Organising markets

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Martin Cowley

Organising markets

Postby Martin Cowley » Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:22 pm

Just a thought ive been playing with , is there a "recognised" person/group who people or groups who are putting on a show for the first time can contact when they want to do a reenactment, who can advice on traders requirments ? nothing pompous lol, its just that it seems more and more groups are becoming able to put shows on,which is a good thing,and (not dissing anyone or any groups at all ) though organising a battle /camping/toilets etc is a monutmental task on its own, organising a market is no less fraught with problems and unless IMHO you have done any trading yourself you may not be qualified to take it on,and if a market fails or traders are dubious about coming incase there is not adequate advertising / toilet etc then the show is not as appealing to mops .
Markets now are different beasts to even 4 years ago and as now many traders demonstrate their skills whilst selling to punters they are a draw as much as battles and LH but an awful lot of traders rely on the income and some shows may suffer due to badly organised markets / shows.
So anyway, i digress, wouldnt a "trader Advisor" typa thing be beneficial ? we could just be there for organisors to contact for advise etc.
Also maybe offer a helping hand where possible , i for example am willing (within reason lol) to deliver flyers ,put up posters and contact local radio stations for any shows in our area, i know its very difficult to advertise a show as an organiser if you live miles away and arent getting paid owt for it, where as traders depend on mops so should we do what we can to feather our own nests in out own locale so to speak ? opinions ?
:)



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Postby Eric the well read » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:24 pm

I would have thought that's what the NMTF is for!

Eric



Martin Cowley

Postby Martin Cowley » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:53 pm

I would have thought that's what the NMTF is for!
why ? they mainly cover normal markets, why would they want to advertise reenactments as well ?



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Postby Eric the well read » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:59 pm

The HISTORIC BRANCH, Martin
See Pete the Pong et al........
http://www.historictraders.co.uk/
Eric



Martin Cowley

Postby Martin Cowley » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:34 pm

i know but they are our liason with NMTF but i dont think it falls into their remit to advertise all reenacments in the U.K or all periods just because they have a market there, that would be a full time (un)paid job wich would make it impossible for them to have enough time to run thier own business, then no one would do the (un)paid job and be are liason with the NMTF :) , just a thought,obviously a crap one :lol: :)



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Postby The Bearded Dwarf » Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:10 pm

I find the NMTF is very helpful when getting cheap insurance, credit card machines and other things that make traders lifes easier and more cost effective.

But, I think i know what Martin is getting at. What an event organiser needs is things such as :

Good Quality Cost Effective Printing : For years I used a local commercial printers that charged me a reasonable rate, but now a freind has started printing and does me flyers for a penny each.

Distribution network for flyers and posters aka D SmithSpecial.

Please feel free to add to the list.......

What I'm getting at is, many organisers may not have, or realise, that they have certain resources at there disposal. Anybody in reenacting run a portaloo co. for example?

Pooling resources, and making them easily accesable to event organisers, would, I think, benifit all traders. I'm not suggesting that a degree of this does not exist all ready (Rockingham is probably a good example), but the question is, can we do more for other organisers and, ultimately, for ourselves.


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Postby Martin Cowley » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:09 am

cheers beardy, thats what i was trying to get across ,well i didnt think it was a totaly shite idea but looking at the complete lack of response either way i must have been wrong , why bother :?



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Postby Lord High Everything Esle » Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:49 am

Hi Martin, good point.

I'm working on a set of organisers notes. It's a sort of Magnum Opus mainly based on marketing.

It should be ready in about 100 years :roll:

However any suggestions for inclusions would be more than welcome.


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Martin Cowley

Postby Martin Cowley » Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:01 am

i would suggest that every organisor seriously consider their advertising budget, if its to low maybe up the pitch fee slightly and spend a reasonable amount on newspaper ad's, posters n flyers as its for our (traders benefit) and not to rely on....
A.established event (only reenactors remember things like that, mops dont)
B word of mouth , cheap but rather useless in the long run
C.a couple of hand drawn posters in local chippys
D.Adverts in reenactment mags, great for letting reenactors know but mops dont read em



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Postby Lord High Everything Esle » Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:53 am

Thanks Martin
All those things are covered plus ideas for getting the local community involved. This is very important as far as word of mouth is required.

But what it is you will have to wait and see!!!!


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Postby seamsmistress » Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:23 pm

B word of mouth , cheap but rather useless in the long run



!!!!! Whilst I understand the context of this comment, I have to say that I totally disagree!!!

WOM is the best & cheapest form of advertising you can ever get and it applies as much to visitors to an event talking to their friends as it does to any other kind of business/service. Very successful businesses have been built on that premise alone! Your own business relies heavily upon and enjoys sales as a result of the same thing. Where on earth would you be without the re-enactors buying and sharing your products with their friends, who in turn wax lyrical and buy and share amongst theirfriends!!

