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Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:43 am
by hamster
Well :o who would be interested in tradeing or help organise a winter market on the lines of Torm ILHF as there is nothing this side of the country. date to be confirmed but poss feb march 2016 it would NOT be the same weekend as torm or ILHF as we dont want to compeat we just want to offer an extra venu/event or if the organisers would like to help with one this side please contact us :? on
the Idea mooted at the moment is that we try to match traders to shops in the town also to have a market for re enactors that the public can also attend all periods

Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:32 am
by Graham Cooley
I don't wish to be negative but realistic. The comments below are not just in relation to an event in Tewkesbury but generally for winter markets. If it goes ahead I wish you all the very best but the comments below are based upon my feelings about the increase in markets generally. And I appreciate I have rambled a little with various thoughts.

From Tewkesbury to the existing markets it is only a couple of hours drive. When we lived in Newcastle we used to travel down and go to a market every 12 to 18 months to have a look around and get anything we wanted. At the time this was 4 to 6 hours travelling each way. Different markets have been tried in different areas "because there is not a market in this area" and while these have lasted for some time they have then folded due to various reasons but in general they are not sustainable.

There is only so many customers and so much money and they can only spend it once. So while a market seems a good idea the traders will be asked to pay another pitch fee in order to spread their customers across another market. While there may be a slight increase in customers going to this market it will not be sufficient to justify the additional pitch fee for the majority of traders. As a result you will attract some traders but not sufficient to make the market desirable for anyone but local customers.

We now have TORM, ILHF, NLHF and the Cambridge history fair. That's 4 markets in the spring and autumn all within 6 to 8 weeks of each other. These do have different characteristics and attractions but there are a number of traders who are at 2 or more of these markets. In my opinion customers are not going to travel to all four markets. How are you going to fit another market into the already crowded calendar?
Some traders only just cover costs at some markets now so an additional market spreading the customers thinner will result in it getting harder for some of these traders.

The market was a brilliant idea and hence TORM did exceptionally well for a number of years. There was room for another market and competition can be good. But it does seem that every organiser now thinks that they can add a market to their event and the traders will help pay the costs and provide an extra entertainment. In addition if someone organises a historic market, Christmas market or some other winter event then getting traders along is a fab idea for similar reasons. In my opinion markets are being put on for the benefit of the organisers, site, local town etc.. and not for the benefit of traders or reenactors.

Traders are customers themselves. If you are organising an event consider all your customers including the traders. Some traders have specialist products and do not sell to the public, some have lines that are of interest to the public, and some sell mainly to the public with things that are loosely based on history. What type of event are you trying to create and who do you want to attend? Consider all your customers including the traders. If they pay a fee to you then they should be entitled to expect something in return.

As I said at the start if it goes ahead I wish you all the very best. I'm just concerned that in the desire to hold a market in every location we are actually diluting the customers and making life much harder for traders who are trying to make a living in a difficult environment.


Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:47 pm
by acecat999
Well said graham.

id add war and peace to the market list as most of those you name dont cater for the 20th c. But we have monthly chatham bootfair too.

Basically ... a market in the far north might help them up there in the north.....

maybe ....

Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:38 pm
by Annie the Arrow
You know we have customers who have never attended any of the markets, thats why we do mail order. We get asked loads why isnt there a market in the far south. I think its a great idea :thumbup:

Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:25 pm
by SteveC
We're in Somerset,
For us TORM and NLHF are a long day. When they were both on the same weekend we've stayed over in Travel Lodge or similar.
ILHF and Cambridge would be just too far.
Tewksbury would be easier.
But somewhere around Bristol would be much better. However, I know these things are not easy to organise and spreading traders too thinly wouldn't actually help them or the customers.

Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:31 pm
by Tod
As a trader I completely agree with Graham. I do most of my shoe business by mail order but also do the markets (ILHF, Cambridge and TORM) as not only do I pick up bespoke business but it is a good place to market myself. There are limited number of customers country wide and by starting new markets it just means that we traders are going to increase our costs for maybe a marginal increase in turnover. Eventually I could see that increasing the prices of goods and then no one benefits.
I know some traders are already considering reducing the number of spring/autumn markets they do because of the costs and some have already quit because they don't sell enough (maybe the wrong goods). Some of the markets are trying to weedle out the "supermarkets" that only sell knock off stuff or imported rubbish (non period specific junk) this will help the artisan traders and those that design their own goods but it will still not make trading easy.
I have customers at the ILHF and TORM that come all the way from the north of Scotland and some from deep in the south west of England, they have been coming for years. Their fuel and hotel costs are huge but they come from areas where unlike the Midlands there are not hundreds of re-enactors. That means it is not cost effective to start a market in those areas. But if new markets start a bit nearer the centre of England it will lead to watering down of the existing ones. Saying that I've had my busiest market trading year to date, the busiest being the most established markets.

Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:17 pm
by John Waller
Firstly good luck to the proposed event. Still a long way for me to go and I probably would not do so, but all the best with it. I do think there is a need for an event in the South of England. It's the most densly populated area of the country and also where I live and the nearest market to me is still a 4-5 hour round trip. I'll probably go to NLHF but only because I'm heading north that weekend and it's not far out of my way (and free). Might go to TORM if I can car share but that might depend on what traders are there.

