How to Plan a Bazaar

by Arthur Lee
A well-planned Christmas bazaar can be a fruitful fundraiser for a church or organization.

A well-planned Christmas bazaar can be a fruitful fundraiser for a church or organization.

Whether you shop, browse, sell or buy at a bazaar, the event can be fun to attend and a great place to get ideas for presents for the holidays. Perhaps, even, you have wanted to host your own bazaar. After all, you are good at Mary Kay or Avon or Pampered Chef. Well, now you can. With some help, a plan, and a cause, you are on your way.

How Bazaar!

Decide when you want to host your bazaar. The holidays are a good time. You'll get lots of traffic, but may be competing with the bigger ones. You can do it during the off-season, in the spring or summer. You'll be the only one, but may have to spend more to advertise for it.

Decide what type of bazaar this will be. Do you want it to be a crafts or food bazaar or showcasing anything handmade?

Decide where you want to have the bazaar. A school or a church is a great place but, if you want your bazaar to be held during the holidays, make sure you are not competing against the church or school which may well be hosting a similar event. If you are able to utilize a school or church you will be able to use their chairs and tables.

Decide how much you want to charge, if anything. Vendors should be charged. You can charge them up front, for tables (if they don't bring their own); or you can simply take a percentage of their sales after the fact. Also, decide whether or not you will charge the potential customers. If the customers bring in two canned goods, for example, you could let them in free. Either way, make sure you plan to make a little something for your time and effort.

Pick a cause to support. Maybe you have a charity already, or you want the money to go back to your church or school. People like supporting causes.

Go to your local school, city hall, or church with your proposal. Inform them of the number of people expected and the safety precautions that you plan to implement.

Secure the necessary permits from the city, police, or fire departments. Many of these will depend on where you hold the event.

Write an ad and put it in the paper, on-line, on craigslist.com, and on flyers to be distributed by hand, at grocery stores, or to be included in the newspaper as an insert. Make sure these ads inform people about the bazaar and provide contact information so potential vendors to sign up.

Open a separate bank account for the bazaar if you plan on doing it again in the future.

Communicate with your vendors to make sure they know the days and times to set up, procedures, rules (no leaving the booth or taking down early) and the food rules.

Items you will need

  • A proposal
  • tables
  • chairs
  • cash box
  • vendors
  • permits

About the Author

After several years of successful business ventures, Arthur Lee traded in his tie and slacks for pen and paper. With several middle grade and young adult manuscripts under his belt, his first children's novel, Partners Again, was published in June 2008.

Photo Credits

  • Christmas tree branch with blue Christmas ball image by emka from Fotolia.com