Many people say "you're only as good as your last......." performance/job/service [in your case perhaps it's batch?]. People love to gossip and to tell the good - and the bad. Hence the importance of Word of Mouth.



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Postby frances » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:27 pm

Martin. I am wondering, why have you brought this topic up? Do you wish to give advice to organisers? or maybe start up some events yourself? I have a post-graduate Diploma in Marketing, and believe me, it is nether easy nor a quick thing, to organise and advertise an event. What angle are you coming from?



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Postby Martin Cowley » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:47 am

Francis the angle im coming from is simple, some organisors dont see the need to advertise their shows to the public , ive helped organised events/music festivals and am always happy to offer my services but i wouldnt need a decree to get posters up, design and distribute flyers or contact a local radio/TV station, its not that hard advertising an event, im not being bolshy honest,organising a show you live miles from is difficult thats why i suggested have reenactors local to the area who will be going to the show, would (im sure knowing reenactors as i do) be willing to do leaflet drops pop up a couple of posters etc a couple of weeks prior to the event so's the MOPs know about it and also reenactors who dont read skirmish or post on here would find out about it,

When i said word of mouth was useless i wasnt refering to reenactors or our products , maybe i didnt explain properly lol, I actually ment shows that dont advertise localy as they "assume" that as its been on the same date for years and the same place for years that MOPs would know it was on and come ,last year 2 very good shows were very very empty of MOPs when they shouldnt have been exactly because they didnt advertise and one organisor said to me when i asked where they were
" dunno its the same date as usual"
i pointed out that last years numbers for mops was low as well and recieved a shrug, i wasnt refering to reenactors at all as the reenactor grapevine is quicker than a telegram whether its good news or bad news, i was only refering to advertising to the MOPS who are the target audience for shows to be successful, when i was just a combatant, i couldnt careless if mops were there really :) , but after a few years as a trader who sells to mops n reenactors alike you get a different perspective and if you can name a successful show that doesnt advertise locally etc i would be suprised if it lasts long with out advertising its on at least :D

(p.s one of the reasons our product is so popular is cos its bloody lovely were it not word of mouth would easily have worked the other way lol :P )



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Postby frances » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:06 pm

Gosh, I had no idea that some organisers do not bother to advertise their events. Glad I do not know about them.

I have had it from the other side - phoned up to tell me that an annual event was not going ahead this year, only to find out afterwards that it did!

Umm, and Martin, I am not noted for being a touchy-type-of-person, but one thing that really can raise my blood temperature is when people do not spell my name correctly. I am a girl!!!



Martin Cowley

Postby Martin Cowley » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:48 am

I am a girl!!!
oops, my bad, my spelling is appalling lol sorry.
I dont want to mention any particular shows as thats not on but twice last year we turned up, set up etc to find that even locals who lived next to the sites didnt even know they were on which is a bit crappy IMHO,i really think the problem area is when a non local group organises a show its very difficult for them to be able to adverytise it , it wouldnt be fair to expect someone who isnt getting paid to travel long distances to fly drop and stick posters up, which is why i was suggesting a kind of "network" that tries to get reenactors who do live in that area to spend an hour or 2 going round local petrol stations, pubs etc sticking up posters n leaving flyers around in shops, not expensive advertising but any little helps :P Contrary to belief i arent a permanent trouble maker but trying to offer solutions to stop certain shows dying of, its back to word of mouth i suppose, traders talk amongst ourselves and if some one has a very bad experience at a show they tell others who then may not do the show if offered, its a shame but a fact of life :)



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Here's a thought

Postby The Bearded Dwarf » Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:40 pm

Recently signed up to myspace. I have 60 odd (pardon the pun) freinds so far, who I bulletin with all the events I go to. More experienced myspace users may have 100's of friends. So what we have is a ready made advertising network e.g. If we set up a Reenactor Group on Myspace (I'm assuming that no one has yet - if they have can they please let me know so I can join :) )

Then all we need is for an event to be "announced" (a technical term I believe) to the Group Message Board with a polite message asking groupees to post a bulitin to all their "freinds".

Lets say we get 200 reenactors/ traders on our group with 50 non-reenactor "friends" each and we get 10,000 readers, sweet. Not only that, but this is target advertising because those who are "freinds" to reenactors, lets face it, are more likely to be alternative types that might turn up to something different.

any comments?


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Postby frances » Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:47 pm

I have heard about MySpace but I thought it was where teenagers posted videos. Am I wrong?

Otherwise that is a brilliant idea, for the computer literate. Never mind, the children will have to tell their grandparents where they are to be taken at the weekend.

