Meet our market…
How it all began
The Meet Market began as a tiny Christmas market, back in 2007, on the second floor of a bar in Gazi, which no longer exists – K44. K44 went on to become other things, and so did the Meet Market, starting with just 20 vendors of like-minded designers, crafters, collectors and makers. The idea was to explore a new type of market, something nomadic and fresh, with well-made products & concepts, and alternative promotion, in a fun, lively, musical setting, open to all.
And so it did just that, and began to grow, attracting more vendors and more visitors each time, establishing a monthly meeting point where creators and appreciators could get together and exchange, share their visions, test their ideas, sell their work, improve, evolve, and create yet another vessel for getting by in these challenging times.
What makes us different?
As much as we are a market, we are also just good ol’ party, and that’s the distinguishing feature of a weekend at the Meet Market. As much as people come to shop, people come to be entertained, to listen to some good music, to drink a homemade lemonade (or a very boozy cocktail), grab a bite, socialize, flirt, gossip, take the dog for a walk, occupy the kids, do a solo stroll, get some decorating ideas or recipes or fashion inspiration, or just wander through many interesting stalls of high quality, fairly priced, locally made goods.
Music is a big part of the Meet Market. We have non-stop djs, sound-scaping the event from start till finish, covering an eclectic selection of styles from electronica to hip-hop to soul to funk to jazz to all sorts of melodical randomness.
Alongside the Meet Market we often organize parallel events, including workshops & seminars in various subject matters, screenings, theater, dance lessons, martial art displays, stand-up comedy, live concerts, exhibitions, presentations and ALWAYS a kids section, where our little friends can have a blast with arts&crafts activities, children’s theater and interactive games.
And of course we cant forget the central info point (TAMEIO), where there is always a game for anyone and everyone to come play and win a free present. So even penniless, you can leave the Meet Market with a c.d. from one of our d.j.s, a pin, a poster, a souvenir – or the winner of the grand-prize basket (which goes to one lucky raffle winner) containing something from every single vendor at the market.
Who visits the market?
It is key to us that for someone to enjoy themselves at the Meet Market, they need not be a consumer. And when we say someone, we mean anyone. We invite every age, gender, ethnicity, height, weight and class to engage. We are a market of meeting and communication, a platform for exchanging ideas, opinions, ideas, knowledge, skills, behaviors, experiences, music and goods – always with respect and without fanaticism. In fact, perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the market is the colorful mixture of styles and unlikely exchanges being made: from metal heads and grandmas, to hipsters and hippies, everyone is invited to engage.
How we communicate our event
The Meet Market gained many fans because of it’s unique atmosphere, and so it was initially advertised in the best way – by word of mouth! We now have a selection of media sponsors and supporters to further enhance our communication, and of course we use the classic social media channels independently. Our Facebook page has over 26,000 friends and the event attendance can be anywhere between 3,000 – 5,000 visitors depending on the venue and season. The numbers are giving us the motivation to strive… and not just survive. And with this motivation, we also aim to arm our participants with the same belief… the belief that if they keep working and evolving, they can succeed despite these times of crisis.
Why should one participate?
Whoever would like to participate at a Meet Market should visit our participate section and follow the steps provided. One should keep in mind that they can participate with either papers for wholesale or retail, but they must have some sort of legal entity because alas, it is the law. There is a rent for each event, which changes depending on the venue, but other than that, The Meet Market keeps no percentage of any sales… just a fixed fee. This fee in turn goes to covering our fixed costs including rents, freelancers, posters, flyers, equipment, tents, umbrellas, staff, etc. etc. etc. (and there are a lot of etcs…) The prices of products sold at the Meet Market are defined exclusively by the participants, based on their deemed costs of materials, labor, time and so on. The sales during the Meet Market occur either directly between the seller and the buyer, or through the central cash point of the Meet Market cash register (for wholesalers).
Beyond the money that one may earn from participating at the markets, there are numerous other benefits. First and foremost, it is a platform for networking and getting a larger audience to learn about one’s work. Many fruitful collaborations and partnerships have grown from the market, and its also important for one to see, compare and contrast one’s concepts with similar initiatives, so they they may improve and progress.
There are three kinds of sales at the market. 1) Immediate & direct sales between the vendor and the consumer. 2) Wholesale from shops and other businesses who come to browse potential stock for their own resale. 3) Sales at a later point… Customer may not have the cash or the occasion for shopping at that specific point in time, but collect the vendors business cards and order goods when the right time finally comes.
A nomadic market
Our nomadic character is another unique attribute we like to celebrate. Though we move around, our appointment is stable and consistent – one weekend each month. As we aim to show the various and vast creative, entrepreneurial initiatives, we also aim to explore & discover the plethora of beautiful spaces, places and venues around, that can host our events. To date, we have organized over 100 Meet Markets in over 25 venues including Technopolis City of Athens, Athens Conservatoire,T.A.F.(The Art Foundation), Bios, 6 D.O.G.S, Kotzia Square at European Music Day, Synch Festival,Jazz Festival, E.P.A.S.K.T., Athinais Cultural Space, The Association of Greek Archaeologists, Vyrsodepsio, Acharnon 61, Art House (Thessaloniki), Mezzanine, The Port of Pireas, K44, The Grey Building in Saint Irene Square, Romantso, Pure Bliss, KINONO,The Blender Gallery – Glyfada and Fokianos Sports Center in Zappeio. Each spaces has it own atmosphere and functionality, and we try and take advantage of this in every way possible. Moving around also help us keep things fresh and innovative, and allows us to collaborate with various people and groups of cooperators, which in turn, teaches us as organizers something new each and every time.