Nothing beats the twinkly, festive feel of a Christmas market. Fairy lights sparkle and the smell of deliciously spiced mulled wine fills the air as festive-feeling folk mooch around lovely stalls of hand-crafted goods. Bliss!
Good news is – organising one for your local community doesn’t have to be as complicated as it first seems. And it can be a great way to raise your profile as an event organiser, make money for charity, or shine a spotlight on your brand.
Whatever your motivations are – this quick guide to planning a small Christmas market for your local community has you covered.
Top tip: Selling tickets online to your Christmas market can be a great, low-maintenance way to raise money for charity. You can build donations into the cost of your ticket, or enable our donation feature so attendees can donate as much or little as they want.
Let’s go 👇.
✨ Choose a lovely location
For a last-minute or relatively low-key Christmas market, you’ll want to find a location that doesn’t require too much in terms of logistics. To host a market in a town centre, for example, you’ll need to get planning permission from the council and this could take a long time (or might not actually be possible).
For your smaller, local event, think about partnering up with a local business – for example, a cafe, shop or restaurant that has a large outdoor area. Alternatively you could opt for something like a park, or even a farm. It’s worth noting that, if you do go for a public space like a park, you’ll still need to get permission from the council. But if you buddy up with a private business, you’ll probably have less red tape to deal with.
🌭 Nail your festive food & drink offering
A Christmas market is only as good as the food and drink on offer! ‘Tis the season for total indulgence, so make sure you’ve got plenty of sweet and savoury treats for attendees to try.
But what sells well at Christmas markets? 🤔
Classics include bratwurst (tasty German sausages), churros coated in sugar, and raclette – the oozy, melted cheese dish of dreams.
Not forgetting festive drinks. Gluhwein (that’s German for mulled wine) is a must, and hot chocolate topped with piles of pillowy marshmallows is sure to go down a treat with kids.
As this is a market for your local community, why not showcase food from your local area, too? Getting butchers, farmers, bakers and any other foodie artisans involved is sure to give your event a lovely personal touch. Same goes for drinks – if there’s a local craft beer brewery in the area, or even a vineyard, it’s definitely worth reaching out to see if they’d like to take part.
🪕Organise some atmospheric entertainment
Ditch the cliched Christmas pop songs in lieu of some local musical talent to give your Christmas market a truly authentic feel.
Whether it’s a folky band, a solo singer with a beautiful voice, or an instrumental quartet – incorporating live music into your market will give the locals all the more reason to grab up tickets fast.
🎄Create a festive shopping experience
Christmas markets are about eating, drinking and being merry, for sure – but they’re also about exploring handmade goods and trinkets at those iconic festive stalls.
Celebrate your local area by getting small businesses involved; anyone from candle makers to jewellers through to greetings card designers will make great contenders for your market.
Not only will it give them a chance to sell their handcrafted goods, it’ll help get their name out there too, so they’re sure to want to take part.
⛄ Plan for the weather
Renting out heaters is a great move for any outdoor event that’s taking place in cold weather.
Even though you could potentially get away with just providing some light rain cover, placing a few heaters strategically around your market will help keep attendees comfortable – especially if they’re eating and drinking.
🎟️ Sort out stress-free ticketing
For smaller events it can help to set up online event registration – even if your market is free-entry. Getting people to register their attendance helps you keep an eye on numbers which might be imperative if you’re using a small outdoor space belonging to a business.
Whether you’re charging for tickets or not, setting up an event box office online is key. This acts as a central point where potential attendees can gather all the information they need about your event. And you can share it across your social media channels too, to generate interest.
To find out how Ticket Tailor can help your Christmas market run smoothly with seamless, stress free ticketing for festive events, just head here >
Top tip: Ticket Tailor is completely free to use for free event ticketing!
🎤 Plan plenty of promo
Last but not least, you’ll need to get the word out about your Christmas market.
Organising some flyers to leave around the local shops is a good first move, and posting about your event in Facebook groups for your town is also a great way to attract attention.
While it can be tempting to rely on word-of-mouth, it’s really important to take active measures to advertise your event to give it the best chance at success. Make sure it stays in people’s minds as the date draws closer by posting plenty of teasers on social media, and getting your vendors to do the same.
With a small, local event like this, there’s no such thing as too much promo!
We hope this quick guide has got you feeling inspired (and festive, too!). Now to don the woollies, fire up the mulled wine, and let the good times roll 🎵🎄.