The tent has been taken out of the car, along with the folding tables, folding chairs (not the low ones, but the swanky high ones that allow you to slouch/stand), tent sides, trolley/dolly whatever it’s called, bamboo polls to support our cute little awning, bags of clamps, shelving, bags of bags and the crumbly remnants of 6 months of weekly craft/farmers markets. Seats are propped back into their upright position and the captain has switched on the no smoking sign. (Just kidding about that one, checking to see if you’re really reading this :)
And now we’re smoothly transitioning into indoor Christmas markets and online. Which got me thinking – what venue is best? The answer for us will probably be radically different for every person. And if we made something wildly unique that we could only makefrom tree resin that elves had licked, we would could rest on online sales alone.
Here’s the thing about outdoor venues – exposure and immediate feedback. You will meet such a variety of people on a regular basis that it will help your brand immensely. People are very happy to tell you exactly what they think of your product. If the products sells really quickly, you’ll know right away that a) your prices are too low or b) you’re on to something good.
Downside is they are exhausting to set up/take down every single time. You need to be bright and positive and engage every single person who looks your way. Have a great sense of humour so when chocolate covered children come to your table and touch every single item leaving chocolate on everything, have a response (trust me, it happens).
Then there’s online, where you watch the sales roll in, go to your massive wrapping department, choose pretty paper and wrap the purchase up with ribbons and bows while birds chirp in the background. Pack the 114 boxes up in colour coordinated shipping bins and skip to the post office where the happy people will burst into song when they see you.
Which would you prefer?
Online sales are fabulous. In my opinion, having a unique product helps as well as knowing SEO and how to use it. Social media on ALL platforms works well. Yes, I am on a first name basis with Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/Linkedin/Blog/Newsletters/Snapchat/Periscope and they work, but you have to know how they function and most importantly - BE CONSISTENT.
So now your turn – what works best for you? Outdoor markets or online?