Martin, one important aspect of salespersonship is how to make friends and influence people. It is the details that count. At marketing school you find out that top executives send birthday cards to customers, and find out the ages of the children and names of the pets, so they can talk to customers as though they care about them. Never mind if they do not - it looks as though they do. Then the customers are impressed and keep coming back to buy. Notice that re-enactment market organisers remember the names of the traders and ask about their ailments when they see them. Same thing.



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Postby Martin Cowley » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:18 am

erm, frances, whilst thats great info, im a bit unsure how it affects the point i was making ? :lol:



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Postby His Grace, Duke Henry » Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:46 am

Straight dope from the Hot Seat.

MOP attendance is rather more basic. Centre the site on a map. Draw rings round it at Two mile intervals. As the line of the circle goes over a major A road put a wonk in the circle outwards and a bigger wonk over centres of population, keep copying the shape outwards, making the wonk slightly more exaggerated each circle outwards.

This is your 2D plane. Drop it through a standard distribution curve (the tall, pointy ski slope down to a flat line sort of curve, one of them). You now have a 3D model of the "pull" of the event. You will attract a percentage of the population based on the "appeal" of your event, the "weather" of your event, the "timing" of your event, and depletion based on other attractions in the area which negatively "eat into" your "pull" model. You then have to saturate each ring area according to how much you have to spend on advertising budget which should be between one third and half total budget (less than this, give up, spend money on stamp collecting).

The clever bit. You lock your model into Newspaper distribution areas. Look at overlaps on your model and budget money accordingly. Ring up and say "I can't afford that!" when they quote you the price "Come on, do me the same for (half the price) and I will give you my card number." "I've got to ask about that. ... Oh, all right" "Including the VAT." "What?! Hang on... No we can't." "I haven't any more budget left." "Hang on... y e s o k a y... what's the card number..." Candy, kid, 2by4.

Called the law of decreasing returns. The further out people are the fewer turn out, the more you have to advertise to encourage them. At a certain point it isn't worth it. Conversely, advertising to local area is very effective and doing loads of local advertising returns big time.

Traders closest to the show will do the best advertising, they can hit the locals they know. Don't forget word of mouth. Careful about postering - there are billions of regulations about fly posting and if you what to drop a rival show in deep poo you stick posters advertising it superglued to the Town Hall / Civic Centre windows (and the windscreen of the Mayor's car) and run away before the cops turn out to arrest you.

Models are very good for advertising. So are underdressed bellydancers...

Not exactly rocket science is it?



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Postby Cat » Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:53 pm

...so are Devilstick Peat and Myk in full respective kit. So Is n!x dressed as a Roman in a shopping mall. More so for the Lady MOPs. (no, really :shock: :D )


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Postby Martin Cowley » Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:06 pm

or perhaps a couple of guys in full armour leafleting in kit in the town center, the traders supply a few drinks for the volunteer in the beer tent that evening, id more than happily go for it, and making it totaly voluntary for donations i.e no trsder is forced or should feel they have to but i think that the volunteers would go short for a few pints lol , Cosmeston do it before shows and it really makes a difference people come over for flyers ,kids drag their folks over, it works a treat :D



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Postby frances » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:28 pm

Dear Martin, my point is that there is a lot more to marketing an event than handing out leaflets. However, having said that, I have done many a leafleting in shopping centres in costume, playing music on the pipe and tabor, with a dancing bear (in an acrylic furry suit, mind). Now that really does make ones presence felt!



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Postby Martin Cowley » Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:52 am

Dear Martin, my point is that there is a lot more to marketing an event than handing out leaflets
yep i know, but if even that is not being done and no marketing is done at all then the show will not get better only worse for mop n reenactor turn out :lol: , ive been involved in promoting raves (undergorund ones), festivals, reenactments etc , i dont have any sort of "degree" in advertising but i know that no advertising leads to bad attendances and shows falling by the way side lol



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Re: Here's a thought

Postby Panda » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:44 pm

The Bearded Dwarf wrote:Recently signed up to myspace. I have 60 odd (pardon the pun) freinds so far, who I bulletin with all the events I go to. More experienced myspace users may have 100's of friends. So what we have is a ready made advertising network e.g. If we set up a Reenactor Group on Myspace (I'm assuming that no one has yet - if they have can they please let me know so I can join :) )


One could do similar by setting up a Bebo "band" Very handy way of letting people know about stuff. You would be surprised how many people yo will advertise to. :D


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Re: Here's a thought

Postby lidimy » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:37 pm

Panda wrote:
The Bearded Dwarf wrote:Recently signed up to myspace. I have 60 odd (pardon the pun) freinds so far, who I bulletin with all the events I go to. More experienced myspace users may have 100's of friends. So what we have is a ready made advertising network e.g. If we set up a Reenactor Group on Myspace (I'm assuming that no one has yet - if they have can they please let me know so I can join :) )


One could do similar by setting up a Bebo "band" Very handy way of letting people know about stuff. You would be surprised how many people yo will advertise to. :D


Second that!


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