Well, we participated in our first wedding show yesterday and it was so fun! We met so many nice people (brides and exhibitors) and needless to say, we were very glad we could be a vendor! We learned a lot in the process. We know what we will keep for next time and what we will change. I thought it may be valuable to share my experiences, so here are 10 tips for having a successful wedding show.
- Before the show, put some thought into your booth. Decide what you want your brides to see in your booth, how you want it to feel, and flow. Consider the colors you will use, textures of fabric and placement of furniture. Remember than you want brides to know what you do the minute they look at your booth. Some people knew right away what we did, some did not, so that is something we will revisit when the January show comes around.
- Ask questions to veteran vendors. Sonni of Bridal Couture by Sonni and Mary of Mary Fencl Events were so generous with their wedding show wisdom! I was forever grateful for their tips and encouraging words 🙂
- Set up the night before. And get as much help as you can! As handy, strong and wonderful as my husband and brother are, we definitely could have used some more help carrying things in and setting up. Thankfully my awesome parents came the morning of the show and helped with the finishing touches.
- Don’t cry over spilled flowers. Because I definitely almost did! I moved a picture frame a tiny bit and there went the most beautiful flower arrangement all over the floor. It was cleaned up in no time, nothing broke and everything still looked ok! Speak positively but if things go wrong during setup, don’t cry or worry or get mad, that’s silly. (Beautiful flower arrangements by Taylor over at Ever Something Event Styling)
- Make sure your booth flows. When you do a mock setup in your garage like we did, walk through it as if you were a bride walking through a booth. Have someone stand where you may be standing so that you know where to strategically place your props. When someone came in our booth, I told them who we were, encouraged them to sign up for the drawing at the round table, after they did that, they naturally moved to their left to look at invitations, grabbed a mint and then out they went.
- Be kind even to the rude people but know who to chase after. Yes, believe it or not, there are rude people at a bridal show. Not many, most are very kind but some didn’t have their morning coffee. Spend your time with those who are interested in your product. Chances are, they are the ones who will respond to your follow up email or call. Don’t chase down the ones who are afraid to make eye contact.
- Have a contest. We had 2 simple giveaways–an invitation suite design and a save the date design. For brides to sign up, they had to come into the booth which got them looking around and a little more interested. It was very successful as we were able to have conversations with many people but next time, I think we will make it more fun! The really cool photography business next to us, Encre, had a really cool contest! The had a whole bunch of film canisters in a jar and brides had to guess how many were in there. The bride closest to the amount won….I can’t remember…something amazing I’m sure. Anyway, everyone loves free or discounted stuff, right? Incentives!
- What you wear makes a difference. Be professional! But be cute, of course. I wore a beautiful, knee-length, cream lace dress from GGM with the cutest ever blue flower necklace from there too with my sparkly brown boots that I bought in Vegas. I don’t know what drew more people into our booth– my invitation design or those boots! They were a hit! If I had a dollar from every person who asked me where they were from, I’d be able to adopt all the dogs at the Animal Rescue Foundation! Kaleb wore a button down shirt, nice jeans, and leather boots. He looked quite dapper and handsome if I do say so myself 😉
- Network and become friends with other exhibitors. I am a people person. I love getting to know other people, what they do and why they love it, so networking is fairly natural for me. Towards the end of the show, I walked around and exchanged business cards with a few people and it was very beneficial. I had some really good conversations and made a few new contacts.
- Last but not least, HAVE FUN! Chances are, you are selling what you love! You get to tell people how you can help them, that you would love to be a part of their special day, that what you do is for them. And they love that. Brides and their cute entourages are there to learn and we as vendors are there to educate. Be the best at it because after all, that’s what the bride wants–the very best for her special day.
I hope those things were helpful to you. Feel free to contact me with questions or suggestions as I would love to be a help to anyone who has their first wedding show coming up! Or if you have fun suggestions for me for my next wedding show, I’d love to hear them! 🙂
I must give credit to Amy DeBell of Be Vida for making the MOST BEAUTIFUL handmade paper flowers. We attached those to our sign and that was a perfect addition!
Happy Monday everyone. Below are some photos of our booth. More photos to come taken by the oh-so-talented Josh New.