The summer holidays are now over and wedding fair season is now upon us. There are so many that you could attend one every weekend until Christmas. But if you have better things to do with your time, how do you decide which ones to attend and get the best out of them.
Open Day or Wedding Fair?
On an Open Day, the venue will be mocked-up like a wedding so you can visualise the layout etc. There may be a few token suppliers with items on display but it is mainly a showcase for the venue. A wedding fair, on the other hand, is where all the suppliers are brought together under one roof to show off their wares and usually the main room is given over to this so there is limited opportunity to view the venue as it would be on your day.
So if you wanting to view the venue, an open day may be your best bet. But if you have already booked a venue and are on the lookout for suppliers, a wedding fair is the way to go. And remember, wedding fairs run by venues are usually the opportunity to speak to their preferred suppliers.
Wear comfy shoes
I know, this is teaching you to suck eggs. But some of the wedding fairs are huge and you will really cover some mileage. You don’t want your concentration clouded by sore feet. Having been that supplier who wore uncomfortable boots to a wedding fair, I have felt that pain!!!!
Are you having an alternative theme – will there be any suppliers exhibiting who will fit the bill? Is there a particular supplier who you want to get in touch with? If so, stalk them to find out which fairs they are attending. You could even send them a little message before the event to say you are seeking them out.. There is nothing nicer than meeting someone who has been following you and is genuinely interested in your work and it is great for you to chat to them and see their products “in the flesh” before committing to a consultation.
Create a wedding email address
As soon as you enter the door, everybody and their dog will be wanting your email address. Yes, some of it will be spam but sometimes there are little nuggets of gold like special show offers or competitions. So rather than clogging up your general inbox, create a new email for everything wedding-related and then after the day, you can delete it. And don’t forget, under the new GDPR rules, no-one can email you unless you have given them consent.
Consolidate during the event
Going to a wedding fair can be a sensory overload – loads of gorgeous stuff to see and taste. It can all be a little overwhelming. My simple advice would be to wander around all the stalls collecting cards and leaflets. Then take some time out with a cuppa or something stronger and go through all these leaflets, putting the interesting ones to one side. Perhaps have a little list of questions you might want to ask these people and on your second trip around the fair, only go back to them. You could even give them your email address so they can contact you – if you realise later that you aren’t interested, you just unsubscribe. This will save you losing the perfect supplier because you lost their card and then can’t remember their name. It happens more than you think.
I hope this helps to navigate the minefield that is a wedding fair. And if you’d like to pop by and chat to us, check out our forthcoming events. I have also written a blog with hints and tips that may help you to identify and avoid rogue traders – click here to check it out.