Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is seeking letters of interest to host and co-sponsor the 8th International Public Markets Conference in 2012. PPS expects to issue a Request for Proposals after receiving and evaluating responses to this initial request.  Respondents should submit their letters of interest electronically to Kelly Verel, kverel@pps.org, by October 29, 2010.

Bay Area Farmers Market in San Francisco, the city that hosted PPS' International Farmers Market Conference in 2009

Background on International Public Markets Conferences:

For over 20 years PPS has brought together community advocates, accomplished market managers and visionary leaders to explore the changing forces that are shaping the face of public markets. Beginning in 1987 PPS has hosted seven conferences (roughly every three years) in Seattle, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Vancouver, New York, and Washington DC. Our last conference, held in San Francisco in 2009, brought together over 200 attendees from across North America, Europe and Asia and established a new agenda for local economies. The conference program includes a keynote speech or plenary, workshops, networking receptions and market tours.  Topics range from how markets can play a leading role in the re-creation of our local food systems to how markets can revitalize communities and public spaces.

Benefits of Hosting and Co-Sponsorship:

Hosting the 8th International Public Markets Conference is an opportunity to highlight your city/region’s public market scene and also is a great chance for your organization to help PPS shape the greater agenda. National and international leaders in the market field will get to know your region’s various markets and market-related activity which might include urban gardens, community kitchens, business incubation efforts, etc. Unique efforts and activities taking place in your region may also be showcased in the conference’s keynote and workshop topics. In addition, with between 200-300 attendees, the public markets conference will help draw tourism dollars to your region, while also enticing attendees to return. The conference and the local community will be promoted internationally to thousands of market sponsors, managers, and advocates.

Deputy Secretary of the USDA Kathleen Merrigan addressing attendees of PPS's 7th International Public Markets Conference in San Francisco

Co-sponsorship Activities:

The public markets conference takes place over three days and involves 9-12 months of planning.

Co-sponsors will provide guidance and assistance to PPS conference organizers to:

  • Identify a hotel to accommodate up to 300 attendees for three nights, host on-site conference sessions – both large gathering spaces and smaller workshop spaces.
  • Identify reception locations, and coordinate catering and décor.
  • Identify transportation options for tours.
  • Identify local markets and itinerary for tours.
  • Identify keynote and workshop topics and potential speakers.
  • Connect to regional agencies and organizations to support conference activities.
  • Promote the conference to potential attendees.
  • Fundraise locally to support conference activities.

Selection Criteria:

Hosting the 8th International Public Markets Conference gives the selected city/region the opportunity to share their area’s unique features and innovative development with a wide and diverse audience. The ideal city/region will be able to showcase their vibrant market scene, including both indoor and outdoor markets – food and non-food, as well as a variety of public spaces and attractions for attendees to visit. A pedestrian, bike and transit friendly environment will be favorably considered. The ideal co-sponsor will have a strong connection to the area’s market scene; good working relationships with local agencies, businesses and organizations; and a willingness to dedicate staff capacity and time to assist with planning and organizing an international conference.

At this reception at the Ferry Terminal Marketplace, participants met to exchange ideas

Submission Requirements:

Respondents are requested to write a letter of interest (no more than 3 pages) detailing the reasons why their city/region is an ideal location for the next public markets conference in terms of our Selection Criteria and why their organization would be a strong co-sponsor. In writing your letter, please specifically indicate your general ability to fulfill the Co-sponsorship Activities listed above. Detailed proposals are not requested at this time.

Questions regarding the RFI may be sent to Kelly Verel, kverel@pps.org.

Remember that respondents should submit their letters of interest electronically to Kelly Verel, kverel@pps.org, by October 29, 2010.