What might be an idea, and one which a group I'm a member of kicked around last year, is having a more tailored, niche, sort of market. Destination shopping is what I think it's called. We had access to a venue (M4 corridor, 25miles out of London) by virtue of one of our members being it's caretaker. It's no great barn like the big established markets and could not compete for size so the plan was to target it at a time period. In our case we thought 1600ish-1900ish, roughly the Horse & Musket era, encompassing Tudor, ECW, Napoleonic, ACW and Victorian eras. We particularly wanted to encourage people who didn't trade at other markets to attend and those who do in the time frame specified. The makers and traders we floated the idea to gave a positive response with the usual caveats - fees, dates etc. Anyhow the idea has run out of steam mainly due to our lethargy and the realisation that it's not what we are in the hobby for but I offer it as an idea.

Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:43 pm
by Tod
A lot of the bigger groups host traders at their events. Some invite the traders they want and even buy us lunch :D because they want their members to have the best kit. Others charge traders an annual fee and that means that good traders can be plonked in with traders who would be better off at a car boot sale. The result of that is that the membership have no idea who sells the right gear and some end up with absolute rubbish. The muddyevil events I've attended have all sorts of traders a lot of which are the "Supermarkets" which is perhaps why muddyevil is often a big messed up period of rubbish unless you attend one of the better events which are era specific - there are now active groups on FB trying to promote accurate kit to re-enactors. It sort of makes sense that if you can get your members access to good gear you'll have well dressed and armed members. Perhaps the way to go is for groups to go down the inviting traders route. At the same time traders should offer a service. They should be able to identify and know the background behind their products so that they can advise their customers. I will go to group training events with my stock for that period as long as its cost effective, some groups have came together and asked me to go to a meeting of those groups as they were planning a joint event (this was a plus as it was in a really good pub).
I think there is a misconception that traders (even the full time ones) make a fortune, we don't. I don't know any one who I would call well off who is a trader. If most of us worked out our hourly rate it would lower than the minimum wage for the hours we put in. So where ever we go it has to be worth our while, and even worth the risk at a first time event.
The alternative is mail order which in some cases can be more expensive than the fuel cost but it does save time.

Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:08 am
by Martin
if I may stick up for the traders selling " tat" or not 100% aufentic, they have a business to run and that business is selling to the MOPs who want a "bit of history" for their mantel piece and not a pair of 100% aufentic hand knitted socks or a coif, they want shiny helmets, crap swords etc for their wall, how many mops would buy a hand beaten 15 ct sallet ? some shows have BIG markets, shows like Tewks, the traders there cater to both, reenactors and mop,s, and without mop's most shows would be quite dull, some people do the hobby to increase their knowledge of the period, to "live the life" of a medieval / 18th century, Roman etc, but most ? most do it for the craig, a drink with their m8's and to show off to the mop's on the battle field, so lets not diss the traders who don't conform to 100% aufentic standards, just saying :), back to the original thread :)

Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:55 am
by plantychrisb
Well said, Martin.
I couldn't be more happy with the traders ( of all kinds ) who support our shows, and have done for many years. Inasmuch that I appreciate Tods' viewpoint, there does seem to be a lack of thought for the paying public in his very concise appraisal. an oversight, mayhap?


Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:57 pm
by budha64
couldn't agree more with you Martin.

Re: Poss extra Tewkesbury event 2016

Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:50 am
by Tod
I was defending if that's the right word the artisans and designers who make or sell stuff that is for re-enactment as that's what I do. I completely understand the difference between them and the food and wall hanger etc traders. I've always thought the existing Tewkesbury Market does very well in that there are traders for both the re-enactors and the general public, in fact I was going there with my bike club long before I reacted the period and the girls would spend time looking round the alternative clothing stalls whilst we went round the re-enactment traders.
EH do the same by having traders who sell re-enactment gear and traders who sell "related" items. However I will always stand up for the makers out there who spend more time putting in research to get things right and therefore have a lower over all hourly rate. It's one thing having a market where the public can buy something for the home and another having a re-enactment market. It was and is the same when I organised bike events, we had traders who sold bike parts and leathers and those who sold T shirts and models, I put the food (burger etc) into another category as they supplied a need.
There were some interesting conversations over the week end at the Cambridge Living History fair about this. That market brought in re-enactors who won't go to the more central markets because Cambridge (actually Godmanchester) is easier to get to for them. Some from the east still had to travel for several hours and said they wouldn't consider going any further. In that sense the market provided for a potentially new group of buyers. Being at an Animal Sanctuary there were traders who were more geared towards the general public and those who sold to both. On the flip side TORM being the best established market and having such a good reputation with re-enactors, museums etc tends to be geared towards them and being where it is can't get much passing trade, that isn't to say there are general pubic there but not in the numbers you get at the Cambridge market. I suppose the question is what sort of market is it you're trying to run (that's general not aimed at the original poster).
What I can say is that the view expressed by traders who spoke about this to me was that the more markets there are the more it costs us for a marginal increase in turnover and with that in mind they would have to seriously consider where they trade or even if they continue to trade in the long run. More of us are doing mail order business as well which is good for the customer as well as us. Some markets are as much a marketing exercise as a selling opportunity and they are the ones I think (I don't know) the makers target. It is really down to what a trader sells, my trading friends in the majority don't sell the general public hence why I have the opinion I do.