Market activity contributes to all 25 priorities identified in the High Street 2020 project, improving town centre vitality and viability. In order for market operators to respond and adapt to change against a competitive environment, budgetary cuts and savings, it is vital for core services to be prioritised towards event management and partnership working while the administrative load is facilitated through a suite of digital solutions.
Two Levels of Entry
The Market People offers two level of entry to market operators and events organisers:
The first level is free and registration is made through "The free event registration" (button to be found in our home page)
The second level of entry is a comprehensive management and marketing suite, best suited for professional market operators and event managers.
This level is designed to accommodate all operators, large and small. Using modern technology, it's packed with automated marketing tools including: Digital Marketing, Multiple Website Listings, IFrame Technology allowing your event or selected events to be listed on your website and other websites, Social Media Integration allowing actions such as event publishing to be posted on your twitter account, Proximity Marketing via pre-programmed Eddystone beacons, Interactive Marketing via QR coding and delivery of the trader special offers to the registered member of the public.
All the above FREE. The only costs are for additional and customised items such as pre-programmed beacons for proximity marketing or the insertion of your personalised IFrame in an existing website (we provide the IFrame for free).
Notifications sent to all the registered traders when you publish your event. There are also some cool features such as the ability to clone an event or receive profiles of traders and the description of their stalls when they are interested by your offer. All good stuff.
We are introducing a new feature to all operator accounts: "boost your markets and events" which will be provided for a small fee, it includes the professional registration of your event profile, a tailored press release sent to relevant national and local publications and media, listing of your event on local websites and all relevant local social media networks. Early results are very encouraging, increasing the traffic to the events' webpages 9 fold. To be followed...
Full Management Suite:
The Market People's fully scalable management suite can accommodate all types of markets and commercial events but is better suited for you as professional market operators and event organisers. In addition to all of the marketing features mentioned above, it provides operators with an impressive array of tools and services, designed to improve efficiency in almost every area of your business, these include:
- Access to the only central and online booking system available today. Making applications to your events only five clicks away from a registered traders mouse.
- Fast tracked telephone booking, allowing the "not so good with computers" to book by telephone
- Instant access to the stall and professional details of the applicants, allowing you to make informed decisions when processing their applications
- Full benefits of our trader accreditation process that guarantee that traders' documentation is in order at time of booking, with notifications if documentation expires before the event takes place (traders are not able to book when their public liability is expired for example, but if their insurance runs out at any time after their booking is confirmed, their booking will not be cancelled by the system, but instead, you will be informed and be able to take the appropriate action).
- Customisation of your services and stock list details, including pricing, applicable VAT and total number of units.
- Multiple type of units (gazebo, barrow, stalls, pitch, etc.) are available for traders' applications.
- Automated stock level management (partially meaning that when a booking has expired, the system understands that the item is now available).
- Automated pitch availability.
- Automated delivery of Itemised Invoices, credit notes and receipts.
- Full audit and monitoring of traders' accounts.
- Multiple payments facility (cash, online, credit cards, cheques, direct debit, prepaid, with deposit, in full or partial).
- Pitch allocation
- Automated booking for permanents traders
- Automated commodity restriction (trader application)
- Automated stallage restriction
- Automated notification of vehicular restrictions
- Pricing per commodity sold
- Trader Acceptance of your Trading Terms and Conditions
- Automated application of your special discounts and offers accordingly to: specific trader or stall, commodity, new trader, specific event, specific dates or date range, specific booking circumstances. For example, discounted, non-refundable early bird bookings.
- Sign posting in the event listing for traders of the events where one of their stall is eligible for discount.
- Staff access level, this feature allows you to choose which level of access, you want to assign to each member of your staff. For example, someone working in the accounts department can receive payment but will not be able to accept of refuse an application, cancel a booking or give a discount. Give a marketing person only access to view and edit the market event description, add or remove related photo...
- Staff individual dashboard appropriate to their access level and function. Once a member a staff has been assigned to one of the preset level of access, they can access the information relevant to their duties through their own dashboard, this is where, for example, every morning the market attendant will see the number of traders booked for the day and their pitch allocation.
- Assignment of events to specific members of staff, while we haven't completed the development of a staff rota feature yet, operators can assign staff to specific events, this feature allows you, for example, to assign a specific manager to a specific market at the last minute, thus giving them access according to their credentials to a specific market or event. A great feature for large companies needing to replace staff without affecting the day to day business.
- Audit of staff action: as the main account holder you can trace back which authorised member of staff made a specific decision when giving a discount, collecting payment, cancelling a booking, etc. or use this feature to demonstrate and justify your decision making process when you are accounted for your action.
- One-click communication with traders, a simple glimpse at the screen of your smartphone gives you access the daily list of your traders and their contact details, a tap of the finger and your phone is calling the trader. Very useful for the market attendant when a trader hasn't turned up.
- Send emails to groups of traders. Within two clicks of a mouse, you can send email to all your traders, only traders who are attending a specific event or on a specific date, traders that have applied but not confirmed bookings etc. lots of time saving here, while always targeting the right group of people and missing no one.
