Sunday, 28 October 2012

Indie Market Place, Brighton 12 August 2012

The Brighton Market we approached with some enthusiasm given many of our stallholders expressed a great interest in the area. We originally attempted to hire the Brighton Town Hall but abandoned that effort due to a general lack of interest from the Hall organisers and the spectacular cost of hire. From the beginning, Indie Market Place has always wanted to hire good venues but with an eye on cost because we want our stall holders to have a decent chance at making money.

We instead approached the Brighton Recreational Centre whom we found to be very co-operative and have a bright, cheerful venue with delightfully enthusiastic staff. We discovered as a result of the drop in the cost of the venue we were able to pass some of that on in terms of reduced stall fees.

But the challenge was marketing! Indie Market Place is reasonably well known in Box Hill but would it be well known in Brighton. Additionally with restrictions by the Brighton Council on our ability to place signs like we might at Box Hill, we realised early we'd have to hit the ground running.

Happily we had some unexpected help with the Age deciding to include us in their "What's on" section and it gave us the opportunity to showcase some of our legendary stall holders and introduce them to Brighton. We also managed to get some advertising in the Local Leader paper with our online advertising purchases, but the same old method which worked well in Box Hill was applied again...Yes, we printed 2,500 post card size promotional materials and wore out more shoe leather delivering them by hand.

Why not hire someone to do it? Well, we wanted to make sure they were delivered and we could not be sure that if we subcontracted someone else we wouldn't discover they threw them in the bin instead!

On the day, to our great surprise, it was quite busy, arguably our best market yet. As clients came in and purchased, we did notice that the advertisements in the Age and the hand delivered pamphlets seem to have been a major driver. We also discovered to our surprise the local Brightonians liked to try a range of foods and our friends at Grumbletumms seemed to do well, so well, when my husband went out to get his burger, they sold out and he had to have some wallaby sausage rolls instead, which he judged to be superb! We were worried about the Poffertjes lady who ended up packing up early, so hubby approached with some trepidation, only to find out the reason she was packing up was she ran out of mix and had basically sold out! The same happened with the Cupcakes and the Sausage Sizzle!!

But no market is a market without hiccups! Poor Jason from Jason Hart's Coffee Cart started wheeling his very heavy cart up the ramps and we discovered that we had trouble with opening the door! So Jason was wrestling this massive cart while a committee of us struggled to get it to open! But open it finally did, and then we could get the coffee on the go!! So we had the best coffee in town and the best food!

Sated, the clients wandered in and seemed to do a lot of buying. We had the sweet voice of Laura to soothe them and put them in the mood for buying!

We had the usual mix of outcomes from this market: some stall holders did spectacularly and others not so well. But measuring by the number of smiles on the tired faces of our stallholders, we think the result was probably not too bad. Certainly those who answered our little survey after seemed quite upbeat!

Hubby to his great disappointment, still managed not to get around to everyone but the people he spoke to seemed pretty happy overall.

Brighton is looking like a very friendly home for Indie Market Place!