In February 2015, leaders from the flea market industry will gather in Las Vegas for the 2015 National Flea Market Association (NFMA) conference. As always, the event will provide networking opportunities for flea market owners as well as educational opportunities to learn about issues affecting the business, including growth strategies and the ever-present issue of intellectual property infringement.
“This conference is a great opportunity for flea market owners to come together and network, share ideas, and get some tips on how to manage their flea markets,” said NFMA President Rob Sieban. “The two-day conference features speakers that address topics relevant to flea market operators.”
Every year, members are polled for their areas of greatest interest; the results from this poll are used to drive programming at the conference. This year, the top issues included how to attract more buyers and sellers to flea markets; cost-effective marketing strategies; and how to reduce or eliminate copyright and trademark infringement at flea markets, which is “not good for the industry as a whole,” according to Sieban.
This year, the conference organizers are introducing a new feature called “speed meetings.” Sieban states, “We’re excited to try the speed meetings. Essentially it’s like speed dating, except this will allow members to meet and share contact information in a series of short meetings. We’ve found that relationships are formed at the conference that go on long after the conference is over.”
In fact, Sieban says, relationships are at the heart of the benefits offered by membership in NFMA. The organization represents the interests of flea market operators all over the country, including everything from the smallest flea markets to huge and established businesses.
“If you’re a small-market owner, joining the NFMA opens up a whole new world of knowledge and information,” he says. “You’ll have contact with everything from similar sized markets to larger markets who might have tried tactics that you don’t have the budget for and can help you understand what works and what doesn’t.”
The NFMA also works to keep local flea market owners up to date with current local and national news that affects the industry, including pending legislation and ordinances that can affect advertising, parking, and other issues that have a direct influence on flea market operations.
This year’s NFMA annual conference will be hosted at the New York New York Hotel in Las Vegas between February 11 and February 12. A golf outing is planned for February 10, and there will also be a cocktail party as part of the event. Applications and booking can be handled online at the NFMA website, www.fleamarkets.org.