For start-ups: Basic tips when joining a bazaar

Many business-minded people take advantage the purchasing behavior of Pinoys, particularly during the holiday season. The impulsiveness of many Filipinos and the desire to find unique items which aren’t common in the marketplace inspired entrepreneurs to venture on bazaars.

Joining a bazaar is risky, either you have sales or no sales at all, but many new entrepreneurs take the risk. The bazaar is a perfect place to introduce and sell products, meet future suppliers and partners, as well as to know your competitors.

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Image Credit to Pink Carpet Events

But before you dive into one, here are some basic tips when joining a bazaar.

Ideal venue
Look for a venue that is close to your target market. Bazaar organizers share their posters regularly in some private groups for concessionaires on Facebook. They also have media partners where advertisements of the event are being aired.

Rental fee
The famous and huge the bazaar, the higher the rate. Check your budget and ask yourself if you’re ready to take the risk. Don’t worry, there are even plenty of affordable bazaars that range from 400 to 3000 a day. Some concessionaires also look for booth partners to share the cost.

Set up a goal
Ask yourself what your goal is. Do you want to make money or use the opportunity to create brand awareness?

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Our goal when we first joined the Holiday Madness bazaar was to introduce our brand and meet our potential customers. We were just lucky to have sales, even after the event.

Study the date of the event
Check the date. Is it a holiday or payday?

We were invited to join a bazaar at Tiendesitas, but we backed out when we realized that on the same date was the “Fight of the Century”. Many people would rather stay at home or spend half of the day in restaurants to watch the fight.

Prettify your space
Use plain linens and curtains to further highlight your products, avoid printed ones. If allowed to use LCD or LED monitors, prepare a nice audio-visual presentation to capture the interest of your potential customers. Display your price-list so people won’t ask for it anymore.

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Some organizers provide a customized booth with shelves to concessionaires, just follow their instructions on how to primp the assigned space. It happened to us when we joined the Portico Bazaar. They set up almost everything, we just put our pre-approved products.

Read your contract carefully
Make sure to read and understand what are the terms, rules and regulations of the event.

Prepare the requirements
Even small businesses are obliged to submit requirements before joining a bazaar. First and foremost, your business must be DTI certified and BIR registered. Issuing official receipts in the venue are being observed as some BIR personnel love surprise visit.

Bench-marking
Know if there will be competitors in the venue. It won’t hurt to ask the organizer for the list of concessionaires.

Get all the supplies you need beforehand
Prepare your products, business cards, shopping bags, bills, receipts, supplies for the set up like tapes, push pins, cutting tool, scissors, markers and so on.

Oh, and don’t forget to bring mineral water, packed meals and snacks to save money because food from the venue are relatively costly

Marketing effort
Do not rely solely to the marketing effort of the organizers to bring foot traffic to the event. Promote the event among your networks.

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