Is Your Booth Worth 1,000 Words?

Studies regarding first impression indicate that it takes anywhere from seven seconds to mere tenths of a second for people to make a conclusion about what they’re seeing. For vendors, this means that the way they present their product is incredibly important. Is it eye catching? Is it enticing? Whether a market manager or a vendor, understanding what makes a product booth attractive is critical to success. (Read: pretty booths with great product make more money!)

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Signage: Consumers aren’t created the same and some of them are far less apt to ask questions than others. This means that you need to level the playing field by giving all of your consumers easy access to all of the relevant information they’ll need to make a purchasing decision. What is the item? What’s the price? Is it all-natural? Organic? Are all ingredient’s locally sourced? Keep your signage simple, consistent and easy-to-read. When in doubt, just perform a random poll and ask your foot traffic what they think!

Decor: While string lights and streamers might be a little much, giving a few thoughts to non-produce booth decor shouldn’t be out of the question. Simple additions like tablecloths, attractive product containers and display racks can go a long way in making your delicious produce look that much more appetizing. Consider, too, offering more substantial producer information, like the history of your farm or opportunities to come visit, with a brochure or small poster display. Always remember, people love a good story!

Levels & Depth: Walk into any store and you’ll quickly notice that their displays aren’t created on one plain. Rather, they use different levels and depths to create a more interactive space. So instead of placing everything flat on tables, consider using crates or boxes to make multiple layers. Maybe your produce offering allows you to use large buckets at ground level and, if you have a covering, hanging baskets for height. A good rule of thumb is to progress from low to high displays the deeper you go.

Remember though that a good looking booth will only take the consumer so far in the purchasing decision. In order for your marketing efforts to pay off in real dollars, the product being sold needs to live up to the booth’s beautification! In other words, to acquire repeat customers, don’t just put lipstick on a pig.

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Is Your Farmers’ Market Socially Awesome or Socially Awkward?

Farmers’ markets have so much to talk about with their audience, but market managers can easily get overwhelmed in the digital world. With limited time and funds, you don’t have the luxury of trial and error – so how do you make the most of your online efforts? Read on!

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Don’t Go Overboard on Channels: It can be very easy to get wrapped up in the false need to use every social media channel out there – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, flickr, and so on. The options are practically endless and can quickly become overwhelming. So, rather than trying to spread your message everywhere, concentrate your efforts through two platforms.

Be Consistent: The best way to build your digital audience is to post information on a regular basis so that you stay front of mind. Remember that people have a lot of information to get through, but if they can look to you for reliable, quality information, you’ll become their go-to resource instead of just a passive advertiser.

Be Authentic: Give your connections photos and information of real, relevant value. In some cases, the value is merely a reason to smile (a funny cartoon about organic food or a poster graphic about loving farmers). In other situations, the value is new, helpful information that they can apply to their lives (a seasonal recipe or a new study about the health benefits of eating fresh food). At minimum, you should be posting three times a week.

Foregoing an online presence in today’s world isn’t an option – but it also isn’t the mountainous barrier it’s frequently made out to be. With Farmstand’s new tools, managers can simplify their life by using one platform that crowdsources from their community and populates all of that great content directly to Facebook, Twitter and the market’s very own website! Interested in streamlining your efforts? Get in touch today!

A Spooky Farmers’ Market Truth

Happy Halloween Farmstand friends!

In honor of this spooky celebration, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight an eerie reality for many farmers’ markets: More than half of all market administrators are volunteers!  At first glance, this is a wonderful thing – it means that markets everywhere are being run by individuals who are so passionate about what they do that financial compensation isn’t an issue.

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But if we dig a bit deeper, we have to acknowledge that volunteer resources for such a critical position often aren’t sustainable.  (This is why executive directors for nonprofit organizations are typically salaried.)  So while the goal of most farmers’ markets is not to turn big bucks, they should be organized to net enough – either through vendor payments, grants or sponsorships – to financially reward their administrator appropriately. Consider the following, taken from Farmers’ Market Coalition

“While most markets are limited by shoestring budgets, keep in mind that paid managers can greatly increase the likelihood of a market’s long-term success.”

So, think you have a great volunteer administrator now? Just imagine what they could do if they were actually being compensated for their blood, sweat and tears!