Bonn Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Bonn Christmas market is not completely cancelled this year. Members of Bonn’s business community have put together a virtual Bonn Christmas market, including around 40 vendors.
Everything is different this year. Market squares and streets remain deserted even if the Christmas lights are shining. In a normal year, there would be crowds of people at the Bonn Christmas market. Karina Kröber from the City Marketing Association says that this makes it even more difficult for shop and business owners during the coronavirus pandemic. To turn it around, Roland Goseberg of the ad agency "Rheinline" (on Freidrichstrasse) wanted to bring a little Christmas market magic to the people of Bonn, creating a virtual Bonn Christmas market.
Showing photos of the original vendors, the virtual Christmas market was created to bring at least some Christmas spirit to the season. Goseberg, who is also a member of the board of directors of ISG, an association of businesses on Friedrichstrasse, normally has his own stand at the Christmas market every year. He sells panorama photos of Bonn and Christmas cards from Bonn. His idea to create a virtual Bonn Christmas market was about bringing visitors and vendors together despite the pandemic.
Nearly 40 vendors are already participating
Goseberg said that nearly 40 Christmas market vendors are already participating in the virtual market. "As a vendor myself, I know how many visitors have searched for 'their' stands when they were located somewhere else. At best, you remembered the location of the stall and how it looked, but not the name of the vendor.” After he found out the Christmas market was being cancelled, he spontaneously decided to set up a virtual Christmas market for Bonn. "Even though it was clear that this would be a lot of work," said the 45-year-old, whose parents run the "Goseberg" watch and jewelry store on Maximilianstrasse, founded in 1889.
He spent many hours with some merchants who were not so familiar with the internet. "So now everyone has the opportunity to visit our beloved Christmas market vendors and support them. He is confident it will work: "My conviction is that over-the-counter retail is superior to online sales. But it’s not enough to just sell something in the store, one has to be visible (on other platforms) as well.”
The two Bonn-based entrepreneurs Stijn van der Pol and Cedric Teichmann have also set up a digital platform at "keinachtsmarkt.de". It is intended to be an online platform for local merchants, entrepreneurs and artists from Bonn. The website is geared towards the Christmas theme and will be monitored for quality assurance, the two entrepreneurs say.
Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen