We love hosting spring markets and this will be the 6th year that we have run them. For the first time we will be spread across 3 venues. Find us at the Bussey Buidling in Peckham (2 & 3 April), The Geffrye Museum in Hoxton (9 & 10 April) and The Dogstar in Brixton (28 & 29 May) with over 240 talented traders taking part, many for the first time.
Spring markets present a very different opportunity for sellers when compared with Christmas markets. In December, the focus is firmly on sales and rightly so. For many product based businesses, this is when the majority of sales for the year happen. A successful market is often measured by income alone. At other times of the year, when buying is less frenzied there are many other great opportunities to take advantage of. With preparations fully under way for the spring season, I thought it would be helpful to draw attention to some of the ways traders can make the most of spring markets.
If you have a mailing list and/or social media following, let your audience know where they can find you. All those online followers who love seeing your social media posts would also love an opportunity to meet you in person and get a closer look at your beautiful products. Think about offering incentives to visit, such as discounts for anyone who quotes a secret word known only to your mailing list or perhaps a simple competition to promote your involvement in the event.
Markets are a great opportunity to start or grow your own mailing list. This can be done simply with a small notebook or clipboard on your table. You can transfer names into a free online tool such as mailchimp after the event and keep in touch with anyone who has shown interest in your business.
You may find that you give out more business cards at spring markets than other times of the year. Many visitors like to collect the cards of makers they like so they can check them out online and perhaps make a purchase when they have reason to do so. Think about adding a discount code for your online shop so that you can track any sales that happen online as a result of taking part in the event.
Take the opportunity to get to know your fellow traders. Connect with them in advance on social media and get the conversation started before you even get there. Think about any questions that you may have about your business and ask around for tips and advice. The Crafty Fox community is a very friendly place!
Get involved in the conversation on social media by posting pictures of your market preparations and ‘behind the scenes’ shots. This will help to engage your audience and reach new followers and good photos are often shared.
You never know who will walk through the door at a market. Buyers, bloggers and journalists often visit our events looking for products to stock or feature. Spring markets are particularly popular for this as there is more time for conversation. If you are looking for commissions or for new stockists, make a little sign saying this for your stall as you this can be a good conversation starter for the right person.
By the time Christmas rolls around again, you’ll want to have worked out your ultimate stall layout and feel confident in your ability to sell your products. Spring markets provide a useful opportunity to tests your layout and gain confidence.
It’s also a good chance to try out new products and gauge reactions from your customers. Sometimes trial and error is the only way to work out which products are going to entice customers to part with their money. Engage your customers in conversation, show them what you are working on and ask questions – they will love the feeling of being involved in your process.