It’s the time of the year when we are all feeling broke. Vendor fees are piling up for all the fall shows and we are questioning where all these fees go. I saw a post today that I had to share.
A friend of mine writes:
I can’t afford anymore vendor fees maaaan. Ya girl is about to start takin up donations.
We all feel the pain. Unfortunately writing a post on Facebook doesn’t always share the sarcastic emotion behind the statement. However, it is something that we all are feeling.
The holiday markets can be wicked expensive. Some of the local markets regularly charge $250 – $600 for a weekend market during the holidays. However, it is important to know where that money goes.
One of our local event coordinators responded with this:
As an event organizer in the game for over 18 yrs, I have so much to share on this subject. Carla Lyles, I can sympathize with your desire for zero to no vendor fee, and I also know how much work goes into organizing and promoting a great event.
This past weekend we had to cancel our Midtown Spot Fur Fun Fest which sucked because what people don’t understand is that we spent money on thousands of fliers to promote, posters, instagram ads, purchased supplies, extension chords [sic] for lighting, coordinated with the venues next door for parking, coordinated with vendors, etc.
I can’t speak for all markets, but any event that I create and host, every vendor is going to get lots of promotional support from us and we work our asses off to get as many people there as possible. This is where part of your vendor fee goes. The rest hopefully becomes some sort of profit for our time and effort, as we too hope to make a living from what we do. Also, a little market vendor tip: If you ever want to be a part of one of my festivals and can’t afford the fee, I will always work with you or offer some help. All you have to do is ask.
These fall holiday markets are not usually held in parking lots. They are in convention centers or event centers or other rented spaces. This space costs money so yes, you can expect to pay more for these events.
Now there are some exceptions to this. Many communities hold their own holiday market. We have one just south of us in a new community that draws all their residents. It is only for one evening but the vendor fees are incredibly reasonable. The community managers aren’t there to make a profit, just to cover their costs. The benefit they get from is not monetary, but it helps to build relationships among the community neighbors.
The market coordinators are people too. They have bills of their own just like you do. Get to know them and work with them. They will probably be more than happy to work with you too – particularly if you and your product are a draw for their market.
See you at market!