Tips on how to have a successful booth...
1. Be prepared: Know your audience, research the venue, find out where you will be in the space (so you can tailor your stand) and be ready to welcome the couples! Making sure you have the right price point for your target audience (and you are exhibiting at the appropriate fairs for that audience) is really key too.
2. Turn up early: Being first to set up means you have plenty of time for:
3. Don’t pack up before the end: You may miss key couples who may be hitting a couple of fairs at once – this also provides the wrong message to the venue and to the couples who are still hanging around – you will look less committed.
4. Special Offers: Some couples come ready to buy especially if they see a bargain – so it is worth having some fabulous special offers you can give them should they choose to select you. This is then guaranteed business for you and more likely to convert from that conversation at your stand to an actual sale.
5. Do something unique: Even at small to medium-sized fairs there are likely to be at least 3 of each type of vendor exhibiting. Hopefully, the venue will place you separately (don’t be afraid to request that when you sign up as well) however you need to be able to attract the couples to your stall and to stand out when they go home as well. You need to be memorable in order to get that sale.
6. Be confident: Couples are looking for people who will be with them on their wedding day. Being confident in yourself, in your product and in your price point allows them to feel confident in you. You might not find it the easiest thing to speak to people in person, and you may get nervous, but eye contact, a smile and speaking up goes a long way to gaining the confidence of the customer in front of you.
7. Branding: Your stand should have plenty of branding, and that also goes for the design of your stand as well. If your brand has a particular colour scheme why not get yourself a table cloth in that colour that you can use to dress your table (wedding venue wedding fairs often provide you with a 6ft trestle table). Pop up branding is a must to make sure your stall is recognisable from the others.
8. Don’t assume: You will meet a number of different people attending wedding fairs; from straight couples, to gay couples, to brides with mothers and mothers-in-law, to couples with large age gaps and even wedding planners. Do not make assumptions. Male gay couples will likely be turned off if you start asking if their bride is coming to the fair, lesbian couples may be upset if you ask where the groom is today and couples with large age differences will get offended if you start assuming one is the parent of the other! Be non-gender-specific (wedding couples) and ask open questions: “What are you looking for today?” Or “Why did you come here today, were you looking for something in particular?” This way you can open a dialogue and you won’t make any assumptions about what their reasoning is for being there.
9. Be interactive: The stalls that are the most popular at those that allow for some interaction between the couples attending and the vendor themselves. Think videos, things to eat, things for the visitors to touch, items they can play around with or interact with are all worth investing in. The longer they are at the stall, the longer you have to convert their interest into a sale.
10. Don’t be afraid to give something away: If you are able to give away something that the couples can have at home – whether that be a treat in a bag or a notebook and pen or something else – this can go a long way to making you memorable. Just remember to make it appropriate to you and branded so they remember who you are when they get home – chances are they will contact the suppliers that they have taken something away from.
11. A little investment goes a long way: Ensuring that the collateral you provide your clients is eye-catching and fun, making sure that you have something they can take away with them, updating your stand so that your branding is on-point and current – all of this will take some investment, but remember, you book a wedding out of one wedding fair and it has paid for itself.
12. Get their details and follow up: All of the above is great but if you don’t get contact information you cannot follow up with them. Some wedding fairs will take couples’ details on the door and then provide those details to the suppliers exhibiting, however, the independent fairs may not do so for data-protection purposes. The easiest way to guarantee some information from the couples is to offer some kind of prize draw or similar. Firstly, this is a great tool because only interested parties who have spent time at your stall will sign up (so the lead is warmer than the entry list from the wedding fair) and secondly, they are directly looking for a follow-up. Use this tool to follow up with a quick email about what you do, who you are and that the prize draw will follow soon (give a deadline) and you are almost guaranteed an opened email.