Welcome to the first in our new series of posts to tell you everything you need to know about wedding fairs. This edition covers an introduction to fairs and how you should choose which fairs to exhibit at.
In the forthcoming weeks we will cover;
Preparing for the fair
On the day
The follow up
Introduction to wedding fairs
As a wedding supplier, you most likely get a lot of your business from wedding fairs. Or if you’re new to the industry you might be wondering if you should be appearing at these events. Whether you don’t have a high street presence at all, or you just want to supplement it a little, wedding fairs are the best way to get in front of potential customers.
So how do you go about choosing a fair, how much should you be paying, why aren’t you getting any business from the fairs you have done and what on earth should you do with your display. This series will answer all these questions and more.
But first here is a little bit of info on wedding fairs in general for those who are new to them. Wedding fairs allow wedding suppliers to exhibit their services or products, in return for a fee at a fair or exhibition type event. Brides and grooms to be, then visit the fair to book suppliers for their wedding.
Fairs are generally run at wedding venues or exhibition spaces. They may be run by the venue themselves, or by an external dedicated wedding fair company (more about this later).
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and exhibit but what now?
How to choose a fair?
Location, location, location
You local area will now doubt offer a large number of wedding fairs. First of all decide on the area that you can realistically cover. Don’t just think about where you want your potential customers to be located and where they are likely to be getting married, also think about your time and expense on the day of the fair.
Wedding fairs can be very time consuming so you need to factor in how long it will take you to get there and how much it will cost you in petrol.
Venue or company run?
As I said earlier, fairs are run by wedding venues or private companies. Private companies will hold fairs at some wedding venues, but also perhaps other types of premises such as exhibition spaces.
Venue run fairs tend to feature a venue’s preferred suppliers (those suppliers they recommend their couples use) as well as other suppliers. If you are on a venue’s preferred supplier list it is advisable to attend their fairs whenever possible as this will keep the relationship you have with the venue strong.
Independent companies may focus on a particular theme such as vintage, outdoor or boho. If you think you appeal to a certain type of bride then I would definitely recommend choosing a fair that focuses on your style. This will not only mean that you will fit in well, the potential customers will suit you, but also that you will meet like-minded suppliers and this can be great for networking.
How much should I be paying?
I would say that anything between £50 and £300 is normal for a one day wedding fair at a venue or smallish exhibition space. For these prices you’d be expecting to meet around 25 to 250 brides to be (this is a really rough estimate as it varies so much). Large national shows such as the NEC charge in the thousands but you will be expecting to meet thousands of potential customers for this price. Remember, as with anything you get what you pay for and quality of visitors on the day is as important as quantity.
Other points to consider?
A few other small points to consider when you’re about to book a far.
Are there parking fees as you’ll need to factor these in to you costs for the day.
Is access to building easy (can you fit your ten foot backdrop through the door?)
And finally how much space will you be allowed?
Next time…. Preparing your stall.