I have attended a lot markets since I started the business back in 2014.
I signed up for my first market without really thinking it through, I had had too much wine and was surrounded by a growing pile of stuff that I had created and it seemed like a good idea to try and sell some of it. Signing up for the market gave a deadline and an incentive to get my self sorted with some display stands and a cohesive range of products!
That first market was in Chipping Norton Town Hall, it was Halloween and I think I made about £60! A lot has changed since then and I have been to lots of different markets over the years and along the way I have learnt which ones work for my business and my demographic.
I used to sign up for all sorts of events but soon learnt that giving up my weekend to sit in a drafty town hall eating my body weight in chocolate biscuits and hardly making any sales wasn't really working for me.
My approach now is to keep everything pretty local and to do the main bulk of my markets during the festive season.
I have a really good pop up Marquee from Rock Awnings with detachable sides and heavy leg weights it was a big investment when I was starting out but so worth it. I naively bought a cheap £20 one from Homebase for my first out door event and very swiftly realised that its time consuming construction and rickety nature would not protect me or my stock in the event of bad weather or the slightest wisp of wind! Having the marquee is great because it give me a lot of flexibility in terms of the types of events that I can do and it means I can be really creative with the way that I set up the stall.
One of my favourite Seasonal markets is the Oxford Light Festival (sadly cancelled this year due to the pandemic) Its an outdoor 3 day November event that I take the marquee to and its the market that always starts to get me in the festive mood! I also use this event to gauge what the bestsellers of the season will be so that I can then concentrate my efforts on producing those for other festive markets.
Abingdon Excellence market is also a firm favourite and its one of the few markets that I go to all year round, and its great because its less than 5 minutes from my house!
Markets are a great way for me to meet my customers, it can get a little boring working from home all the time and its so nice to see the reaction that my work gets at events.