Beth Evans, Student Union President
Tuesday, 2nd Nov, 2023
Art Fairs are a great way to step into the world of freelance, get your work into the hands of others, and make a little extra cash whilst you're doing it! Here at AUP, we host themed and seasonal Art Fairs in the Students' Union and the amazing Events Society run their own events throughout the year too.
Now, lets talk top tips.
Our Art Fairs are very casual. You need to book a table, but there's no cost to do so. Some larger events might charge or even ask you to provide your own table so make sure you know the arrangement before you arrive.
The AUP campus is cashless (though you can trade with cash at your own risk.) I found that investing in a card reader was super beneficial to my sales and it means you don't have to faff around with giving change. The Square Reader is a great option and they're more affordable now than ever.
Having a little, dedicated notebook or spreadsheet with you to jot down sales is important for keeping up to date with not only how many sales you've made but also what your profits look like.
There are a few things you can do to make your stall a really nice place to shop. Firstly is decor. A table cloth, photo frame with example prints in or even some houseplants can add a nice touch. Having offers is a good idea too 3 for 2 deals are great for pin badges or stickers. Speaking of which, pin badges and/or stickers are maybe the best item to have fo sale at your stall. They're defintiely the items i see the most engagement with at fairs.
Business Cards can be a nice way to introdcue yourself and create an exchange with a visitor who might love your work but can't buy anything at present. It's an opportunity to get your name out there, link your socials/website and if you design them well, they can become tiny prints/collectables in of themselves.
It's a good idea to take some work or a project to work one whilst you trade. The days can be long (ours run from 10am - 4pm) and there will be quieter spells where it's nice to at least get some admin done rather than twiddle your thumbs. Some people who visit your stall will be really extroverted and more than happy to engage with you a lot but others will be much quieter and prefer to browse without having a chat. Having another task to carry out might make them feel more relaxed and at ease browsing.
It's a bit cheesy but maybe the biggest tip is just to have fun! Enjoy the experience regardless of whether or not you make many sales. Spend some time socialising with the community of artists and creatives, have a look at other people's work and ask them about it.
Oh, and don't forget to bring a snack and something to drink. You don't want to get hangry!