How to arrange your own craft market
I’ve put together some notes on this as some of you might want to try this yourselves. It’s not complicated, but you will need to be organised.
· Location is key – Sourcing the perfect location can be time consuming, at least it is if you live in a capital city like me. Oslo is small by packed with little courtyards and open spaces that ‘could’ be good market venues. BUT it’s not just about where it is, access to the location is important. Are there busses, trams, that can bring your audience to you? Do you have direct access from the pavement? Is there somewhere to hang up signs/ stand a sandwich board outside to guide people in.
· Tables – This isn’t as tricky as you might think. You have two options, either you buy or you rent. Unless you’re likely to do a regular market, renting (or borrowing) is the best option. Contact local companies that specialise in renting out marquees and equipment for outdoor events. You can expect to pay about 100kr per table, plus delivery unless you can pick up the tables yourself.
· Signage – If you are creative, you can probably put something together yourself. If you don’t feel confident doing this, then contact a friend, fellow exhibitor, or a designer like myself. You probably know someone that can help with this. I tend to use Vistaprint for my printing supplies. The quality is ok, and they print and deliver quickly. Plan what you need and where you will place it in your venue. You’ll just end up spending more, or ordering too little if you do not plan according to your venue.
· Flyers– Use the same design as your signage, but adjust the layout for a flyer. You will need to tell people where, when the market will be held and who you are collectively (i.e local crafters, food producers, sewing club etc). These can be hung up in the local area a week before the market and handed out on the day of the market before it opens.
· Exhibitors – Most likely if you’re thinking of organising a market then you have connections with people who also might be interested in exhibiting. Use Facebook groups, craft groups and online forums to tell people of your intentions, and find people who would like to be a vendor too. Do not do this before you have worked out your table price though. You want to appear professional. So have all your information ready before you start this. Start small – Managing too many people at once can be overwhelming. Try starting with a group of around 10-15 people, next time you can up the game to a larger group if the venue allows.
· Set your table price.
Here’s an example
- Table rental 10 x 100 =1000kr (plus delivery if necessary
- Venue rental = 2000k
- Printing = 500k
- 3500/10 =350kr per table
· Collect table fees before the day of the market. In my experience people will only commit to coming once money has exchanged hands. And even then, sometimes people don’t show up. But at least if they have paid then you have covered the expenses of putting the market together. You can invoice vendors or use vipps.
· Stay in touch with people. As soon as people have paid you should email them and inform them that their payment is received, and that you will be in touch with them with more information soon. It’s very important to keep vendors updated, tell them when they should come to set up, what they should bring, is the market inside or outside (if both then where will they be), what they should bring, is there electricity, wifi, if there is a kitchen available to them.
· Create an event on Facebook. This is a very important tool for spreading the word. Encourage all vendors to share the event to their network. You can also ask vendors to send images of what they will be selling. This way you can also keep the event active by adding images and information about the products available. When you create a post inside the event everyone that has registered as interested or going will see this in their Facebook feed. This is a good way to keep people interested, and make sure they remember that they were interested in attending.
· Stay organised. Keep lists of vendors, with email address, mobile number and Facebook handle/ page too. You will have lots of people relying on you to pull it all together on the day. Save yourself lots of stress by planning as much as you can beforehand.
· Be prepared to have lots of people contacting you!
If in doubt then get in touch. I am happy to help organise markets with you. No matter where in Norway it is. I might not be able to show up in person and organise things, but I can offer guidance and lots of moral support.
Good luck my friend!