We are aware that the crazy world of wedding fayres has become a great and almighty debate for all wedding business owners. There seems to be a 50/50 split on whether they have any benefit to a business or not.
Of course, as we run award winning wedding shows, we are a little biased on the subject, BUT we also see first-hand, when a wedding show is run professionally, organised properly and marketed correctly then it is a MASSIVE game changer.
We often have wedding fayre virgins attend the shows and honestly don’t have a clue what to expect but it doesn’t take long with a little encouragement and advice to kick start that wedding fayre bug.
We also have companies who have given up on wedding shows after years of trying and failing, as they’ve attended some that were a complete flop, but with The Wedding Emporiums great reputation, they decided to give us a go and have never looked back since!
We don’t want to seem like we are blowing our own trumpet or anything, buuuuut our shows are pretty bloody awesome. Mainly because we are passionate about our work and the shows we host, but we also want them to be a huge success for you, our dedicated and loyal wedding business owners!
As you may already know, we love to share our expertise and experience from the industry, so here are just a few of our top tips on what you should and shouldn’t be doing whilst exhibiting at wedding shows:
ALWAYS do your research
Before you enquire to exhibit at any wedding shows, browse and compare the various events in the area. Does one stand out over the other, does that event provide something a little different or seem to encourage more of your ideal client?
At the point of enquiry, be sure to get plenty of details such as average footfalls (Ask for COUPLES, not overall footfall as this can be deceiving!) and if the organisers are experienced and professional they will also have more of an idea of what type of clientele come through the doors at each individual venue.
Also, be sure to know the pitch price and what exactly is included.
What is the space size?
Does it include a table, linen electric and Wifi?
Are you provided with lunch or refreshments throughout the day?
Do you have the opportunity to have literature inside goodie bags?
All of the above aspects will be answered first hand with any professional and experienced wedding fayre company, so be sure to do plenty of research to ensure you know what to expect before attending the show.
Book in early
As fayre organisers ourselves, we see this time and time again and it is something we are constantly reminding our suppliers. Each fayre season can seem such a long way away, but when you finally get around to enquiring, your category is already full, or the event is booked out!
To avoid the disappointment and missing out on great opportunities for your wedding business then be sure to book in nice and early. Most fayres offer a deposit to confirm your space, so you don’t have to pay a massive chunk in one go, which can be helpful for a lot of small businesses. We also offer payment plans to help spread the costs over the months, this could be an option you can ask for when booking in at other shows too!
THE BIG ONE!
So, ask yourself one question…. “Why am I attending this wedding show?”. I am guessing most of you answered something along the lines of “To meet engaged couples?”.
So, during the show, once you’ve had your in-depth conversation with a couple, you hand them your business card and they walk away with a promise to get in touch with you….
But hang on… what if they don’t? You’ve lost that lead…. FOREVER! *Cue dramatic music*
However, what if you were to collect data on your stand of these interested couples? What if you managed to get that couple who just walked away to jot their email address or phone number down. So, when it did get to 2 weeks later and you’ve still had no contact, YOU can get in touch with them!!
Seems salesy and a little stalkerish maybe? Perhaps… but as a wedding business owner, this is the main priority you should be focusing on at a wedding show! Some people think it’s not necessary, but how else are you going to chase those all important possible bookings and turn them into confirmed sales?
You attend a wedding show to meet potential couples to get bookings, so if you aren’t willing to collect some form of data whether that’s email addresses or numbers or even booking in appointments then it’s simple…. Don’t bother exhibiting!
You can collect data by just a small notebook on your stand where they can write down their details, run a competition or perhaps book them in for a consultation, show around or appointment.
TIP: Be sure to comply with the new GDPR rules when collecting data!
Don’t be afraid to network
The art to networking is… be yourself! We have lost count of how many times we’ve pulled suppliers together, too anxious to talk to one another. I remember once, I’d dragged one cake maker to another to encourage them to meet and chat… since then, they’ve become close friends and regularly pass on bookings to each other.
The wedding industry can fast become a catty place and here both at The Wedding Business Circle and The Wedding Emporium we instantly diffuse this by always encouraging networking, conversations and collaboration. It’s just as important than marketing your business, word of mouth is equally as effective (and free!). Making and creating long lasting friendships that are similar and share the same passion also keeps us sane in this fast-paced industry.
Don’t miss out on freebies and extra opportunities
If somebody offered you an exciting and positive opportunity for free, would you take it? HELL YES? Whether wedding shows host a reception layout and you are offered more space to showcase your work, or your stand price includes literature inside the goodie bags or you are invited to host a talk on stage to potential couples…. GET INVOLVED!
Not only is it amazing extra exposure for your wedding business and at a lot of times FREE, it’s a brilliant experience for you!
Don’t ignore the wedding fayre etiquette
There is something we like to call “Wedding fayre etiquette” here at The Wedding Emporium, you can perhaps take it as us being pretty bossy or you can see it as a little advice, either way, listen up!
From experience of many shows now, be unique and different with your stand, it works... A LOT!
Try and ditch the table, use various levels and eye-catching items. You want the couples to remember you over everyone else at the show.
Another one we are always trying to encourage is DO NOT sit behind your stand. This is no different than walking into a shop and a store assistant being slouched over the desk on their phone. Just imagine how you’d feel as a customer if they didn’t give you eye contact, were stood chatting to their friend or on their phone ignoring you, this will only result in them walking straight past you and you’ve just missed out on a potential booking! Always be alert and ready to create conversation with a smile.
Our final piece of advice would be TIME. Yes, we know fayres everywhere will always be quieter in the afternoon, but use this valuable opportunity to network, swap cards and get chatting with suppliers at the event.
If it’s 2.30pm and there are only 3 couples left in the room, yes we know you’ve still got 30 minutes to go but this does not mean you can pack down early and slide off home…
We have experienced when couples leave the show and tell us how unprofessional they felt some companies were packing down and that they would never consider booking them, after all if they can’t wait 20 minutes at a show, what would they be like at their wedding!
On a more positive note, we’ve also had a supplier once overrun by 25 minutes, due to a couple walking in 5 minutes before the doors closed. He took the time to stand and chat without rushing them and it resulted in getting the biggest booking he had to date. Just remember this at any show you attend, those last 30 minutes could make a huge difference.
Here at The Wedding Business Circle we are full of oodles of advice and are often talking at Seminars and helping business owners.
Next up, Meghan will be at Wedx in just a few weeks’ time on 21st May 2018 in Bristol where she will be hosting a talk on how to get Success at wedding shows alongside some fantastically talented business owners including Kat from Rock N Roll Bride, Lisa Johnson from Carmela Weddings and Just Own This, Kate Beavis of Magpie Weddings & Indie PR and the lovely and wonderful Naomi Thomas of The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation.
There are early bird ticket prices for the event and I would recommend the Wedx seminars to everyone in the industry >>> https://www.wedx.co.uk/wedx-bristol
We hope to see you there!
Meghan & Victoria xx