If you want to boost your farmers market sales or liven up your farmstand, this is your opportunity to learn from one of the best! Sign up today by clicking here! Rutland, VT—Bruce Baker, nationally recognized marketing and merchandising guru, is coming to Rutland! An artist by trade, Baker has focused on merchandising and marketing for the past 16 years. With over 500 workshops under his belt, Baker has helped to boost vendors’ sales and profits at craft fairs and farmers markets across the United States and Canada. On December 3rd farmers will have the opportunity to learn from Baker in a workshop sponsored by the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link.
Farmers markets have more than doubled in the past ten years, with just over 3,000 in 2002 and nearly 8,000 in 2012. There are nearly 100 markets operating in Vermont alone. Most farmers in the state have caught on and are taking full advantage of the opportunity direct-to-consumer sales that these new markets provide.
As new farmers enter the market it will be essential that they master the art of selling to attract a loyal customer base. At this workshop growers will learn about marketing, communicating the value of your product, and merchandizing, the art of selling. With nearly every booth at the market overflowing with a bounty of beautiful, seemingly flawless produce, farming isn’t just about growing anymore. Farmers aiming for direct-market sales must also learn to become good salespeople.
Growers attending the workshop will learn how to ensure that a farmers market booth stands and doesn’t it blend in with the rows of other white tents. Farmers with farmstands will better understand the science behind getting customers to pull over and stop instead of passing by.
This is a rare opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t from one of the best. Baker will discuss the importance of strategic booth design and how to attract more customers into a market booth or farmstand through marketing, communication and merchandising.
Baker will discuss how consumer trends have changed over the past decade and why these trends do indeed apply to any grower. Kara & Ryan of Evening Song Farm in Cuttingsville, Vermont attended a workshop presented by Bruce Baker and had this to say: “Bruce's workshop was engaging and informative. His workshop has helped us set up a more effective display and be better marketers.”
Producers will have an opportunity to have Bruce give a one-on-one analysis of their booth with suggestions for improvement in a 15 minute session before or after the workshop. All growers will leave with the tools and knowledge needed to create an enticing display that draws in customers.
Registration is required for one-on-one sessions with Baker, and encouraged for those choosing to attend the workshop only. The workshop will begin at 10 am and will end by 12:30 pm. The workshop will begin in the conference room adjacent to the RAFFL offices on the third floor of the Rutland Opera House.
Farmers interested in a one-on-one session can bring photos of a farmstand or market display. If desired, farmers may create a mock-display indoors.
The workshop fee is $15 registration for the classroom and farmers market session, there is an additional $15 charge for the one-on-one display evaluation. Online registration will end December 1st. Early registration is encouraged for those hoping to secure a spot for a one-on-one session as they are anticipated to fill up. Growers can register by clicking here or by calling 802-417-7096.