Today’s feature is on Script Events who hold a series of craft fairs in the Barnsley area, showcasing goods from some of the best crafters in the area.
Parent company Script Media are based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and provides a varies of services ranging from PR to Video Production, Graphic Design and even B2B Magazines. Gift Shop Hub Shop spoke to Lucy Dickinson from their events department, who arranges a variety of National and local events.
How did you start out?
I (Lucy) started with Script Media as an administrator after doing a business and management course at college. I knew events was what I wanted to do but thought it would be a good starting point..and it was!! A year an a half later I progressed into a role in the Script Events department and now take lead in the planning of our events, and have taken on an apprentice.
What do you consider to be the main challenges facing small business at the moment?
Competition is a big thing for us! We try to arrange quality craft fairs with handmade items only at venues that visitors are going to want to attend. We have to keep an eye out for when other bigger fairs are holding their events though so we don’t have a clash. Working within a tight budget is hard at times but I seem to have now found methods that work best for us as to how to get the most for our money.
What tips do you have for fellow small business owners?
Find something that makes you unique and stand out! The craft fairs that I organise I link to a theme, and have our graphic designers create promotional artwork that is eye catching and unlike what any other fair has. Sometimes it’s cheesy, but it gets a good response!
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
Again I think its our artwork and branding. One main thing is though with our fairs , is that we make sure at least 95% of the items been sold at are fair are all handmade by the stallholder stood behind the stall. I feel it isn’t fair that handmade crafters who put loads of effort into their work should have to compete with the mass produced. I enforce a cap onto how many stalls selling similar products can attend one event, and I also make sure our fairs look full – but not rammed in. Having space in between stalls I feel is important as it gives each crafter their chance to shine.
How important is social media in promoting your business?
Social Media is a god send for us! It is a massive marketing tool that we use. Each different event we hold we plaster our artwork on Facebook, post it in craft groups, set up or own event pages to invite people to the fair and we also then use our pages to promote the different crafters that are coming to our event.
What has been your most successful promotion/marketing idea?
One marketing idea that went down really well was at Christmas. We grouped up with companies who offered us prizes and we then printed those competitions onto postcards. These postcards stated that if you brought them down to our event, then you are in for a chance of winning our prize. We posted the postcards through thousands of letter boxes around the area, sent them out to our stallholders and put them in shops, then low and behold people turned up to the event with their postcards ready to post into our competition post box that I made.
What are your plans for the future?
We have more craft events next year at Elsecar Heritage Centre and also Cannon Hall Farm (both in Barnsley.) The Elsecar events I am going to turn into family fun days with animation of the whole site alongside the craft fair. I did this a year ago for the “Elsecar by the Sea” event and it went down a storm. There was the craft fair, and there was also Donkeys, a fake beach, giant deck chairs, fun fair rides, buskers…basically I bought the seaside toe Barnsley!!
What features/articles would you like to see on Gift Shop Hub?
I’d love to see more up and coming artists getting promoted, showing off their products. I think it would be nice to have some form of section for people to bounce ideas of each other to get the creative crafty juices flowing!
Quick fire questions:
Favourite song: Foo Fighters – My Hero
Favourite film: All the Fast & Furious Films!
Favourite animal: Meerkat