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Friday, October 21, 2016

Recipe for success: how to open your market

A great European tradition held in the streets of the city design market has finally taken root in Moscow. Every weekend the capital hosts the event, where the audience present their creations creative workshops, designers, illustrators and others laid out the Goods on anything, from barrels to the easel in one corner will teach you to ride longbord in the other — prepare the divine falafel with the Greek salad. Pricing sometimes defies logic: at a garage sale you can find a new Ralph Lauren shirts for 500 rubles, and at the next table over a very thin ring of silver asking for 10 000 RUB. At first glance, these weekend markets seem natural. But behind each is a serious work organizer. This man, as a rule, one-man band: and mastermind, and designer and publicist, and salesman, and designer. Founder of several successful Moscow stores Alena Getman told “MK” about how to organize a festival of this size.

The main participants of the fair — young designers creating unique products. Photo: Andrew Sekachev.

An abundance of assorted stores in Moscow, on the one hand, creates a good cultural background, worthy of the pen of a modern addition. But there is a significant disadvantage: reputation weekend markets where you can find something unique and original, badly deteriorated. Too many events with poor quality goods at inflated prices, when the shelves are laid out lurid hand-made and ordered in bulk from China clothing issued for symposiu. Therefore, progressive audience prefers to visit the places checked. But the organizers bear responsibility for careful selection of participants. Previously, it was enough to spread the word among friends and friends of friends and put together a get-together in the courtyard and trendy cafe in the center of Moscow.

* * *

So you’ve decided to organize a design fair. Where do you start?

— If a question asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said: I want to create a market it created, ” says Alain. — Now, before you start organizing, you need to choose a niche, the format of the event. Because they became very much and most do not have your face. You need to stand out.

For example, it is a festival for those who love healthy lifestyle, yoga, Eastern practices. Or something to do with sports, where will be exhibited sports stores and conducted training from famous teachers. Or children’s market, where stores can sell baby products, and parents share things, which the children grew up. Denoting the format, you will immediately attract an audience. As well as stand out among other markets. But at the same time, you need to understand what your audience needs to be active enough to take the time to attend the event.

— When I was researching the festival, I didn’t have a niche, but the rate was the atmosphere, ” says Alain. — Shortly before this I went to another popular store and realized that it lacks the emotional component, of heat. I wanted to make the festival where there will be friendly atmosphere and cultural component. That is not only sales, but also leisure activities: film screenings, lectures, master classes. We chose a cozy room for the participation of selected nice people with a quality product and have developed a program where interesting people share with the guests experience. It all worked on the atmosphere. That is, we provided visitors the opportunity to not only make something beautiful but also to gain new knowledge.

* * *

The second step is to assess the social context. What a wonderful thing you did, if people don’t know, then nobody will come. Sad sellers in the beautiful empty room is a failure. So, you need to think about how to tell the audience about the upcoming event. First of all you can do is make announcements among friends through social networks. And if you have a little personal contact, it is necessary to bring the matter to a person who has at least some experience in PR.

Great to enlist the support of public people. Not popularly known and inaccessible to artists, and those who are popular in social networks. For this, you can offer them interesting cooperation. Maybe they have a store that you can provide a place for advertising. Or they produce a magazine that will be able to implement on your store. Another way is to collect gifts for them from the participants and ask them instead to write about you.

Summer design market, usually held outdoors.
Photo: Andrew Sekachev.

* * *

The next item requiring action, — search sites. This is the biggest monetary investment of the organizer in the process. From space depends pricing: the more it will cost to rent, more expensive to be cost involved. It is desirable that the first time the rent was lifting for you. Psychologically it will be much easier when you don’t will prevail panic due to the fact that you have too much to spend on rent. This is the risk that due to fear to go into the negative you will score first, what the quality suffers.

Space for our first market we found by accident, ” recalls Alain. — I came to the master class on advent calendars in the flower Studio in Novokuznetsk and fell in love with this place. In addition to the main space with large Windows there was a magical basement, to enter which was only possible through the wardrobe. We decided that it is ideal for movie presentations and lectures, and in the main halls can accommodate shops.

