Sunday, 14 July 2013

Trying to pull in the crowds

One of the few sales I attend on a regular basis is a very local one to me.  If you are in Bedford or the surrounding area, on the first Saturday of the month is Bedford Crafts, Produce and a Cuppa.  I have been going every other month or so since its beginning, six months ago.
This is held in the community centre of a local residential area.  It is in the middle of a parade of shops, which includes Aldi, a chemist, a Co-op and various other businesses, all of which seem to be well used.  It has parking in abundance and is easily accessible.  So the venue should hit the spot.
The event itself is free to visit.  What is more, everyone who attends can get a free cup of tea or coffee, or a cold drink - which, in a shopping area with no cafe would make it attractive, you would think. The stalls are varied and interesting, with items realistically priced.  There is even a free craft activity for children every month - this month it was cup cake decorating.
Zoe and Su, who run the event, have advertised it widely.  There are banners, flyers posted through doors, there has been a feature on local radio, it is in the local papers, and people shopping are often personally invited in by stallholders who go out into the car park.  Despite this, footfall remains low.  I know some of this is just down to the need to get established, but it is such a shame that so many do not seem to know about (or care about) this event.  If you are in Bedford, do ask for more details, and do drop in.  It really is worth a visit.

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