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Organizing a bazaar

By Anne De La Cruz |

Many organizers believe the months leading up to Christmas are perfect for holding bazaars.
“It’s the best time for bazaars because people feel like spending. They splurge and everybody feels light,” says Louie Baui-Oca, marketing director of Brown & Boop.

 

Baui-Oca, Camille Abello and Carlos Calimon organize bazaars yearly at the Greenmeadows clubhouse in Quezon City. Baui-Oca says November 30, a holiday, has recorded the highest bazaar sales. It is also around this time that employees get the first release of their Christmas bonus or 13th month pay. “This is basically the season for buying gifts, so consignors are more inclined to join bazaars,” says Calimon.

 

Still, Bing Joaquin, president of Global Planners Inc., has a found a niche organizing bazaars in the so-called off-season months. “Some people consider holding bazaars a big gamble, but we’ve found it to be lucrative probably because of our good location,” Joaquin says. In March, Global Planners started a six-month bazaar at the auditorium of the Tektite Building in Ortigas Center, where 85 percent of the shoppers are employees and the peak hours are lunch and after six. “We are very comfortable with the niche we’ve found,” says Joaquin “We are quite happy with the lean months.”

 

Joaquin knows whereof she speaks. She has been organizing bazaars since 1980. She held her first at The Manila Peninsula hotel, and the biggest she has ever organized was probably the Bazaar Universe at the Westin Philippine Plaza, which coincided with the Miss Universe pageant in Manila. Last August, she held a “Shopping Carnival” bazaar at the World Trade Center.

 

Baui-Oca says you could organize bazaars once a month, but you should avoid holding one in March—graduation time—or June, because of the school opening. “Once a month is all right, but if you are looking forward to a successful bazaar, Christmas is really the best time to do it,” she says.

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How lucrative are bazaars for organizers? Abello says she and her partners usually shell out between P20,000 and P30,000 each to cover expenses in organizing the yearly bazaar at Greenmeadows. But they double or triple the money they put in. “The bulk of your budget will be eaten up by the cost of the venue like Greenmeadows, where we have to set aside P60, 000 to P80,000 for two days rent,” Abello says. “The other expenses will go to logistics, tables and chairs.”

 

When to hold your bazaar is just one of the many things you should consider when organizing one. Here are other things to remember to make your bazaar a successful one:

 

‘The bulk of your budget will be eaten up by the cost of the venue.’

• Choose a friendly and accessible venue. The choice of venue will influence the outcome of your bazaar. Baui-Oca was already toying with the idea of organizing bazaars at The Fort and Greenbelt I in Makati even before construction of these venues started. “You could say that I have an eye for these things because I saw the potential in these two venues—especially Greenbelt, where the Ayala group transformed one of the theaters into a trade hall,” she says. Parking is important to her because her target market is the A segment and the expatriate community.

 

Abello and Calimon concentrate on Greenmeadows because it is accessible to at least six villages and subdivisions. “The venue is good because the clubhouse is air-conditioned, and this makes it comfortable for both our consignors and customers,” Calimon says.

 

• Look for the right concessionaires. Calimon says the concessionaires they attract are usually those just starting out in business. “They join bazaars so they can get a feel of how the market will respond to their products,” he says. “Bazaars are a good means to gauge the acceptability of products.”

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He also visits other bazaars to look out for new concessionaires. “It’s become a habit for us to ask for calling cards from the owners of the stalls we visit in other bazaars,” he says. “That’s one way of sourcing new concessionaires.”


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