As consumers once again begin emerging from a pretty locked down and socially distanced winter season, they are going to be super eager to get out of the house and not only enjoy the warmer weather, but also to mingle with friends and do some in-person shopping. There is one way that shoppers can check off all of these boxes: by visiting outdoor summer pop-up markets and festivals.
A Cheap Way to Grow Your Business
Especially for brands who are just starting out or do not yet have a storefront, summer markets and festivals are great ways to get your company name out there and make some sales. In fact, a farmers market situated in Florida has become a wonderful testing ground for burgeoning new businesses created amid the pandemic. As entrepreneurs began to pursue their passions and leave their 9-5 desk jobs, the Lakewood Ranch Farmers Market at Waterside Place has become an attractive way for these new retailers to test their mettle before opening brick-and-mortar locations.
“In today’s world, space is really expensive, so if you are going into a retail space, that is a huge investment for the very first time,” Monaca Onstad, Director of Community Relations at Lakewood Ranch Communities, LLC, said. “So if you are selling pickles, but are not sure if the world will like your pickles, this is a great way to test the market before you go into a brick-and-mortar store. Some of our vendors have such a huge following because they are getting 7,000 – 8,000 shoppers coming through a week.”
Open-Air Markets Meet Safety Precautions
Even though some consumers are still a little cautious to go shopping in person, outdoor pop-up markets and festivals provide that open-air atmosphere to make them feel safe with plenty of space to keep socially distant from others. While the Lakewood Ranch Farmers Market experienced some negative effects from COVID-19 in the very beginning, they were able to bounce back quickly due to their open air market, causing shoppers to feel more comfortable going out for the weekend.
“As we all emerge from the pandemic, a huge number of shoppers will be visiting pop-up markets and festivals in droves,” Udayan Bose, founder and CEO of NetElixir, said. “Mobile marketing will be key this summer, as will connecting online and offline to provide a seamless experience for customers. Platforms like Google have launched a Performance Max campaign format that ties in advertising various Google properties into one instead of separate local campaigns and smart shopping campaigns. Marketers will need to make the most of these advertising options.”
Make This Your 2022 Goal
Onstad says to consider markets and festivals as an incubator to help retailers out until you can get your own storefront. Just like Lakewood Ranch Communities, most of these open-air locations favor small businesses and want to help promote them as much as possible. Even if you are already a well-established brick-and-mortar retailer, make it a goal this year to step outside and take part in a local market or festival.