Since I started selling in art markets and had 4 more market events booked for this year (yay!), I have been thinking about what I’ve learnt from my previous events and how to improve my next market stall so I am sharing these thoughts below and I hope you find at least one of them useful for your future market events.
// PRESENT YOUR PRODUCTS AS CLEAR AS POSSIBLE
I’ve got cards and prints both in A5 size and in some of my market events, without realising that it was a potential problem, I positioned them near to each other so some of the visitors got confused whether the cards were prints or prints were cards, having to check for themselves. Put the similar sized yet different products apart from each other or at least group them separately and make clear what they are. I have also made my latest card collection in A6 size rather than A5.
// GET A CARD MACHINE
I’ve had visitors that were let down because I didn’t have a machine for their cards. Personally, it is too pricey but I know they are very useful if you are able to use them in the market events and create more sales. I think this one needs a pros & cons list!
// MAKE YOUR PILE OF BUSINESS CARDS ACCESSIBLE
I don’t know why I was lacking common sense when I placed the business cards kind of inaccessible in my first stall. Well, they were accessible but it needed a lot of energy to reach over and pick them up as the pile was nearly right in the back. In my last two market events, I placed it in the front and it was so much better. But just be aware that some of them might be accidentally swept off the table by someone else’s bag etc. I might provide a box for them next time to prevent that happening again.
// GET AN INTERPRETER
As my long time readers will know already, I am profoundly deaf and couldn’t speak well, even with these millions of speech therapy lessons I attended all my life. My main language is British Sign Language and obviously 99% of the visitors don’t know the sign language so when I wanted to tell something to or reply my visitors, I couldn’t ‘give it my all’ and not every conversation ended well. I’ve had some terribly rude ones who just made faces and ran off as soon as they realised I am deaf.
I’ve brought Aneurin (who is deaf too and can speak very well, almost like a hearing person) to my every market event so far, which was very helpful but he sometimes has a difficulty understanding people because he doesn’t know them personally. So having an interpreter (the one that doesn’t have a problem understanding me and signs like a pro) will be great but I worry that it will interfere a personal interaction – however difficult it is – between visitors and I. And of course, they are not free. Pros and cons list for that one too!
// DO NOT OVERWHELM YOUR STALL WITH LOTS OF PRODUCTS
I have too many products (about 50 different ones apart from originals) and I have brought every single one to my every market event so far. I didn’t think so until recently in Old Spitalfields market when I looked at my stall very carefully, positioned myself as a visitor and realised – Too Much Products.
It can be a good thing, depending on what visitors are like. Maybe a super arty person will get really excited with plenty of choices. But a person with enough interest in cute illustrated cards could get overwhelmed and couldn’t be bothered to look through everything. I think I will streamline my next market stall (25th October with Fairy Tale Fair!) by bringing a selection of products that are most relevant, i.e. autumnal designs etc.
// BE FLEXIBLE WITH HOW YOU PRESENT YOUR PRODUCTS
Throughout the day, you will get to learn what works or what doesn’t work. Move them around, making best products more accessible and visible. Check your stall from a visitor’s point of view quite regularly, making sure that nothing is out of the place or running out. In one of mines, even though I thought I checked my stall enough, one of my bestsellers actually ran out and I didn’t notice for god knows how long! I was so kicking myself for that.
What have you learnt from your previous market event(s) and how would you improve in the future?