Xmas market and creative business training workshops

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The Design Trust & Hotel Elephant

business training for New creatives

& Christmas market   

For the 2nd year in a row Hotel Elephant and The Design Trust are looking for new creatives to sell their products at the Hotel Elephant Christmas market from 30th November – 2nd December 2018. 

The Christmas market is an opportunity for designer – makers, artists and other creatives to show and sell their products this festive season. This will take place in Hotel Elephant’s public space and café at Spare Street over the first weekend in December, coinciding once again with our neighbour’s Pullens Yards Christmas Open Studios and Hotel Elephant’s members showcase at Spare Street.

This program is aimed at creatives at the beginning of their business journey, who would be benefit from both the business training element of this program and the sales opportunity. We recommend that applicants already have a product or selection of products to work with, but it is not necessary that you have sold at markets before. We strongly recommend that participants attend all workshops, as well as the event in order to get the most benefit from the training on offer.

The workshops

A key part of this program are the workshops, aimed at new creatives to help you make the most of this Christmas market and to help you start and grow your own creative product business. You will receive a total of 12 hours of business training, with sessions held at Hotel Elephant on two Saturdays in November 2018 and one two-hour session in early 2019, to reflect on the Christmas selling season and to look forward to the year ahead. 

These workshops are a great way for you to get to know the other exhibitors in advance, and to get practical business training for this event but also to improve your planning, marketing and social media to help you improve your business and marketing skills. 

Session 1: Planning & Pricing on Saturday 3 November from 10am – 3pm

In this first session we will be focusing on planning for this event and pricing your products properly. Together we will work on:

·     Discuss what you will show and how: your display, the space, how to attract your ideal clients, what to bring during the set up and the event.

·     How to create and present your work as a collection – and why that is important.

·     How to cost and price your products properly.

·     What to do before, during and after this Christmas fair to make the most of it. 

·     You will be creating your own, one page, practical plan to get ready for the event, including what to make, your presentation, marketing and social media – so you won’t be stressed out.


Session 2: Last minute marketing & social media on Saturday 17 November from 10am – 3pm In this session we will work on:

·     Practical top tips for last minute marketing to get more visitors

·     What social media to use for events with loads of practical examples 

·     How to create and send emails that will get you sales

·     Create your own marketing and social media calendar for this event and for Christmas


Session 3: What’s next? On Saturday 13 January from 10am – 12noon

In this final session we:

·     Get back together and review what worked and what you learnt, and what you can do better next time.

·     How to get more interest and sales for your work in January and beyond when it is very quiet

·     At the start of the year let’s set some goals to move your work forward in 2019


We strongly recommend that you attend all three workshops. They will take place in the same space as the Christmas market, and you will get to know the other exhibitors too. 

Price & Application Details

Standard: £65 + VAT per person

This includes 12 hours of business training for creatives, delivered by the Design Trust. A stand at Hotel Elephant’s Christmas market, where you can sell your products. Plus: members discounts on Hotel Elephant’s talks & networking program for the following year.

Southwark Young Entrepreneurs (aged 16 – 24 yrs): FREE (2 places)

We have 2 FREE places available for young creative entrepreneurs aged 16 – 24 that live in Southwark, please tick the box on the application form. If successful you will may be required to provide proof of your Southwark address & age.

Hotel Elephant Members

We have a limited number of spaces available free for our own members who would like to take part in the training as well as the market. Please select the box on the application form.

Application process

Places are limited and we want to ensure an interesting mixture of creative businesses and practitioners so kindly ask you to fill out a short application form and provide us with 4 jpegs of your work. Successful applicants will then receive an invoice for course fee (if applicable).

Please email images of your work to: submissions@hotelelephant.co.uk

Deadline: 5pm 10th October 2018

SUCCESSFUL applicants will be notified by Friday 12th October 2018

Patricia portrait new Dolly.jpg

About Patricia Van De Akker

These workshops will be led by Patricia van den Akker, the Director of The Design Trust, the online business school for designers, makers and other creative professionals. In the last 20 years Patricia has worked with 1,000s of creatives to help them start and grow their business. She is known for her practical, no-nonsense and realistic approach to business development. In March 2018 she was voted the ‘Number One Business Adviser in the UK for Branding & Design’ by Enterprise Nation. For more details:




This program has received funding through Southwark Council's High Streets Challenge