After organising wedding exhibitions for over 15 years, we’ve seen many suppliers through the doors, many have had success, some have failed.
They failed due to a number of reasons which I’m going to go into now.
There are more than 5 ways not to promote yourself at a wedding fair, but these are 5 which spring to mind with tips on what to do instead.
Leaving your stand bare at a wedding fair
Arriving with a pull up stand and not much else is bad news for visiting couples. It tells them you don’t really care about your business and probably won’t care about that couple’s wedding day either.
Venues in particular tend to fall foul of this, not because they don’t care, but because they send staff who would rather not be working on a Sunday. Those staff will bring what they can from the venue, sometimes arrive late and throw up what they can quickly before the doors open. This isn’t all venues but it’s a common theme we’ve seen over the years.
TIP: If you’re sending staff to exhibit at a wedding fair for you, give them an incentive to collect leads in return for a reward. That dangling carrot will make all the difference in how they present themselves to visiting couples.
Hiding behind a table
You’re nervous, it’s your first time and you use a table as a hiding spot without realising. But that table creates an unwanted barrier between you and the couples walking past. Utilising a table is a good idea but stand in front of or at the side of it so you can still talk to passing couples.
TIP: Have a small table off to one side in your stand/area, so you can take details from couples after chatting to them without a big table creating a barrier.
Hand out a leaflet with no call to action or plan
It’s been said before, but just handing out a leaflet and hoping for the best is one of the easiest ways to waste your promotional opportunity at a wedding fair. It’s an invitation to tell a couple that everything they need to know about your business is on that leaflet and they can walk on.
If you’re using leaflets, make sure you have a call to action on them that tells the couple to do something; ‘watch this video here’ or ‘sign up to my mailing list for a free gift’; don’t just use it as a piece of literature, give it a job.
TIP: Have a unique identifier on your wedding fayre literature so you can track any enquiries back to it easier and measure your return.
Giving out free samples with no strings attached
We try to advise against this; think about it this way. If you were a cake supplier for example, you lovingly make those cake samples and divide them up onto a tray and serve them out to passers-by your stand. They take the cake and leave. You have no idea if they liked it, or even if they’ve booked their wedding cake yet.
TIP: After speaking to interested couples at your stand, take their details and tell them you’d love to post them a sample of their favourite cake to try. They will be so overjoyed at the offer, they’ll pass on their details and you can then make the cake sampling experience all the more special.
Box up the cake and personalise a note to send with it. It makes the cake sampling all the more special and unique to that couple, and they’ll be more likely to book you for it.
Have no plan to collect couples details at a wedding fair
This is a big one that’s been touched on earlier in this article. Exhibiting at a wedding fair with no plan to collect couples’ details or follow up is a waste of your hard-earned money.
Just think how many leaflets and business cards a couple will receive from visiting a wedding fair/exhibition. They will get home feeling excited yet overwhelmed with a bag of leaflets and for the most part, no idea where to start. They might forget about you as they have nothing to remind them you exist. That’s where following up with your leads comes in, but I’ll talk about that in a later article.
TIP: If you qualify that a couple needs your product/service and collect their details by way of a contact form on an iPad or a simple sign-up sheet at your stand, you’re already in front of most suppliers.
We have free easy to use contact forms for exhibitors to download on our website, but you can get free contact sheets on Google.
After you’ve collected details at a wedding fair (get help with that here), get all those emails typed up on a spreadsheet and you can start to promote to interested couples and build that relationship with them. You’ll hit their inbox and they’ll remember you from the wedding fair. For how to follow up, keep your eyes peeled on my next article.