Why would a school put on a craft fair?
The Bella Vista High School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) is a non-profit organization that supports programs, provides supplies and equipment, library books, scholarships, and anything else the district can’t/won’t provide. The Bella Vista Craft Fair is the only fundraiser our PTSA sponsors each year so we strive to maximize our profitability driven only by our children’s educational needs.
How do you set your booth fee?
We have done market comparisons and found that our event is within a fair price for booth fees. Some vendors have remarked that ours is a better value because it saves on multiple overnight stays and food costs. Setting the booth fee is a balance between encouraging vendors to attend and still allow the PTSA to make a profit. Remember it’s a “Fundraiser!”
Why do vendors have to come so early?
Bella Vista is a school, so we have to work within the constraints of a specialized site design. To have a craft fair creates a special challenge. Logistics dictate that vendors set up in waves from the inside out. To ensure that those with a large inventory in the last outer wave can be ready by 8:30am, those nearest the center/inside of the campus must start very early. Unfortunately, we can’t change or control the street lights and lane configurations.
The bathroom situation is horrible!
Bella Vista was built in 1960. Since its design is for educational purposes, the restrooms are best primarily where there is greater need - closest to the classrooms. The restroom in the cafeteria is the most central to our fair, but far too small for our needs. The gym restrooms are larger, but due to the age of the facilities, the infrastructure is in need of improvements. Quality porta-potties and a wash station are provided in the C Section (east wall) on the backside of the cafeteria, and we even deleted four booth spaces to allow better visibility and access.
Can we get some better food? Maybe morning coffee and treats?
Our goal is to provide a pleasant experience at our event and that includes “creature comforts.” Each year the success of the event depends on its volunteers, and each year planning priorities change based on those resources. For 2011 the planning committee has dedicated one volunteer to make an early push for additional food vendors. We continually hope we can secure a better variety of food, which in turn keeps visitors present, happy and shopping longer. At least, we hope…. We have tried various means (including encouraging our own student clubs) to provide early morning nourishment, and we will continue working on these and other improvements.
How come I still see resale and non-handmade items?
As volunteers come and go the event may always lack “experts” that can properly discern a moderately embellished item or an assembled craft catalog item. Yet another task on the priority list is to devise a way to easily educate planning volunteers to recognize less desirable inventory and protect the underlying integrity of our fair. Vendors who may be violating our “Code of Craftsmanship” need to be pointed out so that we may learn and potentially prohibit them and/or their items from being present.
Can you improve on the volume of customers that come into the courtyard?
There’s a huge misconception that the vendors on the outside are better than the ones in the courtyard, yet nothing could be further from the truth! Drawing attention to the additional vendors within the campus walls is done with signs, balloons (mentioning it here...) and just a matter of attendees watching the movement of others. For 2011 we have added ten booth spaces in an effort to create ten more reasons for visitors to venture to the inner campus.