I like the idea of wedding planners sharing booths with other wedding vendors in expos and fairs. It offers more opportunities to attract and meet potential clients while cutting some of the expenses of exhibiting. Not all expos and fairs are events that attract a large number of brides but you may still be able to get clients from them when you share a booth, as I discuss in this Q&A.
I’m just starting my wedding planning business and I need some tips. A photographer I know has invited me to share a booth in an expo. It’s an expo that showcases everything in products and services in the areas of real estate, construction, home improvement, furniture, gardening, decorating and home security. I know, it’s not a bridal fair, but I want to get well-known in my area and I think this is the way to do it. Many people from the local area will be going to this fair and some will be brides.
What do I show on my side of the table?
I’m concerned that this is not a bridal fair. The photographer can meet potential clients for portraits and non-wedding work if few brides and engaged couples attend the expo, but there isn’t much opportunity for you to get wedding planning clients.
This is bridal fair season, there are many opportunities to exhibit in expos and fairs aimed at brides and newly engaged couples now and throughout Spring. Take some time to research these fairs and, if you consider participating, you can ask your photographer to join you at one of these events. (Be sure the fair management allows vendors to share a booth, some do not because it potentially cuts their profits.)
If you feel you want to exhibit at this expo anyway, and have experience in planning events other than weddings, have your wedding planning portfolio handy but highlight your skills in planning social events and large private parties. These skills are more likely to bring you some business at this expo. (Stay away from planning small, low budget parties, they probably won’t be profitable.)
When you share a booth with someone else, make sure it’s well-organized. Display photographs that your photographer has taken of events that you have done together, if possible, and be prepared to talk about the benefits of your services as both a wedding and event planner. Most people won’t hire you on-the-spot so your task at the expo is to book appointments for short, free consultations and collect contact information so you can reach out later. A raffle or booth giveaway will entice people to give you their information, just make sure you let them know you’ll be adding them to your email list.
And if you have a pressing question about starting or running your wedding planning business, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll answer them on this blog or in my ezine, “Wedding Planner Tips,” which you can subscribe to here.