Important criteria for the site: the location should be very easy to find. If the event is associated with children or family audience, think about how easy you can get strollers.

— Keep in mind that almost any price for a room can be down, sometimes even several times, — tells Alyona. Once I dropped the price 3 times, and on the phone. It was about a beautiful, large loft on the waterfront.

The prices depend on the popularity of the place and its geographical location. Apartment in Scandinavian style with an area of 75 square meters in two bus stops from the “Taganskaya” wanted 15 000 rubles per day. If you want to rent rooms on “Red October”, be ready to pay the amount ten times more. Pleasant even in summer rental can cost you free. How to achieve this? For example, to find a restaurant with food that is interested in the flow of your guests, cafe, restaurant, club. You may agree that in exchange for free rent “will bring” a large number of people who will have to eat and make good revenue. Many institutions are interested in such barter. But if they have a spacious courtyard and veranda, is ideal for a small market.

A necessary condition for cooperation with the platform — drafting of a formal contract. It is necessary to register all the important points from the work of electricity to the serviceable lift. The last point is extremely important if the event takes place on the high floors.

— We had a very unpleasant time, — says Alena. Managers of premises did not warn us that the Elevator is often broken and that he will need extra rest. As a result, we accumulated a crowd at the entrance. And after the Elevator is out of order, pregnant women and mothers with prams had to climb the long staircase to the fifth floor.

The conclusion is the following: if access to the premises only on the lift, the contract should be spelled out that in case of failure of landlords will have to compensate. Because the flow of people is the most important thing in the market.

At festivals you can meet the organizers and ask about the product. Photo: Andrew Sekachev.

* * *

If the room is empty, you will need to rent furniture, as a rule, tables and chairs for participants. In Moscow there are many companies which provide accessories to rent, and bring yourself, bring into the room, and then taken away. All the costs will fall on the shops. You add up the cost of furniture cost of delivery, and divide the resulting amount by the number of stores. In an average provision of one table can take 300-600 rubles. The most convenient scheme is as follows: first, book furniture — conventionally, 40 tables, and closer to the event when you will already know how many will come without the table, to buy the right amount.

A few words about the interior. If the room is initially not afraid, then there is no Parking windowless with concrete walls, then when there will come the sellers, it will decorate itself. Because the participants themselves are interested in that you arrange their workplace, and bring beauty. Extra touches but still not hurt. The budget option is to hang paper flags. They are easy to slice yourself, make holes with hole punch and fasten with ribbons. You can make a photo zone is a beautiful space where guests could take a picture on an IPhone and upload it to the social network.

* * *

Then define the list of participants. Approach to the selection you need with a calm heart. The most effective way to find those who will keep the market — go through such events and take business cards from stores you like. Let it be brands of different formats, if you do not fit under the concept of the current market, can be useful in the following. The goal is to collect a database of a large number of stores.

Then you need to make a letter which you will send by mail, something like a press release. In it you prescribed, where it will market, what is included in the cost of participation, how you will advertise, where you will publish news, announcements and reports. And it is desirable to specify who is already involved. If not yet, you can use a small trick. Analyze your friends list, see which of them have any shop with a decent range. And even if they do not participate, then ask permission to include them into the list for mass.

Try to lure well-known brands — this will increase the credibility of you as the organizer. It is possible to offer larger shopping free participation. If the response to the letters small, so you can sit on the phone. And prepare for the fact that not everyone will welcome your call. Work is definitely not for the introvert.

— Still very cool to involve local charitable projects, ” adds Alena. — You’re simultaneously doing a good deed and improve their reputation. Ask them also to tell about the event on their resources. You can also send part of the proceeds to the Fund.

The market price for the store for participation in the market in Moscow — from 4000 to 12 000 rubles per day. But for the first time it makes sense to set the price less 3000-3500 rubles. Most organizers work on full advance payment by cash or card transaction. But if you do the market for the first time, it is better to offer a 50% prepayment. And be sure to specify the conditions of refund in case of force majeure or failure of the store.

