For Businesses attending Wedding Fairs
1. What are you wearing? Brides use businesses who appear professional, organised and clean. They will be looking at you as much as your stand!
2. Even if the venue are supplying food, take a flask or snack to keep you going in case you can’t leave your stand. If you don’t need it, you will appreciate it on the drive home.
2. Allow enough time to set up. Brides will arrive early, and will see you rushing around in a flap. Would you blame them for booking your more organised competitor?
4. Leave your newspaper at home. If you are reading your paper you are not concentrating on your customers.
5. Stay on your feet to be at the same level as your customers; or get up from your chair as they approach.
6. Be Proactive: Engage couples in conversation and let them know you want their business.
7. …But not too pushy: Let brides see your stand without pouncing on them! If couples are steering clear of your stand, ask yourself why? No one likes a “hard sell”.
8. Stay at your stand as much as you can. Brides can’t talk to you if you are not there! However, don’t be caught with a mouthful of sandwich – take a quick break away from your stand to eat lunch; there is often a quiet period in the early afternoon.
9. Don’t pack away early. It shows a lack of professionalism to brides, and is a waste of a networking opportunity.
10. The most important. Network, network, network! In the long term you could pick up as much business via recommendations from other companies at the Fair as you will from speaking directly to brides. Use any quiet times to speak to other exhibitors.
Certain business categories do very well from Wedding Fairs, getting many thousand pounds worth of business from a couple of hundred pounds of outlay. Few other advertising methods give quite such an incredible and immediate return.
Some Fairs do not restrict the number of businesses in each category. It is self-limiting; if there are too many businesses competing over a limited number of brides, no one will pick up enough business to want to come back next time.
Some Fairs operate a system whereby the previous year’s exhibitors get first refusal.
Other Fairs, including Guides for Brides, limit the number of stands and operate a filtering system; giving first priority to those businesses who have a good reputation for promoting their business in the area around the Wedding Fair venue.
In all cases, enquire early. All the best Fairs get booked up for the popular categories straight away.
If you can’t attend as an exhibitor, ask the organisers if they are giving out a “goody bag” and include your literature or free samples in that.