Monday, October 22, 2018

NFMA Show Recap

April 16, 2015 by publisher  
Filed under Flea Market & Swap Meet News

By Jon VanZile

NFMARob Seiban, president of the National Flea Market Association (NFMA), had a lot of good things to say about the group’s recently concluded conference. “After the show was over, we distributed a post-conference survey to get feedback from attendees and our members said this was one of the best years we have had,” he recounts. The gathering was held in February in Las Vegas.

Seiban says much of this success was due to the opportunities the conference gave to flea market owners, especially the chance to network with colleagues and hear from experts on some of the most pressing issues facing the industry. “We had a lot of requests before the conference for more networking opportunities,” he says. “So this year we introduced a segment called speed meetings. It was a great way for the owners to meet each other and start to form relationships.” The conference also featured breakout sessions and lectures from experts who focused on the two most pressing concerns that affect flea markets: legislation that singles out flea markets and copyright and trademark protection.

According to Seiban, one of the NFMA’s main functions is to monitor and influence special legislation that is aimed at restricting or damaging markets, such as sales tax legislation. Presenters on the first day covered legislative issues on the federal and state levels. “We are very sensitive to legislation that treats flea markets differently,” he says. Later on, legal presenters talked about copyright and trademark infringement, an issue that has dogged flea markets for years.

Finally, Seiban says, there were plenty of sessions on how to increase business, grow revenue, attract new buyers, and maximize the existing business model. For example, a session on food and beverage examined whether it is better for owners to operate their own food and beverage service or contract it out. One of the themes running through the conference was diversification, he says. “Understanding diversification of products was an important part of this year’s conference,” he says. “It is an important part of finding both new buyers and new sellers. You do not want to get stuck only offering one or two products.”

It was nice this year to see many new faces, Seiban says, among the 70 or so attendees. “There were a lot of new faces,” he says. “The feedback we got from these new members was great. They walked away with very relevant and very important information. Attracting new members was an important part of our membership drive this year, so it was great to see them ecstatic about all the new information.” For next year’s conference, Seiban expects the NFMA to build on the success of this year. He anticipates that the conference will still be held in February in Las Vegas, and the speed meetings—one of the most popular features—will still be prominently featured.

National Flea Market Association

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