About BCTF

The British Craft Trade Fair MENTORING PROGRAMME is dedicated to helping young and/or inexperienced makers to establish a relationship with trade buyers. We do this by offering our Mentoring Programme free of charge to all our exhibitors.

Why we developed our Mentoring Programme

Every year at BCTF more than a hundred makers are exhibiting at their first trade event. A few meet with instant success, but for most, success comes more slowly. They meet with moderate success at their first show, improve on this at their second and, by their third trade show, they have become well-established and well-recognised within the home and gift industry. Sadly, too many makers set out with unrealistic expectations. When they do not meet with instant success at their first trade show, they back away. They go back to doing retail fairs, or perhaps even give up making altogether. The Mentoring Programme is designed to minimise this sad loss to the British crafts industry.

About BCTF

Help and Guidance

The Mentoring Programme is managed by Margeret Bunn and she has more than forty years’ experience of running both retail and trade shows and is one of the most knowledgeable people in this field. Your first conversation with Margeret will usually take place shortly before, or soon after, you book your stand for BCTF. Margeret will take a look at your products (usually by viewing your website) and discuss your range of products and your pricing. She will advise you on which elements of your work to display, and check that your prices are competitive and realistic. You will then be given access to a range of materials that will help you prepare for your first trade show.

The Newcomers Guide

A document written by Margeret that gives you advice on many aspects of exhibiting at a trade fair. It is a short document that covers the main areas of concern to most new makers, including how to deal with buyers, what sales literature you require, pricing your work for trade etc. Please read it carefully before listening to the help audios.

Help Audios

Margeret has recorded a series of short audios in which she discusses various aspects of exhibiting including Pre-Show Preparation, Stand Display, Setting your Trade and Recommended Retail Prices and more… You should listen to these audios as early as possible. At any time thereafter you are welcome to call or email Margeret to discuss your specific concerns.

Online Seminars

These will take place during the online exhibitions. Speakers in the past have included:

  • Trade buyers
  • ACID-intellectual protection advice
  • Magazine editors
  • Product photography advice
  • Trade and investment
  • IT advice
  • Social media advice

What do I do next?

If you have already spoken to Margeret and she has advised you that you are eligible, you can go ahead and fill in the Booking form.