* * *

Shops found — now, you might think about additional entertainment. Decent market these days is not limited only to sales, but tries to involve the audience in an interesting “activity” for a nominal fee. For this we need to understand what kind of audience will come to you and that will interest them.

Our audience is girls from 23 to 37 years. And many of them with children. They come not only for products but also for pleasant pastime. Not in the Mall, ran, bought and left. Here you can get acquainted with the store owner directly to find out all the details of the production. To learn something new and even find partners for your project. For example, a talented calligrapher who will make you a logo, or another master.

If the fair is for moms with children, for sure they will enjoy a master class on children’s hairstyles or cardboard masks. Travellers will be delighted to lifehacks for budget savings in the road, etc. are very popular lessons on bouquets, make-up, preparation of clothing. How to find speakers? If you’re a socially open person, you already have useful contacts that you can use. Scroll through the phonebook and write down who does what. Certainly among them there are people who can give a lecture or conduct a master class.

— We once came experienced restaurateur Galina Duving and told how to run restaurant business, ” says Hetman. — Was in great demand. The guests listened standing up, because we ran out of chairs, came even its former employees. This is a man with vast experience, who revealed to people the practical side of the issue specific advice: where to find cheap furniture, affordable meal, how to calculate the economic model in crisis. We have it cost only 400 rubles per person and all money went to charity.

To pay lecturers. If the lecturer is a professional, the fee shall be not less than 50% of the profits from the cost of tickets. The rest can again give to charity, it is a very good motivation for guests: a person understand, not only yourself did well, getting new knowledge, but others helped. Some are free of charge. There is a category of people whose financial issues have long been resolved, they are not particularly interested in your modest fees, and they are ready to speak just. Novice professionals who are in need of a new audience and yourself are happy to PR. First, in any case, you can try to negotiate a free cooperation. But it makes sense to do a mandatory registration by e-mail, even free workshops. This is necessary in order to understand how many people will come and whether there is any demand. Because if a free lecture signed up two people, then it is useless. With free entry there is another thing: signed up forty people, and came just eight. Therefore, at least a symbolic fee, which advance will be deposited into card is a guarantee that the audience will gather.

But the entrance fee to the market is not worth doing in any case — most likely almost no one will come. It does not matter, 50 rubles you ask or 500. When you earn a great reputation and all the shops will be begging to take them yourself — only then it can think. But then in return you should offer free entertainment for guests.

It is also preferable to make the food court. Let it be small, but guests should be able to eat. For the first time is to invite members who will bring dessert, drinks and something hearty to eat. If you chamber market, it is better to refuse food that needs to cook. A strong smell of fried not please no visitors or participants, among which will certainly be sellers of clothing. And so desserts and snacks come ready, coffee is done on the spot and not bothering anyone.

* * *

After the event, it would be good to get feedback: write a letter-sending stores to learn impressions. Be sure to ask what they would like to improve. And pay special attention to this item. For example, someone assigned a seat in the farthest room of the room, where there were few visitors. So, these areas need to make the price lower. Or in the neighborhood placed sellers with similar range. If you do not think about their participants, they will go to the organizers who care about their profit and comfort. Because for the participants the main criterion is revenue. If she’s shy, or they were unable to recoup the investment, more to you they will come and will warn colleagues, the reputation will suffer.


Revenue is based on a simple scheme: proceeds from members ‘ contributions minus administrative costs (rent of premises, advertising, design). For the novice organizer that does a lot with their hands and at the expense of social ties, the majority of the expense will be rent. Consider: to you for a one-day market will come 20 stores, each paid for 3500 rubles (optimal amount for the first time), got 70 000 rubles. Suppose you found room for 20 000 rubles. Another 10,000 sleeping on the small but necessary expenses (consumables for processing, cleaning, etc.). And another 10 000 on advertising. According to the most optimistic calculations, the revenues from this chamber event — 30 000 rubles.

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