Happy New Year! 2016 looks to be a big year for markets, beginning of course with the annual NABMA Conference at the City Council House in Birmingham. The theme for this years conference is on Creating and Sustaining Successful Markets and will feature case studies from market operators all across the UK.

After spending the last year looking at the challenges that markets are currently facing, NAMBA want to share and celebrate the good practice and innovation that exists in the industry. As part of this, they have asked me to attend in order to share how The Teenage Market is engaging with a new generation of market traders to help secure the future of our markets.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I took to the stage to present at the NABMA Conference 2014 at the very start of our campaign to create a national network of Teenage Markets across the country.

Now I am able to return and demonstrate just how big of an impact our events have made since then, with representatives from Northwich and Kettering presenting alongside me.  A big focus of our presentation will be how Teenage Markets, which give free platforms to young people, are managing to introduce the concept of market trading to a younger generation for the very first time.

The conference will also include the first Great British Market of the Year awards, with twelve different categories showcasing the very best markets throughout the country. We have two of our Teenage Markets, Sleaford and Salisbury, entered into the Best ‘Love Your Local Market’ category this year and we wish them both the best of luck.

Teenage-Market-FacepaintingSpeaking of Love Your Local Market, it’s great to see how far the campaign has grown in the last five years, with it now spreading worldwide through the power of social media. Ellie Gill has done a tremendous job managing the campaign and is really leading the way when it comes to making markets become more digitally engaged. LYLM has really managed to raise the profile of markets in local communities and I’m looking forward to hearing about the plans for this year.

Hopefully I’ll see you all at the NABMA conference in Birmingham, but if you can’t attend don’t worry! Make sure to follow the conversation online with #LYLM2016 and #nabmaconf

Joe Barratt

Co-Founder, The Teenage Market

If you would like to contact Joe about setting up a Teenage Market in your town or city please email him at joe@theteenagemarket.co.uk