Holding A Christmas Market – A Guide For Event Planners

Estimated read time 6 min read

If you’re keen to generate exposure for your event planning business – and provide a magical experience for your local community at the same time – hosting a Christmas market is the perfect way to combine the two.

Providing much-needed good cheer amid the gloom and monotony of the winter months, the festive season offers the ideal opportunity to showcase your planning talents. Special occasions such as Christmas day and seasonal fairs and markets can also offer much-needed light relief, as global and national economic crises have plunged large segments of society into financial hardship.

By planning a Christmas market for your local community, you will be giving them a chance to gather and reconnect while simultaneously providing a feast for all the senses.

This kind of event is enjoyed by people of all ages, from the very young to the very old, and gives you plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your flair for planning. With that in mind, read on for some top tips on how to plan a Christmas market that will not only boost your business but will provide your community with some wonderful holiday memories to cherish.

Get The Venue Right

Get The Venue Right

Christmas markets can be equally enchanting when held indoors or outside. However, both options have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

For example, if you have an outdoor venue in mind, you will have to take the famously fickle British weather into account. Rain is not so much of an issue, but ice and snow can make roads and pathways treacherous, so factor this into your planning. Having a number of volunteers on hand to keep the walkways clear and offer assistance to elderly or disabled visitors is a good idea, as the safety and well-being of your attendees should be your top priority. In order to beat the chill and help your visitors have a pleasant experience at the market, you should also provide ways to help them keep warm – whether by serving hot food and drink or by providing heated seating areas. Better yet, combine the two!

If you decide that the stress of worrying about the weather could be too much hassle, choosing a spacious indoor venue will ensure all attendees are kept warm and dry. However, the venue should be appropriate for the number of people you expect to come, and there should be clearly marked fire exits in case of emergency.

Whichever location you choose for your market, car parking is something to think about. If your venue offers its own parking, that is ideal; if not, you should inform potential attendees of the nearest parking places for their convenience. You may also wish to hire some parking attendants to help people find the right spot.

Use Software To Help With Logistics

Use Software To Help With Logistics

Deciding to plan a big event such as a festive market can seem like a gargantuan task, with so many factors to consider and so many things that could potentially go wrong. Thankfully, there are techniques you can use to make the whole experience less stressful. For instance, you can use cutting-edge software such as OnePlan to help you plan a Christmas market.

Allowing you to map out everything from your parking spaces to where each vendor will be positioned, OnePlan is a free virtual solution that can revolutionise the planning process and help you collaborate with vendors to ensure a wonderful event. By making the most of software like this, you can streamline the planning process and ensure that your event is safe and easy to manage.

Putting Together A Festive Banquet

Putting Together A Festive Banquet

Besides gifts and Santa Claus, one of the best things about the Christmas period is all the delicious seasonal delicacies people like to enjoy – both savoury and sweet.

To help ensure the success of your market, you need to make sure you invite a variety of food vendors that specialise in all of the varied tastes of Christmas. From mulled wine and mince pies to pigs in blankets and vegetarian festive treats, you will need to cater to various tastes and dietary requirements.

Choosing local vendors to provide the refreshments is to be recommended, as not only does it show your support for your community but, if they are based nearby, they are less likely to cancel at short notice or fail to turn up.

Entertainment And Activities

Entertainment And Activities

To help create that festive atmosphere and provide a truly memorable occasion for your visitors, having a variety of seasonal activities and entertainment is key.

From your local church choir singing carols to folk singers or even a classical quartet, there are plenty of musical options to choose from. Perhaps you could even ask children from the local school to sing during the event – their proud parents will be beaming with pride.

As for the activities, Christmas lends itself to arts and crafts, so offering a range of workshops and creative activities will keep people interested. Invite local craftspeople and businesses to show off their wares and impart their skills – from teaching people how to weave a Christmas wreath or make their own decorations through to explaining how to bake mince pies or make festive cocktails, there are so many seasonal activities to try.

Of course, if you will have plenty of families attending, you will probably want to dedicate a corner of the market to a Winter Wonderland area or create your own Santa’s Grotto. Buy a range of affordable gifts in bulk and wrap them up so your Santa can hand them out to each child, and give parents the chance for photo opportunities with their children and Father Christmas.

You could also have a few fairground-style stalls offering games and rides, such as a carousel, spinning tea cups, a small Ferris wheel (depending on the size of your venue), hoopla, and lucky dips.

Last But Not Least – Raise Awareness

Last But Not Least - Raise Awareness

The most painstakingly organised Christmas market can still be a flop if not enough people come. In the weeks leading up to the event, make sure you orchestrate an eye-catching marketing campaign to bring people’s attention to the market and make them want to turn up.

From handing out leaflets and erecting signs to offering special discounts and coming up with your own social media hashtag, there is a range of ways to promote your market and make sure it’s well-attended on the big day.

Sarah Cantley

Editorial Head at UK Blog for Business & Startup.

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