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BUSINESS: Trading up – advice from the British Craft Trade Fair


by Kirsten Miller of www.quernuscrafts.co.uk The BCTF in Harrogate is one of the most successful trade shows in the UK arts and crafts calendar. The ethos behind the event is twofold: to bring high quality art, design and craft within the reach of ordinary people and to promote British makers and help them understand the commercial reality of running a business so that their work is accessible to a wider audience.


and in 2010, some 4,700 visitors came through the door over the three days. With some 500 stalls, Margeret makes sure that exhibitors are as prepared as possible so that





Margeret Bunn (along with her husband, Philip) has been running craft fairs across the country for nearly 30 years and for 17 of those, she has been running the BCTF. Attendance has steadily risen year on year, despite the recession


78 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2010


they make the most of the event. She is friendly and approachable and always on hand to answer questions and give advice.


Exclusively for UK Handmade,


Margeret shares with us her top tips for those thinking about doing trade fairs.


“I loved it so much that I signed up for next year on the last day. And if there are any crafters


out there that are thinking “I’d love to do it but dare not” go on give it a go, I did and it was great fun. I was so nervous the first day but as soon as I’d spoken to the first buyer I just relaxed and enjoyed it.


Emma Castle, ‘Bagladee’, Textile Designer, Stand N72 Keep your display simple


and effective It’s important that you make your display eye-catching and inviting and there’s a fine balance between having too much on display and not enough. Make sure you have plenty


Know your audience Trade fairs are very different from retail events. You’re not selling to the general public, but to shops and galleries. They won’t expect to take any stock away on the day (so no need to bring lots of stock), but will be looking to place orders with you based on what you have on display.


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