About BCTF

Guaranteed success?

Wouldn’t that be nice? But no, that’s not what we’re offering. This is business. There’s lots of sellers and lots of buyers out there and who buys what from whom is beyond our control. But over the years we’ve seen too many promising young artists become discouraged and give up when they didn’t meet with instant success. That’s bad for them and bad for the British craft industry.

Often, these makers made fundamental mistakes that were avoidable, if only they’d known how.

That’s why we developed our Business Mentoring Programme. Our aim is to help ensure that you are fully prepared for your first BCTF.

What we can do to help you
Our aim is to match the right sort of sellers with the right sort of buyers. Both groups have expectations and we try our hardest to satisfy both.
Who’s doing the mentoring?

We call it a mentoring programme to stress the interpersonal nature of the arrangement. We will supply you with written information and audios you can listen to, and we’ll offer you subsidised prices, but the most valuable aspect of the programme is your chance to ask an expert. That expert is Margeret Bunn.

Margeret has been running BCTF for over 27 years. Before that she ran retail craft fairs. She has dealt with literally thousands upon thousands of makers and received feedback from countless buyers. Few people in this country have a better understanding of the craft trade than Margeret.

Your first contact with Margeret is likely to be when you register and express an interest in exhibiting at a future BCTF. Margeret will visit your website and check out your products. Then she’ll call you to find out more about you and offer advice and information. This call can last five minutes or an hour – it’s up to you. You’re speaking with an expert. May as well find out all you can.

But your access to Margeret’s help and advice doesn’t end there. Once you’ve booked a stand, you’ll be given a link to your own personal online dashboard. Your dashboard will give you lots of information you’ll need – our Newcomers Guide, Help Audios, the Exhibitor Manual, order forms for lighting, power and stand extra’s, photography help and advice and lots more.

After accessing the help, we offer, you’ll probably have several questions relating to your own specific products. Fine, just call and ask us.

It’s all part of the service!
We will subsidise the cost of your stands for up to three years.

We have special sections for young and inexperienced makers that offer several advantages, not the least of which is saving you money!

The Newcomers Gallery
This is for makers who have been in business for less than two years and have never done a trade show before.
This package has an all- inclusive price of £692 for a 2m x 1m stand.

Post-Newcomers
This section is for makers who have previously exhibited with us in the Newcomers Gallery. You can also exhibit here if you have limited trade experience and have been trading for less than than 5 years.
This package has an all- inclusive price of £755 for a 2.5m x1m stand.

The Main Hall
In your third appearance at BCTF you will be given a stand in the main hall and you will receive a 20% discount.
How you can help yourself
For most makers, establishing themselves with the trade is a gradual process.

For most people, it doesn’t happen overnight. There are always some first timers who meet with huge success at their first show, but for most, it takes longer.

The reality for most makers is that it takes three years to become fully established. That doesn’t mean you take your first order in year three! It means your business grows gradually until, three years in, your name and your face are known in the trade and you have a stable of suppliers who keep you busy.
If you’re like most first-timers, you won’t get these things completely right at your first trade show. But if you pay attention, you’ll get something extremely valuable from the experience. Feedback!

When you’re talking with buyers, remember to listen too. A buyer who tells you why they won’t buy a product is telling you what you need to do to get their business. Are they concerned that the price is too high? Are your pieces too big? Is your range not wide enough?

Buyers know their market and it pays to listen carefully and adapt where possible.

Work with us.

We don’t mind if a new maker contacts us a dozen times before a show. Aren’t we busy? of course we are, but helping you succeed is our business. Don’t sit and sweat worrying whether you’re doing something right. Ask us.