What makes a good antique fair
Where do you start. What makes a good fair for me may not be a good fair for you.
As a dealer I want certain things such as affordable rents a table that actually holds stock that's not too small. Is the right size. I want to be able to get behind my stall not be squashed and sitting on my neighbours lap. I would like electricity run to my stall if provided and not have to be charged extra for the privilege. I want all flat unloading no stairs no dodgy ramps. Or a lift only big enough for one that you can't get your trolley into. Yes all these things have happened. I have seen it all suffered the dancing fools jiving and bunny hopping around the fair. Lovely but not what I need in order to sell my stock. 30 plus years of trading has definitely been interesting I have seen organisers come and go. The good ones rise to the top and stay organising for many years the one hit wonders are soon gone.
As a buyer what do I want from a fair. I want plenty of stall holders carrying a variety of stock not a hall full of jewellery. I want to be able to get in and not spend a fortune on entrance fees £10 to see less than 40 dealers is not value for money. I don't want a room full of "vintage" repurposed items sorry if you take some fabric and make it into something else that item is a craft item it is not old it is new. I don't want to see beautiful cups and saucers with candle wax in them. They are not candle holders they are for drinking tea out of.
So what did I do about it we started our own fairs. We started Elephant promotions. We started with a small Saturday fair in Cannock then merged with with another organiser hence Dave became our business partner. We have tried a number of events cutting our teeth as they say not all successful. Some were a down right disaster. But we were not put off and we started Penkridge market now in its 4th year and still going strong. Then came Aldridge now in its 3rd year then last year we were approached by Sandbach council to run a Market there and hey presto Sandbach was born November 2018. This year we went back in time and after much badgering from Chris and Dave we started the auction up again. same fiddle many bows is the phrase.
We are a busy lot and what with internet web pages and now the new wix app we have never been busier. Whats the secret well its putting your customer first. As a organiser my customer is the dealer who pays to stand at my venues. If they are not happy they don't come again. We have been very lucky in that we have a wonderful group of dealers who have become friends over the years. Their good will and word of mouth has seen us become a name recognised by many in the antiques trade. With out them we would have no fairs.
Its my job to promote our events to the customers who will come and buy from the dealers hopefully were doing something right and with the new app we will be able to inform you all so much easier.
So going back to the original question what makes a good antiques fair. A good organiser is what makes a good antiques fair. With out them bringing together the right combination of dealers and the right kind of buyers the fair will not thrive.