The Greatest Tips For Post-Pandemic Craft Markets | What are Artisan Markets like after lockdown?
Today was the day!
We headed off to Woodley Vegan Market this morning, where we had our first in-person market since lockdown began. And my word was it different! We expected some changes of course, but nothing could have prepared us for exactly what it would be like- and being everyone was just going back, we didn't have many opinions to go off of!
So, What changes can you expect?
Doing markets before the pandemic were very predictable. I could roughly predict the amount of sales I would get by the end of the day. Being that the world was is just beginning to poke its head out of lockdown, AND the weather was calling for extreme thunderstorms all day, (I know, we choose events wisely) we settled with the fact we may head home with no profit. Being optimists, we decided to spend the days getting to know the vegan market vendors and audience, enjoy some live music and just enjoy the day as much as we could.
It was very relieving to have people walking by with masks! We decided to use precautions, but not use masks ourselves, being we feel it could be kind of a put off if people couldn't see our faces! We found it could be quite uninviting. Instead, we created a barrier between ourselves and people with our tables, and created signs that asked to avoid touching items you do not intend to buy.
Do people listen to the precautions?
To say it simply, no. Haha. This is one thing we noticed, selling t-shirts and necklaces, it is very natural for humans to want to touch items in shops/vendors, and it is very difficult to tell people not to. We have to remember we are adjusting to a new normal, and this will take time to get used to keeping your distance. In order to work around this, we put up the signs asking them kindly not to touch items, but also made a note to sterilize necklaces and try and avoid selling shirts on display, to limit potential exposure, while working around natural human tendencies. One idea we tried, was trying different displays. We didn't go with a clothe rack, being that people would have to shuffle through the shirts, and instead went with fully displaying the shirts flat on the table. It was not our ideal, but it is something we found would better be a safer option. Also, Don't forget the hand sanitser!
We had to create a specific place where people could create a line up to our stall. This was especially tricky being that we had a corner stall. We had our que directed our one table, which meant that our second table didn't get much love. We got significantly more traction from one table then the other. My recommendation in this case; direct all of your most important products to this first table!
I know, I know, all vendors like cash! It is direct income into your pockets, but in this day in age, passing cash around person to person is the best way to also pass bacteria. Most people will prefer paying card anyway, but it is also important that if you are taking cash, make sure to consistently sanitize your hands.
Prepare for a smaller audience
Though we are going back to normal, there are still not as many people out as we would like! Though we did quite good in sales at the end of the day (Much better than expected!), we still did not rake in as many sales as we would have pre-pandemic.
Tips for artisans looking to attend a craft show post pandemic:
Build your community
Don't be afraid to walk around and have some chats! Not only is it just you being a good, kind human, but also the first rule of building a brand is trust. Be transparent, let people know what you are passionate about(in our case, environment and permaculture), and slowly you will work up an audience who shares a like passion. When you head over to the super good greek food stand, spark a conversation with the people in line! Chat with the cool artisan vendor you are spending all day next to! When someone shows interest in your products, tell them what inspires it!
Create Market Discounts
So, How can you gain more attraction when there isn't many potential customers in the first place? We found deals were the way to go! Because we push greener living and permaculture, we believed it would a great idea to do a market deal of buying one tee, get one tree (in our case, a free butternut squash plant!)! This was a way to directly give our buyers a way to begin their own garden, and being that they were planted straight from our own permaculture garden, it was very cost effective! You can also create bundles, or giveaway prizes! Get creative ;) You can also create personal deals! When people are passing by and they are eyeing up a couple of your products, throw out a deal to them! Make them feel special!
BUT. Don't be too salesy. When someone walks by, don't make them feel like they have to buy something. Don't throw prices at them straight away, or give them a sob story. This could drive them away, or give them a guilty purchase. Keep your brand kind and genuine!!
Sell smaller products:
Dependent on the market, some people have not intentionally come to buy. We have to remember that by being in a prime walking square, some people are just going to be going on their daily walk without the intention to buy. Also, It is true, many people are being made redundant or furloughed, and it seems many of us do not have a guaranteed income. This means many people will not be looking to spend much money. The best way to create purchases and spread the word of your brand is to create
So there you have it! Some feel for what is to come in your vendor artisan experience, as well as some (hopefully) useful tips to help you get back up on that market train! We will update you on new experiences as we go along, and if you have anymore questions we would be happy to write more posts regarding markets and artisan opportunities.
We wish you all the best!