Book fairs can be great fundraisers and a way to encourage reading in students. To maximize the benefits, plan ahead for a successful book fair.
Time It Right
The timing of the book fair can be a major deciding factor on how successful it is. You want to schedule at a time when parents are already at the school. This might be during conferences, field day or another special activities that parents attend. It’s easy for parents to swing by when they’re already at the school. Have the book fair open long enough so that parents can get to the event. For example, if you plan it during field day, stay open an hour after field day or the school day ends. This gives the stragglers a chance to browse the book fair.
Choose a Good Location
The location of the book fair can improve your foot traffic. Choose a spot in the school that has enough room to hold all of the books and all of the people who want to browse. You’ll need enough room for people to move around one another and line up at the checkout. Pick a spot in a heavily used area of the school. That way parents might stumble on the book fair even if they didn’t know about it ahead of time.
A committed group of volunteers is key to making the book fair a success. You need plenty of adults to help the book fair run smoothly. You’ll want at least one person per register for quick checkouts. An extra person at the checkout can also help with the process. That person helps organize the books for easier checkouts. She also helps with bagging the books and keeping the line moving.
You can also use volunteers to help monitor the book area. Those people make sure all of the books get paid for. They can also help kids choose books that are appropriate and interesting to them. If you have backup books, that person can refill the shelves as the books get low.
Get the Word Out
Publicity is one of the biggest factors in getting people through the doors of the book fair. You should get posters from the book fair vendor to hang in prominent spots in the school. Post information on outdoor signs, event calendars, newsletters and any other form of communication with parents. Ask the principal to announce the book fair to the kids so they can tell their parents about it.
Make It Fun
People are more likely to show up and buy from the book fair if you have fun with it. Add some fun decorations. Have some games or a drawing for people who visit the book fair. Welcome parents and students when they walk into the book fair.