Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Juneau Public Market
Is it too late to apply? As we near the event, this is the most frequently asked question. Answer: it is never too late to apply. We have placed vendors on the day the event opens. At the end of October and in early November there is increased activity — withdrawals, reassignments, and new assignments. Do not hesitate: the only cost is the few minutes it takes you to fill out the simple on-line application. See online application.
This is a three-day event: Vendors are expected to maintain their booths through all three days from the opening at noon Friday to closing at 5 pm on Sunday.
Vendor set-up hours? Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) vendors may set-up from 4 pm to 8 pm, and on Friday from 8 am to noon Friday (the halls are not open, nor can be, on Thanksgiving Day). Vendors must be ready to do business at noon on Friday. Breakdown is Sunday from 5 pm to 8 pm.
For a video of set up in the Sheffield Ballroom, see: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wMWPp69rTOZxmkvCbtJs8AVyCA-Fax-I/view
Hours of operation? Each venue is open for business from noon to 7 pm on Friday; and from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Vendors can get into the building beginning at 8 am on Friday, 9 am on Saturday and Sunday.
Admission is charged for entry to Centennial Hall: $10 each, children 11 and younger are free. No admission is charged for entry to the JACC.
Centennial Hall vendor passes: ADMISSION TO CENTENNIAL HALL REQUIRES A TICKET OR A VENDOR PASS. Vendor passes must be acquired during setup and prior to public hours. Go to the ticket booth in the lobby of Centennial Hall. Each Centennial Hall for-profit vendor will, upon request, receive up to three passes: one for the named contact and two for helpers; non-profits get five passes — one of the named contact and four for helpers. Vendors in the JACC do not need passes for admission to that venue, but receive one courtesy pass per booth for admission to Centennial Hall. For the 2023 market, both types of vendors may purchase a limit of three attentional passes at $5 each.
Passes for vendors in the Public Market Annex (JACC): passes are not necessary to enter the JACC where no admission is charged, but we distribute one courtesy pass to the named vendor of each space for free entry to Centennial Hall. Extra passes = $5 each for the first three/$7 each for more. Names must be provided.
Vendor Pass Rules: No blank passes are distributed, and only the person named on the pass may properly gain free admission to Centennial Hall. Be strict with volunteers: efforts to skirt this policy will be taken as a violation of trust.
Table Sizes? Tables are six-feet long by either 18″ or 30″ wide. See Menu item “Floor Plans & Costs,” first page, lower right, for table costs and options.
ABOUT PRODUCTS SOLD AT THE PUBLIC MARKET
Cultural Appropriation: We ask that vendors respect Alaska’s indigenous cultures and not sell manufactured items, such as totemic representations, that might cause offense.
Products: Vendors must disclose to us the products they intend to sell or services to be offered. Failure to do so is considered a violation of trust. The people who attend will render judgment – either the products sell or they don’t – but we draw the line at legal/illegal, and with products inappropriate for the time and place.
Franchise Lines: Direct sales product lines like Mary Kay, doTerra, and Scentsy are welcome at the no-admission-charged Public Market annex at the JACC. We allow one vendor for each franchise line — in other words, one Mary Kay, one doTerra, one Scentsy, etc. The annex is also a choice made by many vendors selling unique, hand-crafted products as the costs are less than at Centennial Hall and the sales just as robust.
Sales Tax: The City and Borough of Juneau expects vendors to register. We pay sales tax on everything we sell to vendors. The only exceptions are vendors who provide us with the three-digit CBJ tax exempt number. See: https://beta.juneau.org/finance/business-registration-and-sales-tax
HOW TO BECOME A VENDOR
Application process? In early spring we reach out to vendors from last year’s event. Those vendors who reply within the time frame provided are assigned the same space they occupied the previous year. During this period, we accommodate those who request new assignments. About one month later, we open applications to everyone. With an event that has hosted as many as 210 vendors, a lot can happen between initial assignments and the day of the event. New applicants who have unique products not commonly available in Juneau will almost certainly be accommodated
Can I have the same space as I had in previous years? If you participated last year, yes. If you are applying after several years, we’ll do our best but you are strongly advised to provide second and third choices of locations. Numerous situations may arise that would have us assign you to other than your preferred location. If you are not satisfied with your assignment, we’ll work to resolve that but we need for you to alert us and to check in every few weeks (by email). We rarely disappoint.
What if I don’t like my space assignment? Notify us by email of your desire to be placed on our reassignment list. Be advised that only those who pay for an assignment get on that list. Pay promptly and your chances of reassignment are greatly elevated. At any time you can withdraw and receive a full refund (until October 31, after which refunds are conditional – see below.)
What if I’m placed on the waitlist? Keep us informed of your interest every week or ten days. We have considerable movement in space assignments as some vendors withdraw and others are reassigned.
