The Animal Fair is a community-wide event that spotlights organizations and related industries that rescue and/or care for animals, such as animal shelters, veterinarians and supply companies. Patrons are able to register to adopt from local agencies. They can also buy pet-related items and gather a ton of related information.
The first year we planned our Animal Fair, we started about five months in advance. We began to contact various pet organizations in the area by phone, email and mail. This part was the biggest challenge: we were at the mercy of the schedules of all of the participating organizations. Now we set a date a year in advance, and we mention it in the thank-you letter that we send to the organizations. This allows us to line up many participants far in advance.
Pick a time when you will have as much space available as possible. We used our library's first-floor tables and put some outside of the library, because it was a gorgeous day. Our goal was to get as many animal organizations involved as we had space for (inside and outside, weather permitting). We were hoping for a large turnout from our community and we were blessed by their attendance.
The event was promoted by the attending organizations, a local paper article, in-house PR, word of mouth and handouts.
We spent some money on tablecloths. (We bought a roll to cut). We also printed flyers, handouts and bought bottled water for vendors. Additionally, we made table signs out of regular paper and had a raffle to win a basket for attending. We also printed check-off sheets for children so they could have the vendor stamp their sheet to show that they stopped by. Once their sheet was full, they would hand it in for a chance at a prize. The baskets didn't cost anything (other than the price of the basket or container itself) since each organization donated something for it. (Vendors were not asked to pay for their table; we just asked that they submit a donation to put into raffle prizes. They were more than happy to oblige.)
There was also some postage cost for the thank-you letters we sent to the participating organizations.
Set-up needs to be done either the night before, if possible, or the morning of the event. The tables need to be set up with coverings, organization signs and chairs. Apart from that, each organization was responsible for setting up their own table with information, goodies and handouts.
2014 was our second annual Animal Fair. After the first one, we knew it was a hit. We had great feedback from the participating organizations and the patrons. All of the organizations that participated in our first event, plus additional ones, joined us again for the second year.
About This Library
Founded in 1957 by the Women's Club of Peters Township, the library occupies a two-story, 27,800-square-foot facility and serves a population of about 20,000. The collection includes over 136,000 items and is open daily from September through May and six days a week during the summer. An enthusiastic staff hosts a variety of programs throughout the year for all ages. The library enjoys strong support from the local community as staff, volunteers and residents turn out for the annual fundraiser.