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Probably one of the easiest events to organize and help to create a real buzz throughout the school is a Book Fair.

Ashton Scholastic is probably one of the first companies that springs to mind.  If you haven’t used them before, it’s worth giving them a go.   While I’ve found their stock to be of appeal to mostly a younger age group, if organizing a Book Fair is a new event for you, much experience and know how can be obtained by using the tried and tested ideas and format Ashton Scholastic brings.  They will deliver and provide a wide range of books, supply heaps of stickers and posters to help you promote the Book Fair and even loan you a fold out book shelf on which to all the books can be displayed.

Once you’ve gained some confidence though, you will be ready to take more control – particularly of the kind of stock that is included in the bundle offered up to your school community.

Contact publishers or book shops and give them a deal they can’t refuse!   If you are able to convince them that you have a ready supply of patrons hanging out to buy their books, you have leverage on your side to get them to organize the whole Book Fair.  No – I’m not kidding!   I have done this using three different well know book shops.  One they agreed to be involved, they delivered the books, set them up on display and – most wonderful of all – manned the Book Fair for the hours we agreed it would be open – and – best of all – handled all of the money transactions – a headache that is a pleasure to do without!

A book shop will not want to make the commitment of setting up, manning and then packing up a Book Fair though, unless they get something good in return.  The good for them is, of course, lots of book sales.   So, to be fair, you have to do your part too by publicizing the Book Fair lots, well in advance.  And by lots, I mean, lots!   Put posters up around the school.  Write articles and ads for the school newsletter.    Send notices home with students.   Create circulation desk publicity like book marks or brochures.   Make sure that everyone knows the date/s times and location of the Book Fair.   Include some ‘sneak peeks’ in your publicity material so that you help build expectation.   Ask the book shop you are using to also assist in the publicity by giving them posters and flyers to distribute.   If they are a ‘big’ book shop, ask them to list your event in their monthly newsletters.   In short – make a big  noise so that everyone who comes within sight of your school knows that there’s to be a Book Fair.

Then, during the Book Fair, just sit back and enjoy it.  Delight in the discoveries that your students make.   Be sure to include books that are of interest to the many adults that will be popping in.  The last thing you want is to have disappointed adults unable to find something for themselves!   To ensure that lots of adults do attend, hold the Book Fair outside of school hours too, either at morning drop off or afternoon pick up, so that parents can have a look too.   Extend the patronage by inviting colleagues from nearby schools and public libraries to attend.  In short – make your Book Fair an event!

Give it a go.  If it worked for me, it may also work for you!

 

 

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