I'm no pro at wedding shows but I have learned a lot from going to them this year! I am so thankful for the invitations I got and I was able to attend 3 this year at Oxon Hill Manor, Kurtzs Beach and Samuel Riggs Alumni Center.
I feel like there are so many names for these events: Bridal Shows, Wedding expos, Vendor Open Houses and so on, personal I just call them all 'Wedding Open House'. With this being my first year committing to do them I wanted to do my research but there wasn't all that much info out there on how to prepare or what to do. I found cute setups on Pinterest and some tips on what to do. Each show was different and I committed to figuring out the best way to approach them. I brought along these things:
1. Sample wedding albums - to showcase my work and show clients the tangible item that comes with their wedding package.
2. Business Cards - because are you even real if you don't have a business card? I put as much contact info as possible on my cards :) (phone, email, social media)
3. Wedding Magazines- these are a personal thing I chose to create for my wedding consults and potential clients, it's a great way to take things from my website and put them in a nice printed layout. I created the magazine in Photoshop and I print them through Magcloud, yea they are $5 each but I feel like they are my best marketing tool because they are jam packed with information.
4. Canvas - I brought along one 16x20 and a couple smaller canvas to display my work and again display a tangible product
5. Sign-up Sheet - Wedding shows are not the place to talk serious business, couples are getting handed tons of flyers, folders, paper and free stuff, the last thing you want to try to do is a full on consult with people who are just browsing, I give the option to jot down their info (names, emails, wedding date) so I can send out an email afterwards with pricing and booking info. If I am booked on their wedding date I send out some referrals.
6. Pens - they are the universal exchange for talking to someone....not really lol, I bring a bunch so people can fill out the sign-up sheet but also so people can take them because it is natural instinct.
7. Networking! I think it is just as important to network with local wedding vendors as it is to meet potential clients.
There are many shows available and I believe they are a great opportunity to get your name out there and network! If you can attend at least one just to see if they work for you I highly recommend it. You will get mixed reviews about other peoples success or failures with them, see for yourself!