HOW TO RUN A MARKET
The location of a market is important. For example, visibility from street, access to power and water, nearby parking, flat site, toilets, security, outdoor versus indoor, private land or government land, occupational health and safety, drainage are some of the issue involved in selecting the site for a market. Examples of venues include, paddocks, car parks, sporting ovals, schools and community halls.
Any venue will probably need the agreement from the owner and any necessary government approvals.
The stall layout is very important so that each stall holder gets a fair share of the foot traffic. A horseshoe arrangement is one method of arranging stall holders. Food stalls tend to be grouped together.
Day, Hours and Frequency
Remember that markets have been operating since ancient times and that there are markets operating all over the world holding daily, weekly or monthly events (some are even held yearly). Things to consider when setting the timing of markets include
check when other markets are on because stall holders do attend many markets. T
The time will be dependent on local issues, for example, 9am to 2pm allows stall holders to set-up in daylight and a 2pm pack-up allows stall holders to be home earlier (Note that in this example stall holders must be set-up by 9am and cannot move out until 2pm. No cars allowed within the market area due to insurance issues).
Cancellation of market. If it is a 10am to 3pm market a “market” is declared at 12 noon. This means that stall holders get their money back if cancelled before 12 noon and no money is returned after 12 noon. Cancellations occur due to high wind and/or rain. A market was once cancelled due to the failure of the sewerage system (toilets).
The price set for a stall usually depends on such things as location, commercial or not for profit, ownership of site, insurance costs, capital requirement, government regulations, cost of toilets and power and water, etc. For example, a 3m x 3m stall can cost from say Aus$25 to Aus$75 (Note, a 3m x3m stall is set by the size of gazebo’s that fit within that foot print).
A small market of 25 to 50 stalls not for profit using volunteers may cost sat $25 per stall whereas a commercial operator with higher overheads may charge say $75 per stall.
Entry can be free or by donation. Some markets charge an entry fee to help cover costs.
Venue insurance. It is normally mandatory that the operator of a market needs to have public liability insurance. Not for profit community organisations usually have this insurance as a requirement of their existence. Commercial market operators would need to talk to an insurance broker.
Stall holder insurance. This is usually a mandatory requirement. Permanent or regular stall holders generally have their own public liability insurance (must provide a copy of their policy). Irregular or once off stall holders generally don’t have insurance and the market operator generally makes arrangements with an insurance company (for example, Freeman McMurrick) to provide bulk insurance costed on a fee per stall holder say $7 per stall holder).
Depending on the location of the market parking may be necessary for stall holders, customers and/or staff. At some sites it may be possible to charge a parking fee or have donation on entry. If parking is available staff may need to direct traffic. Also, disabled parking may be necessary. Parking signs may be needed and bunting may also be necessary to exclude certain areas from parking).
Some sites allow stall holders to drive to their 3m x3m stalls and set up and then can either park behind the stall or move out to a stall holders car park.
Toilets are a must have and if the site doesn’t have any the market operator will need to hire them. Also on market day they must be checked for water and toilet paper and cleanliness. Customers, staff and stall holders all need toilets. They must be clean and have running water and toilet paper.
Whoever owns the land or building of your market venue will need it left tidy after the market is over. So lined wheelie rubbish bins are mandatory to be located around the market. Recycling bins would be optional. It is also important to do a final check of the grounds after the market has finished. Large dump bins may be necessary to take the garbage to council landfill tips.
Things management will need to address include:-
Greeting new stall holders and showing them their allocated site
Resolving any conflicts between stall holders and/or customers
A separate office or gazebo maybe necessary for stall holders to pay and make bookings. Management may decide to walk around the market to get payments (stall holders can find it difficult to leave their stall to pay).
Some markets require prepayment and preregistration. This may be possible in markets with a set number of sites and a waiting list of stall holders.
Management needs to make decisions on when to cancel a market due to wind and/or rain (see above)
Bookings. A website and email address assist here. A website can have registration form and conditions of entry on it. A mobile phone is required to pass between staff as needed to make calls and take bookings.
Management needs to open a bank account to allow deposit of cheques and cash. Plus an EFTPOS machine is needed for credit or debit card payments. The account will also be needed to pay invoices and staff.
This is necessary and usually demanded by stall holders. Advertising can be by way of a website, newspaper advertisements, signage at the venue and portable roadside signs set up before the market day. Radio and TV advertising may also help but can be expensive except if under community announcements. A venue which is visible from a road is also handy so people can see all the activity on market day.
Equipment and Power and Water
Items that the market may need are access to power and water. Water may be needed but not always. Quiet generators may be needed to power equipment that the manager might needed such as jumping castle, computers, lights and music. Some markets also hire out tables and gazebo’s but it is best to encourage stall holders to have their own.
Occupational, Health and Safety
First Aid. There must be certified first aid officers on site and a first aid kit
Incident Reports. All accidents and incidences should be reported and documented for insurance purposes
The market must comply with State and/or Council OH&S regulations
Some jurisdictions only allow electrical items to be sold if checked and tagged by a certified electrician
Gazebo’s must be tethered to the ground so that they are not affected by wind (this is a common insurance claim). Management must check that Gazebo’s are tethered
Electrical lines and cables must be covered or hung such that they are not a hazard
No vehicles are allowed in the market area between the opening and closing time of the market
Be careful of trip hazard’s around the market
Some markets provide entertainment such as music, buskers, jumping castle, face painting, dance groups, etc. Hiring a band can be expensive so buskers might be encouraged. There are commercial operators of jumping castles and merry go rounds (for children). It is possible for community organisations to buy say a jumping castle and operate it themselves. A commercial face painter can be engaged or provided free by the market operator. There are dance groups, bans, etc that like to practice at markets.
Market road side signs can have a sponsor name on them to reduce the cost of running the market. Banners can put up near the entrance with the sponsor’s name on it.
Food and Drink
Commercial food, coffee, ice cream and drink owners can be used to provide these services. If a not for profits it is possible to run a sausage sizzle by volunteers.
Type of stalls
The market can be a farmers market and/or a craft market. Markets can have stalls selling items such as handicraft, jewellery, candles, honey, books, dog coats and cat scratching poles, plants, jams, fruit and vegetables, knitted products, baby clothes, advertising and cards. Trash and Treasure stalls may also be allowed.