Engagement Season – It’s a Real Thing!December 28, 2018
We’re growing! Cassie Cowell, WPICC, is joining Just Grin Productions!January 30, 2019
It’s that time of year again – Wedding Show Season. As mentioned in our previous blog post, this is our busiest booking time of year since we’re right in the middle of Engagement Season. While there are wedding shows throughout the year, I believe that the best shows take place in January & February. That being said, as a First Timer, wedding shows can feel completely overwhelming – trust me, I’ve been there too. Often I chat with couples who have a deer-in-the-headlights look, as I’m sure vendor after vendor has startled them with a bunch of questions and sales pitches that they were not anticipating. I know first hand that this can be frustrating & even intimidating. That being said, this doesn’t have to be the case. We have been involved in many wedding shows over the years and here is some insight that I’d like to share!
- Bring comfortable shoes. You will likely be doing plenty of walking so a good pair of shoes may be your best friend.
- Take your time. Don’t rush through the show, but I don’t mean lolly-gag along and holding everybody up either. I’d recommend a bit of strategy in your approach. I heard about the 1-2-3 approach from somebody with 30+ years of wedding show experience. It involves taking 3 complete passes around the entire wedding show. The 1st pass is essentially a quick overview. Keep your eyes open, take everything in, but don’t really engage in eye-contact or conversation. The 2nd pass is a little more in-depth. Take some time to pick up literature & giveaways on this round (bring some sort of bag in case one isn’t provided at the show). Don’t be afraid to have casual conversations with other attendees & vendors. Make notes of the professionals that impress you and give you a good impression. Finally, on the 3rd pass, stop at the vendor booths that you really were impressed by. This is the time for quality conversations and engagement now that you have essentially narrowed down your search. Take this opportunity to connect and set up appointments after the show. You will find that your experience on the 3rd pass is much less overwhelming because you are familiar with the layout and the people you want to speak with.
- Labels. Take some time to make sticker labels with your name, address, phone number, e-mail and wedding date (if it’s been set). Many vendors run draws for prizes and this will save you the hassle of filling out the same information again & again. That being said, you may find that many booths have their contests entries done by laptop or tablet nowadays.
- Be ready for questions & conversation. Remember, the vendors are there to meet you! Some products & services require a lot of information, so don’t be surprised that they want to talk with you. They’re not being nosy. They probably just want some more information so they can help recommend the best products or services for you. Don’t be surprised when some reach out after the show either. And that brings us to the next point.
- Create a wedding email address for all of your wedding-related communication. For example: [email protected] If all email communication goes to one address it will help to keep things organized. Adding another inbox on your phone is easier now that ever so don’t be afraid to use technology to your advantage.
- Don’t fall for deals that seem too good to be true. Cheap is the wrong reason to hire a professional! Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get a deal at a wedding show; however, if a deal is just so over the top that you can’t believe, it may best course of action is to avoid it. Trust your gut. My recommendation is to put your money where your memories are. Don’t book a vendor because you’ll get points in some competition or because they’re so desperate for work that they’re willing to throw in random things for free. I’d recommend select vendors that suit your style and priorities.
- Bring your partner. A show is always more effective if you can work together as a united front. Enjoy this time together. I often ask my potential clients to come to our meetings with some difficult questions to interrogate me with. This can be a great way to engage in meaningful conversation to see if we’re a good fit for each other.
- Ask the professionals for recommendations! Wedding professionals work with all kinds of other professionals all the time. It’s likely that they have recommendations for professionals that they like to work with because they work weddings potentially every week (if not multiple times per week). For example, a Banquet Manager at a wedding venue probably see dozens of different DJ companies throughout the year, and interact with them from the time they show up for load-in until they’re done at the end of the night. Who else would be a better reference for their professionalism, performance, personality, etc. than a person that sees it all all the time?
- Don’t go through the material from the show right away. You may be tempted to go through all of the handouts, flyers, postcards, etc. as soon as you get home, but I’d recommend taking the rest of the day to think things over. Let your brain absorb everything that you’ve just experienced. The following day (or even a couple days later), go through the materials and make a pile for the professionals that impressed you the most. Take some time to check out their websites, their Google Reviews, their social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), etc. Make sure that the content is current & relevant. After taking the time to go through the materials, checking out the websites & social media accounts, make a final list and reach out in the best way for you (email, phone call, Facebook message, etc.).
I truly hope that this insight helps make your wedding show experience more enjoyable and more productive. As I said earlier, our company Just Grin Productions has been participating in wedding shows for many years now. We feel that the face-to-face interaction is a great way to start a relationship with our clients. Please feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have. From entertainment, to lighting, to event planning and coordination, to photo booths, and much more, Just Grin Productions has you covered. Happy wedding planning!