Do you Need Public Liability Insurance for a Craft Stall?

Posted 30/06/2022 in Insurance

You may be reading this as a veteran craft fair exhibitor with a wonderful collection of memories, experience and advice to give to those just stepping into the craft fair arena. Or you may be reading it because you are preparing for your very first craft fair and wanting to amass as much information as possible. Or, maybe you have yet to make that initial call in answer to a local event organiser. If you are new to the world of craft fairs there will be many questions and much to organise. How much stock do you take? What range of stock is required? And, if you have come to this website, do you need public liability insurance for a craft stall?

Many crafters would agree that taking that initial step to book a table/exhibition booth at a craft stall requires some courage. It involves overcoming feelings of self doubt and and having confidence in your product. Once the space is booked, there will be much to prepare. It might be useful to consider the following questions.

–  How has the fair been advertised? If it is local to you, can you spot posters about? Can you see it shared widely on social media? If so, you can be as confident as is possible that there will be good footfall. If not, it might be well worth contacting the organiser and asking a few questions about advertising. A craft fair not only requires preparation time, but a whole day of your time to attend so it’s worth ensuring you can make the most of it.

– What groups of people will be there? This will influence the type of stock you will take. For example, an evening fair which charges an entrance fee and offers a complimentary glass of wine might attract a lot of women, whereas a Farmers Market stall which runs alongside the local junior football training might attract families with young children.

 -Are there any special days coming up which you can adapt your stock towards, eg Mothers’ Day, Christmas or Easter?

– What payment methods will you need in place? The days are past when a cash box with lots of spare change was sufficient.

– Are there display boards and if so what messages do you want to convey on them?

– Do you have a stack of business cards to hand out?

Do you need public liability insurance for a craft stall?

The answer to the last question, is most probably yes. As our website explains, public liability insurance for crafters “covers you if a customer or a member of the public makes a claim against you. It will cover legal costs and compensation.  Even if it’s not your fault, we’ll cover your defence costs“. While it is not a legal requirement, most craft fair organisers ask that you have it, and for proof of indemnity up to a certain level. While you can put all good measures in place to prevent accidents or mishaps you can foresee, public liability insurance covers you, and the organisers, against the myriad of unforeseeable events or accidents for which which you cannot possibly construct plans to prevent.

Let’s take a simple example. One of your beautiful cards might fall onto the floor and a member of the public might slip and injure their ankle. Or, the card might be dropped on the floor by a customer and you might not even be aware or it. The person with the injured ankle could then claim compensation for pain, loss of earnings, trauma etc. This sounds unlikely, and it is, but that is the whole point of public liability insurance; it covers you for unforeseen events. If you could foresee them, you would be able to prevent them.

Knowing that you have public liability insurance set in place, frees you up to make the most of all the opportunities that craft fairs have to offer.

As anyone who has attended a few will tell you, they can, and most often are, fantastic places not only to sell your products, but to meet like minded crafters, to gain inspiration and to network.

It is helpful to plan ahead as much as you are able; set a few dates in the diary for fairs and then you can work your stock production around them. However organised you are, though, the day before is often a hive of activity as you pack stock, display boards and other kit into boxes, and if you have young family, ensure plans are in place to keep the household cogs turning in your absence.

The day of the fair arrives and your alarm clock is set super early. Make the most of any quiet in the house to have a steaming mug of tea and a good breakfast to set you up for the day. Then you’re off! There is always an air of excitement as the stall holders set up their wares. It’s fun to see the blank canvas of an empty hall transformed into a riot of colour and creativity. People are generally very helpful and there is often much banter to and fro. Any glitches (and there are usually some) should be sorted out by the event organiser. Once the doors open you will begin to meet the public and if you are fairly new to this, each conversation is an opportunity to showcase your craft, to build confidence in customer relations and to take pride in what you have achieved. In addition to selling your products and taking orders and commissions, craft fairs also provide good opportunities to meet others in the same line of business and learn about future events in the area.

In conclusion, craft fairs are an integral part of our crafting scene, provide excellent opportunities to showcase your products and are most often fun to attend. With public liability insurance for your craft stall in your back pocket you can head out to succeed