I used to run a booth at different farmer’s markets around San Diego & it gave me an offline way to see how important traffic is on the internet. When you’re a vendor at a market you put in lots of time to prepare, transport and then sell your product. If there’s no foot traffic at the market it’s really annoying and disheartening.
There’s only so much you can do to get people to your booth. The marketing aspect of it all is handled by the manager of the market. Even if the manager is good, if some factors aren’t in line you just might not get the amount of traffic you need to make it a worthwhile venture.
There were definitely some real hot markets in the San Diego area that had lots of good traffic but it was tough to get a spot at those. You pretty much had to wait it out and jump when someone decided to give up their spot. Another way is to get in on the ground floor of a new market and hope it turns into an awesome one. But that doesn’t happen very often.
It’s a way to make a living if the cards are in your favor and you’re willing to hustle. I knew some people who were in the really good markets and that made it possible for them to participate in the not-so-good ones the rest of the week.
In my experience, I met a lot of really cool people (vendors and customers) and that’s the aspect I miss the most. Farmer’s markets are a wonderful thing. As far as I’m concerned, I learned that I like going to them rather than working at them. I also learned that I like doing business online WAY better than offline!