The National Flea Market Association (NFMA) named Rob Sieban the new president last month, replacing former president Darren Kurkowski who served since February 2012. Sieban is also CEO of The Mile High Flea Market in Henderson, CO. The Merchandiser Media Group (MMG) recently had the opportunity to ask him some questions as he began his tenure as leader of the organization.
MMG: What do you see as your goals and priorities upon taking office?
Sieban: Past presidents have built a great foundation. I will build on that and enhance those accomplishments moving forward. I hold myself to high expectations in order to fulfill the hopes of our member markets. In support of that goal I plan to develop a “best of class” board of directors and focus on ensuring we remain relevant to all of our members. Building a board of directors that runs the span of markets throughout the nation is also very important. The flea market industry is a changing environment and we need to stay close to our member markets to ensure that the representation is relevant in today’s world. In addition, it is important to make sure the member markets feel value and partnership from the association. We cannot exist without them so being in touch and responding to their needs is of primary concern to me. We want to continue to build strength by increasing membership, as there are over 1500 flea markets nationwide.
Another very important part of my focus is to ensure that the concerns of our member markets from a federal legislation perspective are well represented in Washington. This is to guarantee the free enterprise activity of the flea market business continues to prosper and grow through the support of legislators who find great value in the business incubator we create for our buyers and sellers. Thankfully there is an incredible foundation laid down before me and I am lucky to be building on the success of the past.
MMG: How do you see the flea market environment changing and evolving?
Sieban: I see the flea market business evolving to focus on value and entertainment. Value has always been a critical part of a flea market but the entertainment component is becoming critically important also. There are so many opportunities for people to spend their money in different ways, so being able to create an entertaining environment while they are shopping for a great value is vital. People want a family environment and to spend the day together. At Mile High flea market we create an environment that includes musical entertainment. Throughout the 80 acres we have three bands that play from September through May. These are local performers and they play for a couple of hours, which supports the local community as well as creating a fun environment. We also offer a variety of kids’ offerings through amusement rides and other activities. That creates great value for parents.
MMG: What was the highlight of this year’s NFMA convention?
Sieban: The greatest success was the opportunity to hear from other markets. We have a best practices format where a focus market presents at the conference. This year we were fortunate to have Smiley’s Flea Markets and Denio’s Market, who presented their knowledge of how they operate and their successful ideas. Smiley’s has been in existence for many generations and they spoke about the importance of listening to the consumer and reacting and evolving. Denio’s spoke about how to embrace the world of marketing and social media and how it drives revenue and lets your business remain relevant to the existing visitor.
For market owners who would like more information, visit www.fleamarkets.org or contact administrator, Steven Pockat, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 262-955-6605 and 866-417-2884.