wedding fairs

Wedding Shows - A Supplier's Perspective

After my last blog-post, discussing the reasons why couples should attend wedding fairs, I had a few comments (which led on to lengthy discussions!) about the pros and cons for the suppliers.

The most obvious benefit from a supplier’s perspective, is that they could potentially generate new business. I do think that there’s more to it than that, though; you get the opportunity to speak to potential clients face-to-face and find out exactly what they need or are looking for, which can be harder to do if it’s by email. You can try out your latest ideas on them, see what responses you get, and gauge how well your product(s) or service is being received.

Wedding fairs are also a great, informal place to network with other suppliers. There’s often a lot of talk about ‘rival companies’ or ‘the competition’, but I try not to see it like that; every business offers something slightly different or approaches the way they run their business differently, and there are more than enough weddings and clients to go around! Exhibiting at a wedding fair means that you can meet a variety of wedding professionals in one place, discuss weddings and experiences you’ve had and build relationships. After all, we all work together in one way or another to produce incredible weddings for our clients.

Of course, you cannot guarantee that each wedding show will be busy and that you’ll come away with lots of enquiries or bookings. Various things can affect the numbers attending, from poor advertising of the wedding fair to bad weather, which you can’t always avoid. I once exhibited at a wedding fair in mid-March, when you’d think the weather would be relatively mild, and it snowed, which meant there was a very low turnout. If you’re concerned about how well a show will be advertised, book one through an experienced and well-known wedding show organiser or get a recommendation from other wedding suppliers.

If the thought of doing a large wedding show makes you a bit nervous, try exhibiting at a smaller one first and see what it’s like, and then maybe build up to doing a bigger show. Some suppliers would say that the bigger shows attract more couples and so you stand a better chance of getting more business. However, the bigger shows tend to be more expensive, so you would need to generate enough business to cover the initial outlay to make it worthwhile.

Wedding shows can be a bit of a gamble, but I have found them to be a good way to meet clients, get new business and meet some great fellow suppliers. Why not give it a try?

Wedding Fairs: Yay or Nay?

The idea of attending a wedding fair can fill people with feelings of excitement and/or nervousness; the large number of businesses exhibiting can help you plan your special day (and you can talk about your day with people who get just as excited about weddings!), but they can also be quite intimidating, especially if you've no idea where to start. I always recommend to my clients that they attend at least one wedding fair, particularly if there is one on at a venue they are interested in or have booked, as it can help them visualise what their day could look like. 

It can be very useful to compare different suppliers, and being able to do it in one day, in one place, as opposed to making appointments and going from shop to shop, or town to town, can be very beneficial. You also get to see examples of the suppliers' previous work, which can help you decide if they're the supplier you want to use. 

Some businesses hold competitions or offer discounts at wedding fairs, to encourage you to book them. Whilst this can mean you get a good discount, don't rush to book someone just because you want to save money; make sure they are the right supplier for you.

Exhibitors know and understand that it can be overwhelming for couples, both in terms of the information you're given and the ideas available, but they generally just want to have a chat, find out about you and what you want, and try to help. Just remember, you are not obliged to book anyone or make any decisions when at a wedding fair; it is fine to just wander around, get some ideas, maybe talk to a supplier or two, get some business cards or leaflets, and then go home and think about it all as and when you want to.

Wedding fairs are designed to help you meet the businesses who could help you bring your dream wedding to life; so why not check out some wedding fairs that are happening near you soon?

 

Here are some wedding fairs companies covering Kent, with upcoming fairs:

The Wedding Experience - Their next fair is on 18 February at Hop Farm, Paddock Wood

A Kentish Wedding - Their next fair is on 11 February at Discovery Park, Sandwich

Whitesky Events - Their next fair is on 4 March at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham

Main Event Wedding Shows - Their next fair is on 11 February at Brands Hatch, Longfield

Here's to 2018!

I think it's safe to say that 2017 has been a rather busy year here at Caro HQ. After taking the plunge and launching my business, I have been involved with a variety of events, including birthday celebrations, weddings, wedding fairs and styled shoots. This has meant that I have been able to try out different ideas and styles, and I have developed a varied portfolio which showcase the different events I have worked on. I have also met and worked with some fantastic venues and suppliers, and built good, long-term working relationships.

Caro has expanded in the last few months in ways that I had not anticipated happening quite so quickly; I always had the intention of venturing into the styling side of events whereby I would provide the chair covers, centrepieces, etc. myself, but I thought it would be in the second or third year. Fortunately, an opportunity arose and I was able to buy a large amount of stock in bulk, and I haven't looked back since. I love that I am now able to offer my clients the full package of planning and styling their day.

As well as the day-to-day aspect of the business, I have also re-designed and developed my website, and I am thrilled with the results. I have tried different marketing techniques and found what works and what doesn't; I even tackled the dreaded tax return - and it wasn't as bad as I'd feared!

I'm very proud of what I've achieved with Caro this year, but I'm also incredibly excited for what's to come in 2018. As well as bookings that I've already got in the diary, I'll be exhibiting at the Wedding Experience at Detling at the end of January, and at two wedding fairs in March, one at Royal Wells Hotel, and the other at One Warwick Park Hotel. Come along to any (or all!) of these events if you're planning your wedding or a special event, and have a chat to find out how I can help!

So, here's to 2018 and a rather busy and productive future for everyone! I look forward to meeting and working with you soon.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!