This time last year I was exhibiting at the British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) at The Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.
It was an amazing experience and I’m very thankful that I was lucky enough to get funding help from Wakefield Council so that I could do it.
I’d never done any trade fairs before (trying to sell my work to retail/galleries etc for them to sell on to their customers rather than trying to directly to the public) and I found it intimidating to think about.
There was a lot of preparation involved beforehand, not only getting my 3D Acrylic Paintings ready but also thinking about how to display them in the space I was going to have. You can’t nail/screw etc anything into walls of the stands at BCTF so the obvious way of showing my paintings wasn’t going to be possible. This meant that I had to get a bit more creative. I wanted to keep it simple so as not to distract from the paintings but at the same time I wanted to make best use of the larger space I’d been given by the council. I also had to take into account the fact that I’d need to be able to transport it all in my little purple car too.
After some research and experimentation I came up with what you can see in the photos below, I’ve also included some shots of the process of painting the display things ready for BCTF and the presspacks that I made up with my leaflets, business card and press release too.
I managed to get set up on my own on the Saturday then it was just a case of leaving it set up ready for the Sunday, Monday, Tuesday then taking it all down and away after the final day on Tuesday. I was glad that I’d practised as it only took me a couple of hours, it wouldn’t have taken a lot longer otherwise, especially trying to get everything to fit in my little car.
I found the other exhibitors to be very helpful and welcoming, with amazing work and displays. I enjoyed going in in the morning before it opened to the trade buyers and having a look round at all the other displays There were some that have been doing it for years and others that were doing it for the first time too. The organisers had done a good job of getting a nice mix of things plus I found them to be very helpful answering my questions whenever I needed them to. I also enjoyed the events that they put on in the mornings and evenings, workshops for dealing with buyers/ selling to trade and awards for the best display etc.
Even though I’ve not as yet had any orders or sales as a result of doing BCTF last year, I did get some lovely comments from the buyers going round and it helped to highlight what things I needed to work on further.
Overall I found it to be a wonderful experience, one that I would like to try again if I can get the funding.
Even though it is a trade fair you are able to look round even if you’re not a trade buyer so if you want to pop along you can. Unfortunatley I wasn’t able to get funding to exhibit there this year but there are so many amazing and wonderful things to see that if you’ve not had chance to go yet then it’s open tomorrow 10am-5pm for the last day. (Great Yorkshire Showground HG2 8QZ)
For more information visit the website bctf.co.uk
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Till next time
Purple Faye x