’s name and prices
Lights, especially if it’s an evening market
Cash register or point-of-sale system
Bags and packaging for your products
Think about how to ensure that your stall is safe for customers, creating or sourcing signs and barriers if needed. Your stall layout will need to allow for clear, wide aisles and walkways that are free from obstructions, helping to prevent accidents and overcrowding. Use secure and sturdy display fixtures to avoid items falling and causing injuries. If you’re using any electrical equipment, such as lights or heaters, double-check before the event that they’re in good working order and have been safety tested.
Have a basic first aid kit on hand in case of minor injuries. It can be reassuring to customers to know that help is readily available if needed. Be prepared for changing weather conditions; if it’s an outdoor fair, have shelter available for customers in case of rain or intense sun.
Plan how to keep your products secure to prevent theft. This can include arranging them so that they’re within your line of sight as much as possible, making it harder for potential thieves to grab items unnoticed. Display cases, shelves and locking cabinets may also be worth using for smaller, valuable items, which you can bring out when needed. Avoid overcrowding your display, which can make it easier for someone to pocket something. Lock away cash and your personal belongings in a secure cash box or bag.
If your craft fair stall is outdoors, consider using a sturdy tent with zip-up walls. This provides an extra layer of security. Use zip ties or locks on the tent zippers when you’re not at the stall, to prevent unauthorised access. If you’re in a tent, use sandbags or weights to secure it and prevent someone from lifting it. If possible, work with a partner or have a friend or family member help you staff the stall, for an extra pair of eyes.
If the craft fair allows it, consider installing a small, inconspicuous security camera near your stall. The presence of this alone can deter theft. Keep a detailed inventory record of the products you bring to the fair, which can help you identify missing items quickly.
Find out if the market you’ll be selling at has a set theme. If not, you can create your own. It might be that you focus on colour schemes, such as red and gold, or you might offer a range of products around the theme of Christmas trees. Once you have a theme in place, it will help to guide you in the equipment and materials you buy and improve the overall appearance of your stall.
Displaying your products effectively at a Christmas market stall is essential to attract and engage potential customers. A well-organised, visually appealing display can make your products more enticing. Arrange them so that they’re easily visible and accessible to customers. Use tables, risers, or shelving to elevate your products at different heights. This makes your display more dynamic and visually interesting.
Organise your products into categories or themes. Grouping similar items together makes it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for. Designate one or more focal points in your display. Place your most eye-catching or high-margin items in these spots.
If possible, choose a location within the market that has good foot traffic, such as corners and areas near the entrance.
Consider some extra details to enhance the overall experience for your stall visitors. This will add to the atmosphere, get potential customers into the festive spirit and help your business to stand out. Provide samples or tastings if you’re selling food or beverages. Even if your offering isn’t food-based, you might want to offer free festive biscuits or minced pies at your stall as a way of encouraging people to stop and browse your products.
Think about who’s attending the event before deciding what’s appropriate. For example, you might find that parents at a school Christmas Fair are not impressed if you’re handing out sweets to all of the children.
Be friendly and approachable to customers. Do your research so that you have full knowledge of your products, ingredients and materials, even if you haven’t made them yourself, and are able to answer any and all customer questions.
Promote your participation in the Christmas market through social media. Create eye-catching posts and updates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to announce the event, involving your followers in the build-up. This helps them feel invested in your seasonal activities and encourages them to spread the word.
Use Christmas-themed graphics, images of your products, and relevant hashtags to increase visibility. You could also run paid ads on social media to target specific demographics and local customers. Send out email newsletters to your customers, with exclusive offers they can make use of if they attend the Christmas market. This helps them to feel appreciated and gives them an appealing incentive for coming along.
Connect with the organisers of the event to see if they can help promote your stall through their official marketing channels. Share any marketing materials they provide, such as banners or event logos. If your Christmas market has an online presence or is listed on websites like Eventbrite or local event directories, make sure your stall is featured with high-quality images and descriptions.
List your Christmas market stall in local business directories, online event listings, and community calendars. Include it in your Google My Business listing if you have one so that potential customers can find your stall on Google Maps. You could also collaborate with other sellers at the market to cross-promote each other’s stalls. This can expand your reach and draw in a wider audience, as well as sharing the experience with others and growing your community.
Create blog posts on your website about the event, sharing stories about your products, your journey as a business, and the uniqueness of your stall. You can also send press releases to local newspapers and magazines about your appearance at the event. Human-interest stories about your products or your journey can be newsworthy.
Distribute flyers or business cards with information about your Christmas market stall at local businesses and events. Attend other local fairs, craft shows, or community events beforehand to generate interest and create a buzz. Joining local Facebook groups and community forums is another effective way to promote your stall. Many people look for recommendations and event information in these spaces.
There are a number of ways you can maintain the momentum from the fair after the event has ended. Encourage customers to share their purchases from the day on social media and tag your business. Ask for customer testimonials, sharing positive reviews from satisfied buyers on your website and social media channels. You could include business cards in product packaging, containing QR codes that lead straight through to your review page.
Send thank you emails to customers who made purchases or visited your stall. Express your gratitude for their support and offer a special discount as a token of appreciation. Encourage them to sign up for your email newsletter for updates on new products, promotions, and future events.
Share photos and highlights from the event on your social media channels, encouraging customers to tag themselves in photos and share their experiences at your stall. Use surveys or social media polls to gather customers’ opinions about their experience and products. You can also repost any media coverage or mentions of your stall at the Christmas market on your website and social media.
Write a blog post about your experience at the Christmas market, sharing stories, photos, and behind-the-scenes insights. Continue to share festive-themed content, DIY ideas, or related blog posts to keep your brand and customers in the seasonal spirit.
When you’re bringing Christmas cheer to your craft business, you don’t want anything to spoil the most wonderful time of the year. However, it’s good to be prepared for anything that can impact your brand and finances, which is why you need the right craft insurance.
Protectivity’s Crafters Insurance offers protection for creative businesses. Choose Public Liability Insurance to cover you in the event that a client or member of the public experiences injury or accidental damage. Employers’ Liability covers you for compensating any employees if they’re injured while working, while Products Liability is for claims arising from third-party goods. You can opt for Equipment and Stock Cover, to cover you up to the value of £250 if your stock is lost, damaged or stolen. We also have Craft Fair Insurance specifically designed for short-term and one-off events.
Find out more and get a free quote to meet the needs of your business.