Bridal expos are fantastic events for both guests and vendors! Brides-to-be have the opportunity to explore a wide array of wedding vendors. As a vendor, I find the experience to be very rewarding as well! But, although sharing my work with the wedding community is very enjoyable, there is also a lot of thought, planning, and time that goes into preparing for this big event. So, I wanted to share with you what it’s like from my side of the booth!
Before the Show
The preparation for a big expo event can be a huge undertaking. Many vendors plan for days or even weeks to prepare! So, what goes into the planning?
- What will your booth look like? We need to have a plan for the layout of our tables in order to make sure that we have all the materials we will need. In addition to our products, we can’t forget the other details, such as tablecloths, signage, pens, or candy.
- Gather your materials and products! Our booth needs to be visually appealing, and it should display a variety of the products that we offer. This is a great opportunity to show off our range! For those of us who offer samples, we also need to be sure to have plenty on hand. And, perhaps most important: We have to make sure we have plenty of copies of our business cards or pamphlets!
- Who is joining you? We also need to decide in advance if we will have assistance from other employees from our business. Bridal expo events are long days; it is always beneficial to have help.
- What special deal will you be offering? Many brides-to-be attend expos not only for the exposure to different options, but also for the deals! Accordingly, many vendors at bridal expos plan a special discount, raffle, or giveaway for attendees that book at the event. It is always a good idea to plan a deal that can attract guests to our booth!
After all of this planning, there are still preparations to be made! Packing all of these materials will take quite a bit of time. Beginning packing early is essential so that we can get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed and ready for the big day. We also carefully plan out our outfits: It needs to be something professional, but also something we will be comfortable in for the whole day!
Lights, Camera, Action! Time for the big day!
It’s time to set up the booth! This can take up to 3-4 hours, so we need to plan ample time for this process. This is also a great time for us to meet other members of our wedding vendor community! I love connecting and networking with other vendors at bridal expos.
Also, of course, the main reason for the expo: Connect with clients!
We typically have an elevator pitch prepared to tell people about our business. But, we also want to make personal connections with each guest we meet. Learning about individual clients’ goals, styles, and overall wedding plans is very important. At the same time, we also need to pay attention to make sure we’ve connected with every person stopping at the booth — it is easy to get caught up in a conversation and unintentionally ignore other guests. We need to strike the right balance to get a chance to speak with everyone!
Photo: Michelle Dorothy Photography
During these conversations, it is important to be prepared for any questions the brides-to-be may have. We keep references, samples, and examples on hand to answer all inquiries. Additionally, our ultimate goal is to book consultations so that we can re-connect with these clients and determine how we can work together!
After the Show
We’ve made it! It’s time to take a breath and relax. Although it’s important to eat and keep hydrated throughout the day, we often find ourselves quite busy, so we may need to take a brief self-care break when the show is over. But, we can’t pause too long, because then it’s time to clean-up, deconstruct our booths, and put our tables back into storage.
Additionally, the bridal expo venue typically collects an email list from those who attended. So, before we leave we always want to request a copy of the list so that we can have the ability to reach out to the attendees again!
On that note, following up is one of the most important elements of bridal expos! Firstly, we always follow through with any consultations that we booked during the event. But, we also want to reach back out to individuals that we connected with who may have wanted more time or information before booking. And, we can’t forget to draw the winners for our giveaways or raffles!
Photo: Michelle Dorothy Photography
Finally, reflect back on the day. What went right? What could be improved? Then, we start again. The grind never stops! I’m always working towards growing my business and continuing to grow within the wedding vendor community!
Want to learn more about attending bridal expos? Read my other blog “How To Get the Most Out of a Bridal Expo” to learn more about how to make the most of these events!