Jun 17, 2011: Making a Splash at The Flea Market

Customer discounts potentially amounting to $20,000 were announced recently by Michael Berman, president of Diverse Markets Management (DMM), manager of The Flea Market at Eastern Market.
Part of a $40,000 advertising campaign promised to exhibitors in a recent letter, the discounts take the form of a $2 off coupon on a printing of 10,000 promotional postcards, the first large printing in the 28-year history of the popular Capitol Hill Flea Market.
The cards can be picked up every Sunday at a new informational table at the 7th & C Streets SE pedestrian entrance to the market on the Hine School yard. Tourists to the area will find them at hotels and visitor centers. Many exhibitors will also be handing them out to their customers and mailing them to their lists.
"We know that Two Dollars doesn't sound like a lot," Berman said, "but between the hundreds of items priced below Ten Dollars at the market every week and many items below Five Dollars in our food court, as well as some exhibitors incorporating additional promotional discounts; the cards can be redeemed for significant savings.
"And while those can add up quickly," he continued, "the significance is simply saying 'Thank You' to all our great customers for coming out and shopping with us."
Patrons of the market will also notice new signage at the market. Designed by Chul Park, a graphic and media artist whose works can also be found each week in the Caos on F art gallery booth which recently moved onto the grounds; the signs are another aspect of the advertising campaign launched by DMM, which took over day-to-day management of the Flea Market from Founder Tom Rall in mid-May.
"These artistic banners really look great compared to mine," Rall remarked. "Mine were very basic, primarily designed to let people know we had a web site, and hadn't been updated in more than a decade."
Another aspect of the advertising campaign Berman promised is display ads in newspapers, which was launched early this month with a full page ad in the Hill Rag community publication. "We couldn't afford display ads early on," Rall lamented, "so we primarily relied on the classified sections to build the market for the first couple of decades."
Berman said the campaign will also include online advertising, weekly newspaper ads and a revised EasternMarket.net website, a project already begun by Park and other consultants.

Berman said to also expect considerable DMM activity soon. "We'll be announcing acceptances for the Arts on Foot show in September, availability of applications for the Downtown Holiday Market in December, and major changes for the DC Antique Photo Show next March. And we've recently hired financial management and market manager trainee staff, so we've positioned ourselves for new market development as well.

Artist/Photographer Daniele Piasecki has been generating a lot of press lately. Included have been reports on a solo show, a best of show award, and work promoting healthcare environments. Read about it here.