Ever set up a big canopy at the Clevedon or Matakana farmers’ market? Then you know how difficult it can be to manage the booth, tend to your goods, and attract customers – all at the same time.
But then again, nothing beats the happy customers who appreciate your homemade goods. Farmers’ markets are perfect venues to showcase your excellent artisanship, talk about your passion, and sell your handmade goods. Underneath the right tent, that is.
And what kind of tent is the ‘RIGHT’ farmers’ market canopy?
A heavy-duty gazebo is the right tent for using at the next farmers’ market. It will protect you from the unpredictable New Zealand weather, and also keep your goods safe from direct sunlight.
But, there are several options in the portable outdoor shelter category, why do you recommend only a heavy-duty gazebo for sale?
You need to invest in a heavy-duty, durable, and all-weather marquee, if:
- You intend to use it frequently;
- You are searching for commercial marquees that can be used round the year; and,
- You want a heavy-duty gazebo that is wind, water, and fire-retardant.
What transforms a tent into a heavy-duty gazebo?
Like all other gazebos, the heavy-duty commercial marquees are also made up of a canopy and frame, but the materials that go into manufacturing these components distinguish a regular tent from heavy-duty commercial tents.
The common canopy materials are Polyethylene (PE), Poly/PVC, and PVC.
- PE is the cheapest option, and is very similar to a tarpaulin, plastic-type material. This isn’t hard-wearing, and is suitable only if you’re looking for a lightweight, affordable, and replaceable outdoor tent, instead of a durable and robust structure that can withstand inclement weather and mishap.
- Poly/PVC has a PVC coating atop a strong and waterproof polyester canvas. It is a combination of durability and style, and provides the right strength for mid-level events.
- PVC tents are extremely heavy-duty, and well-suited for frequent usage at commercial setups. They are long-lasting, all-weather, and resilient against everyday wear and tear.
While we’re at this, let’s look at the common framework materials, namely steel and aluminium.
- Steel is durable and strong, but is extremely susceptible to corrosion. Steel is galvanised for protection against rusting. Galvanisation is essentially coating the metal surface with paint. However, this is not permanent, as the paint starts peeling off after sometime.
- Aluminium undergoes oxidation, wherein the topmost layer of the metal accumulates aluminium oxide. This protects the surface layer beneath. Since the process occurs on the metal surface itself, there is no peeling or flaking, making aluminium very durable and long-lasting.
Verdict: Go for heavy-duty pop-up gazebos for sale with an aluminium framework and a PVC roof canopy. They’re expensive, but worth every penny that you invest.
Now that you’re all set, let’s see how to get back your money’s worth at the next Farmers’ Market!
Tip #1: Early bird catches the worm.
Start early. Arrive at the venue ahead of other exhibitors to scout the best location. Arriving well before in time will also help you set up your tent without a hoard of people elbowing you, bumping into you, or excusing themselves to move past as you set up your booth.
Tip #2: Location, location, location.
Pitch your heavy-duty gazebo near a prominent point of interest. This could be the amenities, café, or entry and exit gates. These places receive the highest footfall, and hence, your stall stands the chance to have the maximum exposure.
Tip #3: First impressions matter.
You could sell out corns from the back of your truck directly, just like many others. Or, you could buy a big canopy, get it printed, and create a warm, welcoming space that instantly attracts visitors. Your call.
How you arrange your wares is as important as where you sell them from. Instead of placing those brown, lustre-less apples in the front, choose the juicy, round, and red tomatoes. Stack up your greens, instead of just strewing them around.
Tip #4: Can you relate?
Funky names like ‘Mountain water’ sound cool, but remember, part of the draw at any Farmers’ Market is the experience. Your buyers could have gone to their local target and Walmart to buy produce, baked goods, and soaps, but they feel that they’re doing their bit in supporting local producers and artisans. Give them this experience.
Choose a name that is relatable and provokes a feeling of being local: Annette’s Homemade Breads, or Johnson’s Farm Fresh, for instance. The aim is to find customers and make them relate to your booth, then your products, and eventually your brand.
Printed commercial marquees can help in creating this effect. Contact your heavy-duty gazebo supplier for more details.
Pro tips for getting a hard-to-miss printed heavy-duty gazebo:
- Display your brand name, logo, and other relevant information prominently on the top of your tent.
- Get the peak, valence, and walls printed in vibrant, rich colours that stand out.
- Buy signage and promotional banners, and disperse them throughout the venue – leverage the space near your booth, parking lots, and entry and exit areas.
Tip #5: Value for money, my friend.
Most customers fossick around farmers’ market looking for a good bargain. Price your goods and wares competitively. You don’t want your prices to skyrocket, but you also don’t want to set the prices too low. Label all your good correctly with accurate cost, so that customers easily understand your pricing.
Great, what’s next? Where do I use these tips at?
We’ve picked out 4 best Farmers’ Markets in New Zealand for you. So get that heavy-duty gazebo ready, and raring to go!
Top 4 best markets for your farmers’ market canopy:
Cheese-lovers, unite. The Tauranga market has been operating for over a decade and is always thriving with locally sourced, seasonal produce. Visit or participate here every Saturday from 7.45am to noon.
Location: Tauranga Primary School, between Arundel Street, 5th Avenue, and Cameron Road.
This market has been bagging the NZ Farmers’ Market Award for three consecutive years now. Visit here every Friday from 9am to 2pm.
Location: Manchester Square, Feilding
Matakana always sways with throbbing music and fresh, organic produce. You can find local growers, artisans, and farmers here with their pickles, cheeses, smoked meats, baked goods, and crafts. The Farmers’ Markets is hosted every Saturday from 8am to 1pm, while the Indie Craft Market operates every Sunday from 9.30am to 2.30pm.
Location: Matakana Square, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana
This buyers’ paradise is brimming with fruit, veggies, meats, cheese, and homemade goodies. Go on an insane shopping spree or soak in the family-friendly vibe every Sunday from 8.30am until noon.
Location: Clevedon Showgrounds, Monument Road (Gate 6, the Munro Entrance)