Can you believe we’re already reaching that period when wedding bookings begin to slow but the number of national and local wedding fairs begin to ramp up in anticipation of 2018 / 2019 bookings?
The smartest wedding pros will already be signing up to showcase their unique supplier services at wedding events from September through to November so we thought “what better time to take stock and remind ourselves of exactly how to stand out at a wedding supplier show?!”
Whether you’re preparing for your very first wedding show or are an established wedding show exhibitor, check out these top tips from wedding industry experts that’ll help you maximise your return this year and make the most out of the opportunities that present themselves at UK wedding fairs in 2017…
1. Preparation is key
Tell people you’re going
At least one week before you’re due to exhibit at a wedding show, use social media and email to advertise your appearance and let your followers and prospects know that you’ll be there.
If you’re lucky enough to have a list of contact numbers from interested prospects, call them and invite them to come along too. Remember to let couples know which number your stand will be at.
Prepare post event communications before the event
It’s really important that you set aside some time to prepare follow up communications for after the wedding show in advance. You’ll want to be able to follow up as soon after the show as you can, and having pre-prepared templates will enable speedy yet effective post event communications.
The last thing you want to do is rush to put something substandard together after the wedding show or leave it too long only to find that your prospects have already booked with another supplier.
Prepare separate email templates for ‘interested parties’ versus ‘appointments’ so that you’ve got very separate communications ready to tailor to each individual you’ve met. For more information on the importance of personalising your emails and how to construct effective email communications, read this article.
2. Make sure your wedding stand stands out
There are probably going to be a lot of other wedding suppliers competing for the attention of brides and grooms at this event so it’s imperative that you stand out.
Here are three easy ways to say “look at me” at your next wedding show…
- Try to build some height when dressing your stand so that you can be spotted from across the room and don’t be afraid to use lighting and colour.
- Use professional signage that’s easy to read from a distance and again, put it up high so that more people can see it.
- Make sure that your stand reflects what you do. If you’re a wedding florist create a showstopping booth made up of your most creative and impressive blooms and floral combinations. If you make wedding cakes, construct a tower that will draw “oohs” and “ahhs” from engaged couples looking to impress at their weddings next year.
3. Give away good freebies
It’s no secret that we all love a freebie and it’s a great way to attract crowds to your stand. True, some attendees will just be interested in the free goods but you’ll definitely reel in interested couples too.
The trick to separating the freebie-lovers from the serious bookers is this…when people approach your stall qualify them by asking when their wedding day is and which suppliers they’ve already secured so that you don’t waste time with the ones who aren’t going to convert to bookings.
Don’t sit down in your booth or stand with your arms crossed. Be open, friendly, smile and encourage couples to approach you and communicate.
Wondering what freebies you could offer?
Sweets and cupcakes always work well, as do gimmicky toys or gadgets that could help couples in their wedding planning journey. If you can, make sure that whatever you give away has your business name and contact information on it for maximum promotion.
You could try running a competition and include a bigger giveaway such as a romantic meal for two or an overnight stay at your wedding venue and gather contact details in exchange for entries.
4. Set a clear goal
Are you trying to make sales, book appointments or just gather as many contact details as you can from interested prospects?
Decide what your objective is beforehand and stick to it as best you can. When couples approach you, know what you want from them before you start discussing your wedding services.
Talk to as many couples as you can. Gather their details and if you need to offer something extra to get them to commit to an appointment you could offer them 10% off if they book your wedding venue or services within a 2-4 week period.
Remember to follow up with your appointments and contacts soon after the wedding show to give yourself the best chance of securing bookings whilst your wedding services are fresh in their minds.
5. Network with other wedding suppliers
One of our favourite benefits of a wedding show is that it gives you a chance to network with other wedding suppliers on a national and / or local level.
Arrive early so that you can meet other wedding professionals whilst you’re setting up and trade business cards or details so that you can keep in touch with them after the wedding show.
Creating networks between like minded suppliers is the best way to help boost referrals between yourselves.
Make wedding shows work for you
Now you’re armed with some of the best tips we have to offer it’s time to go and put your stamp on the industry.
How will you stand out from the crowd at 2017 wedding fairs?