Traders are people who have come to BJC with the intention of selling juggling equipment, associated toys and juggling clothing. They also tend to support the BJC through offering prizes for events such as the games and BYJOTY. They have also been known to bring equipment along to conventions/festivals such as tight-wire rigs, trapezes, german wheels and walking globes.
They pay for a trading space (usually 6 foot wide or multiple of table) (or more than one space) and set up shop. They tend to set up at least the day before the public opening with the Traders Liaison tending to arrive the day before that.
They require a secure area, tables/chairs and power supply. Consideration should also be made for access to a recycling point for cardboard etc, signage and promotion within information packs etc. where possible.
Recent discussions amongst traders showed a marked preference for the trading area to be within the main juggling space if possible, followed by a space within the environs of the event and with 'tucked well away out of harms way where people need to make a concerted effort to find them' further down the list. This conflicts to some extent with the need for security - the area needs to be secured in some way outside trading hours, and areas with a lot of through traffic can be harder to secure.
Consideration should be made for access (to aid in setting up and packing away) and it's nice, where possible, for the traders to have vehicles parked close to the trading area throughout the event to assist with this and to allow for restocking during the event.
Traders can be quite resourceful and self governing. They hold a traders meeting to discuss potential problems, trading hours etc. Whenever a problem arises, that's within their power to deal with, they will try to deal with that problem. Having somebody as a designated liaison on the org team can be a great help, but this liaison far from needs be that persons primary duty.
Traders (and non-attending juggling shops) are often more than willing to help to promote the BJC by including flyers etc. when posting equipment to jugglers in the run up to the event.
Traders have in the past paid to advertise in convention programmes.
Traders in the main have a juggling background. The BJC is one of the highlights of their year not just for business reasons, but also the opportunities for networking, socialising, getting feedback on equipment, discovering trends and seeing the equipment they deal with being used to its full potential. They like to feel included, little things like providing them with the same passes as the rest of the attendees, making sure they have the same information handouts go a long way to increasing their happiness.
Experience has shown that traders have their own problems and politics and the best person to deal with that can be another trader.
1998 trader liaison was done by Laurie Collard (Butterfingers Books)
2000 trader liaison was done by Martin Burton
1999 to 2008 trader liaison was done by Jak Hirst
2009 to present trader liaison has been done by Steph Tossell (Steph Martin)
Regular Traders at BJC include
Spotlight (Dave Marchant)