The really good news is you can still collect emails and add people to your mailing list without asking them to go sign up, or adding in an extra step when you are at a craft fair, show or event, and this is how!

GDPR recognises that people network, share business cards, and subscribe in person not just online.

All you have to do is make sure you are transparent as you ask for a visitor’s email address when they visit your stand or stand. Simply and clearly explain what they are signing up for example,“I send out a weekly newsletter, I’ll happily add you to my mailing list if you are interested?” and if you give them an offer for singing up, mention that too,  “And as a special thank you, you will get 10% off your first online order.”

If they say ‘No, thank you’  just carry on the conversation, and resist the temptation to stick your tongue out at them in frustration!

If they ‘oh yes please my email is……’, grab a pen and write it down and resist a happy dance, at least till your visitor has left your stand!   As you write the precious email and first name carefully on your form, explain. “your first email will be in your inbox in a day or two, make sure you see it as it will have your discount code and a copy of our privacy policy too.”


Tip:  Create a GDPR form just for each craft fair, show or event, include the event name, location and date on the form and title it weekly (or how ever often you send your emails) newsletter sign up, and file it as proof.

If you are asking people to fill in their own information then you will want to find a way to stop them seeing other peoples personal data, remember this is for GDPR!



If you use Mailchimp as your email service provider, the best GDPR way to manage this data is to take all the email addresses from one event and add them to a group.  labeled/named with the event and date, just the like your form, on your list.  Now you will always know where they signed up to you. (You can always file the originally piece of paper safely too as proof.)

Then send your first welcome and nice to meet you at [name] event email (or campaign as Mailchimp call them).  You can easily segment it to send the email just to the group you created, make sure you confirm what they have signed up for (in a lovely friendly way) and where, and include a link to your GDPR compliant privacy policy. (If you still need to sort your policy check out SEQ Legal’s free Privacy Policy here)

Your subscriber doesn’t need to do anything extra, other than wait for your wonderful, interesting and informative emails to land in their inbox!

It is all GDPR compliant AND sending that nice to meet you email as a follow up is great marketing too, especially if you include a handy link to your online shop or social media.

Perfect!!  and no nonsense too!

Craft Fair Photos courtesy of the wonderful


This post was inspired by a question from Kate in an A Handcrafted Business Facebook group. 
Carol Harding says: “That’s brilliant – I collect lots of email addresses at a regular craft fair and I thought I would need to send them all a sign up email to confirm knowing that a lot of them would not bother. Lovin ❤️ this group and your no nonsense approach Nicola x”


For more great GDPR advice for craft business owners join our GDPR Facebook group.

You’ll get access to the free AHB GDPR checklist and so much more great information too, just for creative business owners like you.

Lynn Ashby  “Hi Nicola. Just to say thank you for your hard work and advice. I’ve found it very helpful.”
                 Nicola ” I feel so lucky to be able to help and support so many talented and creative people, and I love marketing, tech and  well, everything, even GDPR, so it doesn’t feel like work!”

Jacqueline Ditcher “Thank you! This has cleared up quite a lot for me!”

Carol Harding “Thanks Nicola – really useful video and great information 👍”

Laura Jane Hanks Veal “…thank you for all your helpful info, I’d have been scuppered if it wasn’t for this FB page :)”