Communicating with 700 independent traders has always been a problem although timely emails seem to be doing a very good job lately. That is, of course, if they are timely, and this week’s email about the arrival of some conference delegates has resulted in some understandable concern from traders.
The email on Wednesday asked traders to be set up a little earlier than normal (8 am) to be ready for the first bus loads of delegates and pointed out that the first day of the operation (Tuesday) resulted in disappointment when delegates arrived to find many traders not open.
Let’s say upfront that as a result of that email a number of our more proactive traders did make special arrangements to have staff set up early and be ready for business. These are the sorts of opportunities that many traders look for, particularly if they are engaged in the tourism trade.
However, telling traders after the visitations had started, identifies a real glitch in the communication process. Obviously, clear notification (this may have been mentioned in an earlier Trader Bulletin) a few days before the arrival of delegates would have given traders a chance to respond.
The other point to make here is that trading times are changing. Traders are reacting to consumer demand and opening later. Our CBD doesn’t open until 10am in most locations or even later. If a trader had been advising conference organisers they would have made it clear that 10 am was an appropriate time to start tours for the Upper Market.
Let’s not make too much of this. It goes without saying that delegations are most welcome at our market. The sight of busy souvenir stalls, buses queued on Peel Street, and happy badge-wearing delegates wandering our aisles are all great for the market. We just need to improve the communication process so as to avoid disappointment and take full advantage of rare opportunities.