While attending any kind of general craft shows or markets, there are general things you should be aware to make sure shoppers are getting a real positive experience. This also helps the organizers of the event to make sure everything goes to plan and runs smoothly.
Every places you’ll go will have some basic rules for each vendors, but there are some that you must be aware at all times no matter what. They aren’t always black and white, but their point is a good thing to know about.
It’s not because there is bad weather that the market is essentially cancelled
It may be raining, snowing, windy or even temperature wise too hot or cold for you, but most markets usually run rain or shine. They would only shut down if there was extreme weather. Just because you would think it would be cancelled, does not mean it’s the same reality to the organisers.
If you decide not to show up to the market that you’ve booked because of rain, it could impact you in the long run. Most organizers are trying their best to make sure everything is going to plan, but if they are missing vendors, it makes it harder for them to properly organize everything.
Everyone wants a full pact market of vendors which makes it appear better in the eyes of the shoppers. Having every vendor attending also helps to create variety within the market so that shoppers have a wide range of things to buy.
In other words, you should always be prepared in advance to show up no matter what the weather conditions are; that of course is unless the organizers have canceled the event or you’ve given sufficient notice of canceling. Don’t cancel last minute, there are sometimes fees related to that depending on which market you are attending.
Be courteous of other vendors when you are preparing your setup
When it comes to outdoor spaces, they are often larger and you will most likely have more things to unpack (like tent, tables etc.). Some will even let you bring your car so you can unload faster and get ready.
That being said, you should always try to unload as fast as you can and then bring back your car to the designated parking spot. You don’t want to block other vendors doing the same with their booth. Not the mention the fact that nobody wants to be breathers in exhaust fumes while setting up and it’s also good for the environment!
Follow the set up and dismantle times
This rules apply to all kinds of show, wether indoors or outdoor. Be sure to arrive on time to have your booth setup before the shoppers arrive. It affects the overall image of the market as organizers wants it to be ready. It’s like entering a store and stumbling accross many boxes lying around. It does not leave a good impression.
Typically, doors aren’t supposed to be open until the official opening hour of the market. That means that there shouldn’t be any shopping happening during the setup times. Many markets will not allow people to start selling until the opening hours in order to keep things in order. If let’s say one person begins shopping 20 minutes early, it’s like the snowball effect, you might have a lot more doing the same and will expect to be allowed to show up early to shop.
Don’t pack up early (This is a big one)
Whatever the reason might be, whether it started raining, you’ve sold out or simply haven’t sold much during the event, market organizers don’t want to have empty spaces amongst the vendors that were previously filled.
Wait or ask the organizer’s if it would be okay for you to leave or if they are going to cancel the event from that point on if the weather is starting to be extreme.
If you’ve sold out, it does not mean you have to pack. It looks good on you to stay so that people can have brand awareness (because you’ve paid for that) and it might get people curious as to why you’ve sold out. It must mean you have a good product to sell!
Have a sign ready for the thrilling occasion of selling out, which states you’re all out of stock for the day and where people can find you after the market; next date you’re attending or your website. Use opportunities to your advantage!
Weigh your tent down, wind will not spare anyone!
This will always suggest or make sure that your tent is secured, whether someone’s is walking around to check or not. Same thing applies to your display. If there is to be strong wind (or at least announcing there will be), make sure you are prepared for this event. Market organiser’s don’t want flying object or especially tents flipping and possibility hurting you, other vendors or shoppers. Plus, you would not want to have your stuff getting damaged, because that means you would have to pay more out of pocket for something that can easily be prevented.
Don’t go over your allotted space
There is usually more room available if you’re attending an outdoor market or show than an indoor one. That does not mean you can have a little bit extra just because you could. Imagine if every single vendor would do that at an event of 150. It is expected you would be able to fit everything in your space, which is normally around 10 x 10.
You might not get the same spot everytime
If you are applying for a farmers market for example, it’s always a good idea to be in the exact same spot as customers will start to know where to find you. Just understand that this will not always be the case. Market organizers need to arrange vendors based on who is selling that day and how many vendors there are. If you get displaced from your usual spot, don’t get upset. Announce through your social media where shoppers can find you this week and go with the flow. Things aren’t always black and white and there is always a good reason for this.
Make sure you’re following food regulations
There are certain regulations you need to follow when it comes to the preparation, storage, and sale of food products. Market organizers do not want shoppers getting sick due to contamination or getting in trouble from the health inspector. Rules will vary depending on where you live or where the market is (and which type also). You may also be required to show proper documentation that you are indeed qualified to sell your food products and they are what they claim to be (i.e. certified organic). As well as proof of liability insurance if the market doesn’t cover that under their own insurance. It is best practise to be aware of all the small details before booking so that they are no surprises.
Don’t introduce new products without approval
A lot of markets will require you to tell them what you plan on selling. This ultimately means you can’t just show up with a new line of products without their approval. Adding a new style of your jewelry or a new flavour of cake is not a big deal, but let’s say you are selling jewelry and arrives selling food. You will get in trouble for that as there are specific rules for a reason. Nobody likes last minute changes, so be understanding of that situation.
Make sure your space is clean
The event organizers can’t have a garbage can for every vendors therefore always brings a few for yourself or your customers if need be. Having a dirty space during or after the market does not look good on you. When the market is all done, the space might go back to being public streets, venue, etc. If they’re not clean, organizers could be fined by the city. So make sure you leave it the same way you found it!
Have more ideas?
Do you have more etiquettes in mind that we didn’t mention? Feel free to share your ideas in the comment below! We are part of a community and if we all help each other, we are all going to grow from it.