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Tips for the Christmas Trade Fairs/Markets

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Now that the Halloween decorations have been put back in the attic, it’s acceptable to dust down the tinsel and baubles in preparation for the festive season! So, whether you embrace Christmas with both woolly mitten-clad hands, or there is a tinge of “Grinch” green about you, there’s no doubt about it, Christmas and the run-up to it represent a real chance for you to boost your Student Enterprise and make sales of your product or service. If you’re lucky, your school will have a Christmas Trade Fair, or there may be a market in your locality at which you could take a stall. Don’t miss out on superb selling opportunities like these!

Even if you won’t have a product or service ready to sell in time, or feel that yours is not really suitable for a Christmas Trade Fair/Market, you should still take a stall. There is huge advantage to be gained in raising awareness of your business and your brand. Be like all the Local Enterprise Office client businesses which exhibit every year at the Ploughing Championships and at Showcase in the RDS. These businesses might not necessarily make many sales at these events, but they know that they are getting invaluable exposure just by being there. You could display a sample of your product or details of your service and take orders, along with deposits. This will help greatly with cash-flow. Cash is King after all!

On the day of the Trade Fair/Market, you are bound to be vying for attention with many other stalls. So, how do you stand out from the crowd?

Well, this is where your imagination and organisational skills come to the rescue! Be as colourful and memorable as possible.

Here are some handy tips to get you started:
➢ Have consistent branding on both your stand and your marketing material.
➢ Consider wearing t-shirts featuring your business logo. It’s well worth investing in your image.
➢ One of the team (or someone you employ) could dress up as an elf and hand out your business flyers, directing potential customers to your stall.
➢ You could have a free raffle, or perhaps offer free treats.
➢ Maybe organise a (small!) flash mob for right in front of your stall? Use your ingenuity to attract the crowd!

Now that you have a crowd at your stall, how do you make sales? Remember that when it comes to products and services, people buy “Benefits” rather than features. So, it’s vital that you get across the benefits of your fantastic product or service to your captive audience. For example, a lavender bath bomb features a gorgeous smell, but it has the benefit of making you feel ultra-relaxed and pampered. You get the idea! Figure out what your product “Benefits” are and make your customers feel like they can’t do without them!

Trade Fairs and markets are hard work and can be tiring. Make sure you get a good sleep the night before. Be prepared for all eventualities and have enough stock, or at least a way of taking orders and deposits. Don’t forget a cash float. Make sure that each member of the team pulls their weight and behave in a professional and courteous manner at all times, projecting the right image for your business.

And remember, a big friendly, welcoming smile is the best decoration of all!

Good luck!