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Unique Challenges of Planning a Christmas Market (and how to get ahead of them)

Women enjoying a Christmas Market booth

Each autumn, Christmas markets pop up in every country across the globe, bringing local vendors selling their wares, festive entertainment, and Christmas cheer to communities for months on end. From the Advent Feast at the Basilica in Budapest to Prague’s Old Town and Wenceslas markets, there are countless dazzling Christmas markets across Europe that attract millions of visitors from all over the world. 

These markets present a number of unique challenges to their planners. They take place in busy areas, last for weekscall for superb coordination with local officials and collaboration with tons of stakeholders, and include a vast array of elements. The logistics are truly endless. 

These challenges are intimidating, but there are ways to overcome them and plan an amazing Christmas market more easily than ever before. OnePlan can help – the only software designed for Christmas Markets.

Here are 5 challenges of organizing a Christmas Market and how OnePlan helps

1. Christmas Markets Take Place in Busy Areas

Christmas markets take place in city centers and other busy areas. They draw huge crowds to the middle of traffic-packed cities. Crowd and traffic management are a major safety issue. Good crowd management ensures there’s sufficient space for crowds and that the public’s experience and safety are supported by event staff.

The result is a free-flowing, comfortable space, staffed by a knowledgeable and responsive workforce. 

Good traffic management requires collaboration with local government, clear communication with staff and security, and barriers, routes, and access points, which can all be placed on a site map and translated to the actual event with the appropriate personnel in place to keep things orderly.

None of this is easy. Crowd and traffic management require extensive planning, collaboration, and follow up. With such a long-lasting event, it also requires continued attention.

OnePlan allows you to fully plan out your event site for free. You can test out different event layouts and space configurations, ensuring you have adequate space and the best layout possible for fluid and functional crowd management. OnePlan’s crowd management features include capacity calculators where you can chart or map out a precise area and it will calculate the capacity allowed. You’re even able to change density, from one person per square meter to five.

You can also create a traffic management plan in OnePlan that plots the precise location of signage, stewards, temporary traffic signals, road closures, contraflows and diversion routes. You can also ensure you have assigned an appropriate amount of staff to handle the traffic and guide guests to the market.

2. Christmas Markets Last Many Weeks

Christmas Markets aren’t built in a day – and they aren’t over in a day either! Many Christmas markets open in November and run through the new year. 

Because of the market’s longevity, communication with vendors is important, ensuring they know where to be and when for weeks on end. OnePlan is set up for vendor management. Each item you place on your map has a vendor management section where you can track information like vendor name, cost, in-and-out date, and availability status. 

You’ll also be managing staff schedules. OnePlan’s dot planning functionality can help you create a comprehensive plan to handle everyone from security and marshalls to vendors. Each ‘dot’ can be allocated a code and notes added to their profile for their role, equipment, shift times and more. The report can be exported to create sign-in sheets, and health and safety documents. 

Christmas markets are open day and night, requiring appropriate lighting and heating. Place these elements on your event plan to be well prepared throughout your event. 

3. Christmas Markets Require Coordination with Local Officials

Christmas markets have to be planned in coordination with local regulations and therefore require close collaboration with local officials and law enforcement. OnePlan’s collaboration tools make this easier than ever, allowing you to share your site map with local officials to help in securing permits, planning for traffic and crowd management, and placing local officials like police officers across your market.

To share your plan with your team or stakeholders, simply click the “Share” button in the top right-hand corner of your event plan.

Then add the email address of the person you’d like to share your event plan with and give them either view-only or edit access. Done! Your plan is now shared.

Your clients, staff, vendors, and colleagues will love the ease of collaborating and sharing in OnePlan. Give edit access to your colleagues so that they can add to the site map and make changes. You’ll always see the latest version when you open your site map – keeping everyone on the same page. 

Share the map with your client in view-only mode for a creative way of presenting your ideas and gathering feedback, or share the map with vendors to show them where they’ll be located at the event. Collaboration has never been easier!

4. Christmas Markets Require a Detailed Site Map with Unique Elements

Christmas markets require a super detailed site map with unique elements. As an event planner, your site map is your greatest tool. If you’re using non-specialist tools such as CAD, powerpoint or photoshop to create your Christmas market site map, you’re not getting the most out of your plan.

Markets are characteristically busy and full of things to do, see, and buy. They require a lot of elements and personnel – so a site map that can fit it all in accurately and store essential information to manage vendors and collaborate with stakeholders is a gamechanger. OnePlan allows you to create a detailed, highly-accurate site map that can be easily shared with partners and stakeholders.

Between the tents, decor, food, and so much more – there’s a lot of ordering to do. You have to know what you need and how much of it to order well in advance. As you place items across your OnePlan site map, a bill of quantities is automatically generated for you to manage inventory.

This means that when you’re done mapping, and as you make updates, you’ll have a bill of quantities to help you order exactly what you need. This is also helpful when dealing with vendors, allowing you to be specific with what you want and the quantities necessary.

OnePlan’s Christmas pack helps you get specific. It is a group of customized objects specific to Christmas-themed events.

You can place elements like chalets, market stalls, ice skating rinks, city dressing and bunting, and when planning your personnel, we’ve even included icones for Santa and his elves to place on your map.

In addition to the risks of overcrowding that have always existed, we now live in a world that has been forced to be extremely conscious of personal space. OnePlan’s Social Distancing Toolkit can help ensure the health and safety of attendees, including showing how long queues may be and if exit gates are sufficient to safely egress crowds. Our predictive modelling and measuring tools automatically calculate optimum visitor numbers to help you comply with health and safety regulations. It also maps access and exit routes in the event of an emergency.

5. Christmas Markets Require a Detailed Site Map with Unique Elements

You have to do it all again next year. Christmas markets tend to be annual. As soon as you’ve wrapped up one year’s market, it’s time to start planning the next one.

Using OnePlan’s duplicate tool, you can duplicate your entire event, rename it for the next year and make any small changes needed. OnePlan makes this easier and saves you time, allowing you to duplicate your existing map so you don’t have to start from scratch.

OnePlan’s Christmas Market pack is unique software designed specifically for Christmas market organizers. Sign up for OnePlan today for free, and please get in touch with our team if you’d like a detailed demo of the Christmas Market pack!

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