If you are a wedding vendor then wedding fayre season is quite possibly your favourite time of year; it can also be your most dreaded. We understand that there is a lot to plan for, sometimes even a lot of expense, in order to be prepared for exhibiting at a wedding fayre.
Everyone from wedding stationers to photographers and even caterers can be found at fayres across the UK, so how can you stand out from the crowd? We've put together the ultimate guide to help you get prepared, including what you should consider before and after the exhibition.
Before the wedding fayre
This is going to be the time when you need to be the most organised, whilst also doing plenty of research as well. In order to be fully prepared for the day, it's important to ensure you know exactly how the exhibition is going to be run, the type of people that will be attending and how you're going to set yourself apart from the competition. Use our list below to make sure you have everything covered, at least a week or two before the big day.
- Pick the right wedding fayre(s)
This is an important part of the preparations, as there is no point trying to stretch yourself too thin. If you've got yourself booked into every wedding exhibition around the UK, then how are you going to have time to work?
Make sure you consider where the fayre is being held (will your target audience be from this area), whether the style or theme of the fayre suits your product or service, and whether the event is good value for money.
- The event advertising
This ties in quite nicely with the first, as you need to research this before you even book your spot. Find out how and where the event is being organised, so that you know whether it has a big enough reach. If the fayre has a giant social media following, is putting up posters around the country and has a big spread in the local paper, then you're onto a winner.
- What is included?
You need to find out exactly what is included in the price of your exhibition space. Will there be a booth in place or will it just be an empty slot? Are things such as Wi-Fi, basic furniture, electricity and tablecloths included? If not, then how much extra will you be charged for those things? This will help you plan for your booth, buy anything that isn't included, and work out your costings.
Once you know everything there is to know about the wedding fayres you're interested in, only then should you secure your space. Having all of this knowledge and information will help you be much better prepared for the day, when it arrives. After all, finding out that there was no advertising for the event on the day is going to really put a dampener on things.
Creating your wedding fayre booth
This is quite possibly the most exciting part of a wedding fayre, other than meeting the lucky couples, of course! It's time to get creative and make sure you pull in as many people as you possibly can, using the limited space you have available.
It is good to go through this in a step-by-step manner, making sure you don't miss out on anything important. Here's our three step guide to creating your wedding fayre booth:
Step 1: First of all you actually need a stand. If the organiser isn't providing you with anything, then it's down to you to keep this space furnished. Many people opt for a basic table and chairs combination, especially for smaller, local exhibitions. However, if you're going for something large-scale then you can buy or rent trade show display booths. Consider all of the accessories you may need, including tablecloths and perhaps even chairs.
Step 2: Next up, your booth needs to stand out from the crowd. If you don't know how to market in wedding industry circles then it's quite simple: big, bold and eye-catching. There are going to be dozens of competitor stalls at many of the wedding fayres, so you need to be offering something different. Consider posters, banners, music, lights, TVs, iPads, dancing monkeys (only if relevant of course) and anything else you can do to get noticed by potential customers.
Step 3: Now your stand is all singing and dancing, you need to add those finishing touches. Products, samples, brochures, leaflets, catalogues and treats for your couples to take home. You want people to remember you when they've left and have a pile of things to sort through, so make sure yours stand out again.
If you sell stationary for weddings, for example, then consider giving out wedding invitations as your business cards or leaflets. If you bake cakes then ensure that everyone gets a sample, along with a brochure packed with pictures. If your stand has nothing for potential customers to take home, then you're going to be missing out on business.
Getting the most from the day
Once the big day has finally arrived, it can seem a bit nerve-wracking. Your stand looks great, you've got freebies to hand out and now hundreds, if not thousands, of people are flocking through the door. If we have one piece of advice for you when it comes to getting the most from the day it is this: “Get out there and meet those couples!”
We promise you, that although it may seem quite daunting to start with, you'll soon have plenty of fun and feel a lot more relaxed. You may not naturally be a sales person, especially if much of the work you do is creative or office-based (such as a wedding stationer or cake baker), but that doesn't mean you can't sell.
Invite people in with an open question, such as “What are you looking for in particular today?” or something chatty such as “When is the big day?” People love talking about their weddings, so let them chat away before you try selling them your wedding invites. Once they feel at ease, you'll feel at ease, and then you can show them what you have to offer.
Don't be afraid to step outside of the stand and greet people in the walkways, as this tends to be a place where not many booth owners will venture. If you have samples to give away then put yourself in the middle of it all and watch the people come to you.
Don't forget that it is important to get details of every couple you talk to, if you want to generate plenty of leads. You can do this via little cards they can fill out with their details or even by setting up a competition which requires their name and number to enter. Just think, you could give away 100 free wedding invitations as a competition prize and potentially sign up 100 new customers in the process. Now that's a rather impressive return on investment.
Ensure you follow up with each of the couples, as often as you possibly can without seeming like an annoyance. We would suggest a week or two down the line, then a couple of months after that.
We hope that our hints and tips have given you a bit more confidence about your next wedding fayre. Hopefully these will be helpful regardless of whether you sell wedding invites or hen party packages, as it provides a glimpse into how to market in wedding industry fayres and exhibitions. Now all you need to do is book some of those spaces and get yourself out there, you'll be glad you did!