How do I secure my assignment? Your assignment is secured by making a payment, otherwise it puts you at risk of reassignment. Please see the bottom of your invoice for payment details. If you need additional time to make a payment please let us know: we assume honest intent.
How can I qualify for reassignment? Make a payment, a minimum of 50% of the invoiced amount, to activate your request for reassignment. Withdrawals are common, but are rare after October 31, the deadline to withdraw with an expectation of full and prompt refunds.
Why are some applications rejected? An application will not be accepted if a new applicant fails to describe the product he or she will offer at the Public Market. We will reply and explain this to the applicant.
CRITERIA FOR VENDOR PARTICIPATION
What are the criteria for being accepted at Centennial Hall versus the Annex? At Centennial Hall, we charge admission; no admission is charged at the Public Market Annex in the Juneau Arts & Culture Center (JACC). We are selective of vendors applying for space at the Public Market in Centennial Hall, while applicants for the Annex are assigned primarily on a first come/first served basis.
For Centennial Hall applications we give preference according to the following criteria:
1) High quality products/services that are available “Only at the Public Market!”
2) Good food (we can always use more good food!).
3) An expressed intent to promote your presence at the Market, especially by social media and willingness to display Public Market posters. You only get points if we are informed of your efforts: please copy us, forward emails, or tag us on Facebook and other types of posts.
4) An expressed intent to make your presentation special: if you commonly present at local free-to-enter arts & crafts shows, will you present a first-time or only-at-the Public Market product? If you have a retail store, will you feature an artist or crafter? Any prospective vendor who expresses interest in doing something special at our event will be favored.
More is expected of vendors who have retail businesses in Juneau, or who participate in admission-free arts and craft events.
If your products are otherwise available at free-to-enter venues in Juneau, you’ll find a positive reception and likely a favored location in the Public Market if you comply with the criteria. We are keen on promotion and special offers for our customers, so don’t be shy.
Why do you make such a distinction? We charge an entry fee at Centennial Hall, but not at the Annex. The public expects us to offer unique products if they are paying an entry fee as opposed to free-to-enter local art & craft shows or retail businesses.
Why would I want to participate in the Public Market Annex at the JACC? According to an analysis we did a few years ago at the JACC, the attendance is very strong (at least 80% of those who enter Centennial Hall) with a consequent higher ratio of customers per vendor than the larger Centennial Hall. Also, the booth costs at the annexes are lower — a good thing for vendors uncertain of the demand for their untested product lines.
How will you assure attendance at the annexes? We offer door prizes at the annexes, which we can’t offer at Centennial Hall since door prizes are not permissible at pay-to-enter venues without a gaming license. Everyone who enters Centennial Hall will receive door prize tickets that can only be entered at the annex. Door prizes contributed by vendors are offered on an hourly basis (have to be present to win). We offer $500 in cash prizes and other valuable items, for which we have a drawing at 3 pm on Sunday to determine the winners of these prizes (do not have to be present to win).
Can I get a space at Centennial Hall if I participate in other holiday shows in Juneau? Yes. We depend on the local arts and crafts community. Admittedly, we favor vendors who present their original products only at the Public Market. Similarly, we favor those who may produce products commonly available but who do something special for the Public Market (please inquire).
Can I get a space at Centennial Hall if I own a local retail outlet: Yes. Every year we have several vendors in Centennial Hall who may not appear to meet the selection criteria, but in fact have offered to do such things as invite out-of-town featured artists/authors to be present, or offer “Only at the Public Market” deep discounts, or other types of incentives. Retail stores often aggressively advertise their presence at the Public Market. Sometimes retail stores are there because they agreed to stand-by and then filled an unexpected vacancy.
What about charges other than space rent? Pass-through expenses such as electricity and table skirting are charged as incidental costs, and often end up as unpaid expenses by the time of the market, or sometimes a vendor changes an order and doesn’t use all the tables listed on invoice, and we will owe the difference. On Saturday, second day of the market, we pay what we owe to vendors and expect final payment from vendors who owe us.
In most cases, you can bring your own tables and coverings. Chairs are provided at no cost.
Should I send a payment with my application? No. We expect payment after we send you an invoice for your assignment, at which time we will set a payment deadline, that, if not met, may result in the space being reassigned to another applicant.
Can I get a refund if I cannot participate? Since our first event in 1983 we have never refused to refund an applicant who had to withdraw. October 31 is the deadline for notifying us of your withdrawal. If we cannot fill that space you vacated after that day, we reserve the right to not refund. Someday, a vendor will simply not show up without informing us, and that vendor will have the dubious honor of being the first to not receive a refund. Withdrawal by or before the deadline of October 31st does not count against your future application.
OTHER QUESTIONS? Ask questions by email (see “Contact”). You’ll get prompt reply by email.