Today was the big day!
I dragged my butt out of bed at 4:30am, packed Davo’s car, and we headed off to market. Thankfully the roads are somewhat abandoned at 5:30 in the morning, so we were making good time.
Until I sent us the wrong way and we ended up on the M4 motorway heading towards Penrith!!
Thankfully we were able to get off at Wallgrove rd and back track, and made it to the market with plenty of time to spare.
I was most impressed by how well this market is run. There were signs out already, directing us where to go, and the staff were most helpful and organised. In no time, we had our space and were able to set up. I hired a marquee just in case it rained, and soon had our little stall ready to rock.
We went a little QR code crazy seeing as they are cool again, then sat back and waited.
Sadly, there wasn’t nearly as much foot traffic as usual. Of the 138 pre-booked sites, only 55 turned up. The threat of rain was enough to warn off most stall holders and even visitors, not to mention Covid. The day ended up being hot as buggery and not a drop of rain. It was lovely that a few people dropped in to say hi and have a chat, but sadly we didn’t get the chance to meet many others.
This occasion has been a great learning experience. We now know the busiest days of the year, and have agreed that we need more signage to help pull customers in. No one could see our bundle deals from the walkway, so we’re looking into big signs that say ‘Meet the Author’ and ‘Meet the Director’. We also want a sign to say ‘support independent artists’.
For those who are worried about planning events and having no one show: there is always a possibility that you won’t get a single visitor or sale. Take a friend with you and turn the whole thing into something positive. There is nothing wrong with not drawing a single customer; this means you now have valuable market research data, and can analyse it to better target your audience.
We learnt today that the two main demographics were mostly non-English speaking folk, who were there to buy antiques and bargains, not queer books and films. We came at the wrong time of the year and didn’t stand out enough.
I’ll be uploading some hot specials to my store over the next couple of days. so keep your eyes tuned and don’t miss out!