Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Going Indie: Which Bazaar?

As I gear up to get ready for YOUTH'09 this weekend, I thought I'd share with you a few tips on how to choose an event to take part in since there are an overwhelming number of bazaars, markets, fairs, whatever you call them mushrooming all over KL of late. I don't know about you but as someone struggling to make a name for Mimpi I'm left feeling pretty overwhelmed at the choices available & so without fail, I whip out my handy dandy list of questions that I use to vet each bazaar that I'm interested in taking part (and to bug the bazaar operator) so that I can come to a knowledgeable decision. Feel free to use & amend the list below as you see fit or drop me a comment if you'd like to add a question or two (or three!).
  1. When & where will the event be held?
    Dates & location are key folks. I suggest stay away from events that are too close to major holidays like Hari Raya as most people will balik kampung 2 - 7 days beforehand & if you've never heard of the event venue, then I bet you lots of other people haven't heard of it too. You can still take the risk & sometimes you'll be happy you did but a risk is still a risk.
  2. How much is the rental?
  3. Is it an indoor or outdoor event? If it's outdoor, what sort of contingency plan is in place in case of rain?
  4. What items will be provided? What items do I need to bring?
    Eg. table, chairs, tarp to cover the table/racks in case of rain, etc.
  5. Will I have access to electrical outlets? If so, will I need to bring an extension cord?
    Bring a really looooong extension cord if you have one. I've been told before that each table would have "acccess" to electrical outlets so I brought along my standard 5m extension. Unfortunately the bazaar operators neglected to mention that the outlet was 20m away from my table!
  6. Will I have access to wi-fi?
    This is quite important for online business owners I think, as I've actually run my online business concurrently with my offline business... plus it's great that I get to catch up with my emails & online orders during the quiet periods at the bazaar.
  7. How convenient is parking? Is there a charge for parking?
    Please use proper parking where possible. I'd hate for you to use your profits from the event to pay your saman!
  8. Do I have to be accepted to join the event, or is it on a first come, first served basis?
  9. Do I have to pay rental fees before the event & if so, when is the deadline for payment to secure a spot? Will there be a refund offered just in case I can't attend after making the payment?
  10. What are the sales & attendance figures for the bazaar?
  11. How many traders will be there?
  12. Is the location of my space/table based on allocation or first come, first served?
  13. If location is allocated, can I choose my location? Who will my neighbors be?
  14. What is the event venue layout like? Is a layout of the venue provided?
    Big brownie points if the bazaar operator can provide this. At least you'll know where the toilets are in case of emergencies.
  15. Will there be an ATM available?
    This is always good to know so that you can warn your customers beforehand in case there isn't one
  16. Are there any promotional/ publicity effort being done for this event?
  17. If so, then how is it being done? Are there fliers/ posters/ radio announcements/ commercials being distributed/on air?
  18. Are there any posters/ badges/ buttons/ clips/ info/ link that I can add onto my blog to further promote the event to my blog readers/website visitors?
  19. Is there a map to the venue provided?
  20. Is the event approved by DBKL/ MPAJ/ MPSJ/etc?
    This is simply good to know just in case some big honcho somewhere decides to do an operasi.
Now, bazaar operators SHOULD be able to answer all of these questions. If they don't answer at all or even neglect to explain any of the above questions in a concise manner that you can understand (a simple yes or no would suffice for some of the questions), then I suggest stay away.

So that was my first little nugget of knowledge for Going Indie. Hope you enjoyed it or that it helps you in some small way. Email me at mimpi.murni@gmail.com if there's a particular topic you'd like me to cover or if you have any questions regarding today's topic.

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