As Christmas time is just around the corner it is no secret that if you think about trading in the Christmas market you have one seemingly never-ending question- how to stand out in a market crowded with other stands?
For businesses, it takes a lot of planning and energy. In fact, you must be able to take care of logistics, your products, right pricing, booking the best place, decorations, staff and much more.
Bottom line? It’s not as easy as it may look.
After all, your ability to stand out from the crowd and attract customers is the main element of success.
Let’s dive right in.
Fundamentals of the Christmas market
Christmas market ain’t no summer festival, it takes much more planning and you should better be prepared. So how to prepare? Christmas markets are associated with crispy gingerbreads, hot drinks, colorful lighting, and beautiful trade stands. I believe that if you reading this you already know that it is only top of the iceberg.
Here are 3 main things that you have to know about Christmas markets:
#1 there are markets that are opened just for a day or two and there are markets that operate even from November till December. It is better to choose a market that operates in long-term. After a few days, you will get to know your territory, rules, logistics, organizator etc.
No one wants to be in the furthest corner so remember to book your dates early and book an exact place where you will be positioned.
#2 Thematic markets VS universal one. The best tactic is to choose a thematic market that covers your “shoulder niche”. It is a niche that offers complementary products to yours. This is a unique strategy that will assure that you won’t be positioned in a line with more than 10 similar products which will be the case in your niche market.
#3 what is included in the participation fee. The best way how to escape from additional costs and surprises is not to bend under urgency. Take a time before reservation to ask Christmas market organizer what exactly is included in fee. Not to forget anything important, make a list of resources you need and then contact the organizer.
How to choose the best Christmas markets?
It’s a question that can be responsible for your success or fail so don’t rely only on your gut feeling. So we came up with a secure decision-making process that will let you find the right Christmas market for you.
Here are exact tips and tricks on how to find the right Christmas market.
#1 Hunt down the best Christmas markets by using Google. Just search in Google for “the best Christmas markets in the UK” (you can narrow it by adding more details) and here you go you get 113 000 000 results. For sure not all of them are right for you.
#2 So how you narrow down? You don’t want to go with mass media websites. Much deeper understanding you will get from niche blogs and travel websites. Check out comments too. If there is a trend in comments (interest about one specific market) then you can count on that people are interested in that specific event.
Here are a few things you have to be careful with:
- sponsored article
- outdated articles
- Christmas markets websites- quite logical that every one of us thinks that we are the best.
- affiliate blogs- quite rare in the events industry but you never can be too sure.
#3 When you have found 3-5 trusted publishers it’s time to narrow down even more and find the golden egg. Make a list that may include:
- participation fee
- the theme of the market- is it appropriate for your products
- do organizer offer stand or you have to take your pop-up gazebo
Just like that, you can easily find the best Christmas market.
Getting ready for the Christmas market
At this point, you have found the right venue, contacted organizators and booked your place. So you know when and where you have to be.
Now it is time to come up with plan A and plan B that will assure that no unexpected surprises will stop you from setting new sales records. Here are the essential things you need to consider:
as you know approximate visitor count you can predict how much you will sell. The formula can vary depending on your niche so it is better to use our sales calculator.
I guess you think why this is so important already now? It lets you predict how much products you have to take with you. This is especially important for caterers as you have to know how much ingredients to buy. Secondly, you can predict how big team you will need. It Large queue may be great but this is one of the most popular reasons why customers choose to go elsewhere.
Time for technical part- make a checklist what you need to take with you and mark it by priority. More mobile you are the better, but you have to be sure that absolutely essential things are right there next to you. It can be a small generator, heater, products stand, the menu if you are caterer etc.
Don’t forget about warm clothes- you won’t be selling much if you will constantly hide in the stand just to keep warm. Take some extra sweater and warm socks as you will be standing in one place for some time.
At this part, you may think- okay but how to stand out? No worries it is exactly the thing that is covered in next 3 chapters, starting from choosing the right neighbor and ending with a unique case study explaining how 2 companies got their stands crowded.
Why choosing the right neighbor can be one of the most profitable tactics of all.
Here comes the one of the most trusted and effective tactic- choose your neighbor wisely. Ask Christmas market organizer what will be next to you. Here are exact 3 things that will assure that you will sell more:
- don’t position yourself next to a competitor. Ironically but there is a case when it can be a good thing- if you know that competitor stand and production is worse than yours. There is well-known sales technique- Anchoring. It means that after customer sees something worse by quality or price the better option will seem much more adequate than if the customer would saw only the better option. But if possible try not to reserve your spot next to a competitor.
- don’t choose the most expensive place. In most cases, it is not worth it. position yourself just before the most expensive places.
- Here comes the real game-changer. Position yourself next to the complementary product. In this case, you both will raise sales for each-other and you may even come up with some shared sales activity. So what can be a complementary niche? How about hot drinks and appetizers or scarfs and gloves?
Expert tips on selling more at Christmas market
Organizers of the Belgravia Christmas market were super helpful and shared these 5 tips for you to be better prepared for your participation in the Christmas market:
Ensure your stall is well lit. It gets dark around 4 pm, and our market runs until 5 pm, so a lovely lit stall will certainly stand out.
Arrive early – it never looks good if you are still setting up once the market is open and visitors have arrived!
Friendly stallholders – a lovely smiley face on the other side of the stall makes.
When selling artisan products, some signage explaining the heritage of your product is always a great way to stand out. People love homemade goods!
If selling food/drink items – little samples always help! People love to try before they buy!!
Advanced selling technique that made 2 our clients stands the most crowded ones in a series of events
We just published expanded super practical case study about this technique, that you can find here: Event marketing case study- how 2 of our clients became market leaders in just 90 days.
In short, it is a story how 2 of our clients transformed Attention hook technique, that resulted in +4012 Facebook followers for one and the market leader position for other.
Before the summer of 2018, two of our clients were in front of the same challenge as you are- how to stand out in events crowded with traders.
They had tried some basic tactics before so they came up with something even more functional and engaging.
After 2 first events, they clearly saw that visitors were genuinely interested in their stands. In addition to buying their products, they actively shared pictures on social networks. Even event organizers included them in a lot of their pics.
Here are exactly the steps they took to stand out of crowd from day one:
- Invest time in understanding your customer’s psychological triggers.
- Make event visitors want to visit your gazebo by using long-distance and short-distance attention hooks.
- Make their experience shareable and engaging.
In both cases, long-distance attention grabbers were quite basic- branded pop-up gazebo and promotional flags. While being quite basic these hooks did their job and got event visitors attention.
The success was in short distance attention grabbers. In both cases, companies made custom-made photo frames to encourage people to share their moments.
You can do the same by encouraging people to take pictures or you can even go one step further. Offer them a special Christmas discount to encourage taking and sharing pictures.
Why does this work like a charm?
In our clients’ story, other people spotted the activity and came to see what happens there. As a result, a little crowd formed around stand. And as soon as you get at least 3 people by the stand, more people come to join.
The second benefit is even more long-lasting and wide-spreading. Their friends saw the pictures that encouraged them to attend the event and search for an exact stand.
In addition to that, you can add some giveaways. Those still works great. Just be sure that others can see them well. For example, a great and inexpensive giveaway can be an eco-friendly bag with your logo and slogan.
Now it’s your turn.
I hope you enjoyed this improved guide on selling more in the Christmas market. Were topics of this guide helpful? Or maybe you have a question.
Either way, let us know by leaving a quick comment below.