Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend? What did you get...
So it’s Wedding Wednesday on twitter, so I have decided to start Wedding Wednesday on my blog and start a new discussion every week or so (we’ll see how we get on)
This week I want to look at Wedding Fairs and Wedding Exhibitions.
As a wedding supplier I am always looking for new brides and grooms to work with. I spend a lot of my time on marketing to attract new customers.
At the moment I am getting endless phone calls from a variety of wedding companies offering me stands at this wedding exhibition, that wedding open day………..it’s endless! But this has made me take a step back from it all and question if these methods of attracting brides and grooms is still working?
Do Brides and Grooms still want to go to wedding fairs; do they get much out of them? Do they like that one too one contact with the supplier? Or do the time poor couple now wish to do all of their research on the internet??
On the other side of things do the suppliers get much from these wedding exhibitions anymore? Are there enough couples to go around the ever growing amount of wedding fairs that take place every weekend? And does the rising cost of exhibiting put people off for the return they get back?
Personally I have exhibited at wedding fairs, some good some bad. Some I’ve had a good response from, some absolutely nothing!
I would love to be in the position to be able to afford to exhibit every weekend, to go through the huge list of fairs that are on and cherry pick the best ones, but at £150 – £200+ for the average stand it just isn’t possible. The sales call will say ‘well if you make one booking on the day, it pays for itself’…..that’s far enough but what if there are no bookings? What if the event hasn’t been publicised well enough and not enough people turn up? Then what??
And then there are the bigger exhibitions the ones that you have to pay to get into. Are these any better? There are fantastic ones that do a great job, where you can spend all day and really come away feeling as a bride or groom that you have got a lot of varied information and are ready to make some strong decisions on which suppliers you want to work with. Some offer a discount on the day if you book there and then. However there are other big exhibitions that just don’t take enough care to invite the right suppliers, or the right amount of each supplier. No bride or groom wants to go to an exhibition hall full of photographers and dress shops and not much else, they want choice and variety……and so does the exhibitor who has spent thousands for a stand!
I have found though that the type of bride and groom that will pay £7, £8 even £15 to get into one of these exhibitions’ is generally serious about making some decisions, they have come with a purpose and mean business.
I do ask myself though,how serious the bride and groom who pop along to you average run of the mill wedding fair on a Sunday afternoon is, are they just there for the free cake? The chocolate fountain?……and when you ask them about their wedding they reply ‘oh we’re not getting married’…………..well why are you here then????
I think people want more from a wedding fair these days, going into a venue and walking round a tired old room with a few people selling their goods and services, with tatty displays and not even a smile from the exhibitors, just doesn’t cut it anymore…….I do believe that brides and groom want more.
After visiting a very bad wedding fair earlier this year I decided that that there was a market for something different! Something more interactive.
I was asked to organise Sheffield pride’s Civil partnership wedding fair, which I did but I made every effort to make it different to make it something people wanted to come to….and stay! not only to get reliable information on Civil partnerships, but to meet suppliers who offered them something more. Interactive displays, demonstrations, entertainment throughout the day. Don’t just tell people what you can do….show them!!!
So Personally I have concluded from my findings that I will only exhibit if:
1) I have organised the event myself and I know that it is going to be a different sort of day, I know it has been advertised as I’ve done it, I know the quality of exhibitors as I’ve booked them, and I can follow up on the leads, as I have all the contact details
2) It is a large exhibition that has paid entry. BUT I have to have been to that exhibition before and trust the organisers to have done a good job and have a good variety of suppliers.
So I would love to hear from you.
Are you a bride and groom? Have you been to any wedding fairs? Have you found them useful, or not? If not what was the problem? What do you think would make the whole experience better for you?
Are you a supplier? Do you still exhibit? If not why? Do you find you get work from them? If you don’t exhibit, where else do you now find your customers?
Feel free to leave comments; I’d love to hear your thoughts!