- Automated file sharing between relevant stakeholders. This feature gives local authorities direct access to your professional documentation and that of the traders attending your event on each day. Officers can only access the details relevant to their duty, for example, an Environmental and Health officer, only has access to the professional contact details and relevant documents such as hygiene certificates, HACCP, food business registration and previous inspection reports of traders attending a market or an event in their jurisdiction. It allows officer to communicate directly with the trader and operator when extra documentation or details are required. This feature also reduces the risk of miscommunication since you do not act as intermediary, you are not involved in the conversation. It also saves lots of officials time, as there is never a need to chase for documentation or information. In the case of large events, it also nullifies the need to have multiple SAG meetings as all the relevant members are informed automatically and are able to communicate individually with the operator.
- Event cloning facility. You will be glad to know that you can clone any of your previous markets or events, avoiding the need to set the same parameters every time
- You can create teams of permanent traders and assign a team to a relevant markets. For example every Friday and Sunday you run a general market with permanent traders, when you create your market in the system you just need to assign the "general market team" of permanent traders for them to be booked automatically and the same for your monthly farmers market. If a permanent trader wishes to cancel, they will be able to do so accordingly to your terms and conditions, but otherwise, you don't have to worry if they are going to come or not or risk forgetting to keep their pitch.
- The way the application is built, allows you to share data with third-parties, this opens new business opportunities, particularly when operators are involved in running market on behalf of local authorities. A simple example, as an operator you can charge a council for running their market, you don't have to be collecting the rent as it can be paid directly to the council, while you will still be able to monitor the trader's account, view who has paid or not and take necessary actions. The options are almost endless as performances can be monitored and actions accounted for, making this the perfect tool for a transparent partnership.
- Enhanced marketing tool for your traders. Since you are using a live booking system, all the stalls attending your market are accurately listed in the public profile of your market, every day. Allowing your traders to be promoted on your website, including any special offers they may have (for more information about traders' special offers, please contact us). It also allow them to take part in your proximity advertising campaign (which is part of our marketing tools).
- Thanks to the live, online, booking facility, if you run a busy market, by simply making sure that your traders cancel their booking in advance, you will never miss the opportunity to rent a pitch and never have to turn down queuing market traders.
- And finally, If you have read all the above twice and understand what this really means, You probably realise that you will be able to achieve as much in few hours as you currently do in a week. Mostly from the terrace of the local coffee shop or the lounge of your favourite golf course, all of this, without the need for an office, filing cabinets (maybe one, for old times sake), or answering machines. What a great opportunity for you to be finally able to concentrate your efforts on the marketing and promotion of your market and perhaps importantly, your traders.
Cons and Missing Features
Missing specific features to be developed.
- The ability to add separate items, (a table or a power socket), to an existing booking once it has been confirmed. At the moment you will need to cancel the previous booking and make a new one including the extra items (a 5 minutes job instead of a 30-second exercise).
- You can't charge for anything that exceeds the duration of a booking using the system. For example, you can't charge a regular but casual trader, for monthly storage. If you provide such services, you will need to manage these assets separately (for the time being).
- The ability to cancel one day of a published event. You can cancel all the bookings for a specific day, but that specific day will remain listed in the public pages, or cancel the whole event which will also cancel all your existing bookings, which means that you will have to create, a new event first and rebook everybody before cancelling the previous event (yes, that is the day when you want to through the computer out of the window) or give us access to your account, for us to be able to make related changes in the database. A fix for this bug will be part of the next release.
- If each and every unit or pitch you are renting out are of different prices and sizes, the listing in your "manage booking" screen will be very heavy. Due to the rarity of this case, a fix for this issue is not expected before January 2018.
- When you adopt TMP booking system, you need to process all your booking through the application, which also means that each and every trader will need to complete their online registration. To avoid unnecessary confrontation and until the application is widely adopted by the traders, it is recommended to use the free service during and introductory period in order to softly introduce TMP to your existing traders. Our experience shows that for 85% of the traders, no intervention or help is needed, but during the introduction process, for a period of approximately 3 months, the remaining 15% will need some TLC. Somehow, after that period, the Chinese whispers will take over, the "magic" of the markets! Then, while walking in your market's alleys, you can overhear a trader saying proudly to another: "I find it quite easy and useful really, can't do any 'arm... it's not as difficult as I thought it would be..." you'll know that you've won.
ConsThis is not a plug and play service, unlike the "free" operator account. You will need basic training to be able to use this service, particularly when setting the account parameters. Additionally, the UX and UI of the operator dashboard has not yet been optimised, meaning that this part of the application is not intuitive. Because the user interface will change once optimised, we are not going to write the manual or help files until the new version is released. However, we are offering online support, training courses and initial setting up of your account including creating your first market or event. The length of the training course will vary from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the size of your operation and its complexity, the number of people to train and their individual learning abilities.
Automate 70% of your administrative workload, allowing for a range of staff levels with our powerful and unmatched management tools, while retaining full control of the selection process
Publicise your market and generate interest in events to the industry as well as members of the public through our streamlined system of marketing tools, regardless of the size of your operation
Monitor trader accounts, allow for incentives and receive payment by cheque, credit card or online* either in advance or onsite through your smartphone or tablet, with all receipts emailed to you automatically
* Subject to an authorised Merchant Account
"The Market People allowed us to reduce our administration load by 70-80% and get our traders directly involved in the promotion of the markets, leading to an estimated 20-30% increase in trader turnover."