I never really appreciated what went into organising a market, until I decided to have one myself. Jeepers creepers! Where to begin?
Set a date: This sounds like a simple task but is possibly one of the most challenging. With so many markets/ school events/ community events happening these days it is virtually impossible not to clash with something. So you fumble around for a few years and then when you get it right you stick to the same date year in and year out. (Assuming that you are planning an annual event.)
Stock: The purchasing of your stock for the big day starts a few months prior to the event itself, and even that will sometimes be cutting it fine. I have yet to come across a wholesaler who actually sends what you order , and have it all arrive in good nick. Inevitably you end up sending stock back, waiting for it to be resent, missing the couriers delivery … the list goes on.
Organising stalls: Ok, maybe this is the toughest one, because this is really the make or break in my opinion. The stalls need to be unique and appealing, with zero overlap of their wares. I generally have a good feel for the taste of the shoppers the shop at Gemery, so go with my gut on this one… if I love it, then the shoppers will. One needs to cover all price ranges and all product types. The breakdown for my markets are generally: kids clothes, adult clothes, kids toys/games, kids crafts, vintage, jewellery, house wares, food, and then a variety of unusual , novel things, and preferable somebody that is doing an awesome special on their products! This is all planned and arranged at least 6 weeks before the event.
Preparing the garden: Normally an easy box to tick, unless one decides to add a pool to the mix and shake things up a bit. Yes, not ideal to start home renovations 2 months prior to your event, but some of us like a challenge!
Marketing: Vital? Yes. Challenging? Not at all! With social media what it is today there are so many avenues that one can use to spread the word. Create an event on Facebook, post on your local community Facebook page, advertise through your weekly community email. I generally start this about 4 weeks before the event, with the week before probably being the most effective.
Hope for good weather !! But always have a backup plan in case you are not that lucky.
So, having said all that, I do hope you will pop along to the Gemery market this Saturday 24 October, 9:30am to 12:30pm. Maybe you will squash all your Christmas shopping, maybe you will get to spoil yourself, maybe you will just grab a cup or tea , or maybe you will be inspired to have a garden market of your own 😉 https://www.facebook.com/events/547674155380600/