5 Tips on Preparing For the Bridal Festival
When you run a wedding venue the words Bridal Festival or Bridal Fair could strike fear into your heart, or excitement. In any case, those words will become very familiar and they should. Every marketing plan will include at least one of these a year and possibly more.
If you have ever been to a Bridal Festival, you know how much work goes into creating a booth, or do you? They are beautiful and inviting. It’s like eye candy everywhere in the venue hall. Some vendors will be elaborate with decor while others go for more of a simple presentation.
No matter the presentation, someone has to plan and make that booth stand out among many. What goes into creating that booth anyway, where would a person start?
It Starts with a Plan
Write all your ideas down and then go back and narrow it down to the one that is your very favorite! Its important to remember the size of the booth, how much can fit in the space without it looking crowded? I always try and use decor from my venue if I can. Sometimes though, things will need to be rented or purchased. If you have a great idea spend the extra money so you will be happy. There is no joy in working a booth that you are not proud of and would rather not be standing in.
Gather the Supplies
I usually have a suitcase or two sitting in my office for at least a month before the Festival. That way I can add things as I think of them. Waiting until the last minute is just setting yourself up to forget something. I always make a list and I mark items off as I’m putting them in the suitcase. Always keep last years list! A lot of things you take will be the same from year to year.
Getting from One Place to Another
Every year has been a challenge as to how to best get the booth supplies from the car, to the booth on the second floor at the festival. Our festival is held in the Spokane Convention Center every year. You must park in the parkade, walk to the entrance and then climb stairs, use the escalator or, thank goodness there is an elevator. Of course, I want to make one trip, lol! Really, who wouldn’t? This year my sweet husband was at Costco and spied a hand truck that was just my size and would make my “trip” from the car to the booth much easier. We purchased it for around $100.00 and wow, it worked like a charm. I had that thing loaded up, bungeed and we made one trip!
Setting up the Booth
The day before the Festival our sweet hostess, Tammy Schneider of bridalfest.com has the schedule all made out for the vendors to drop off supplies and start working on their booth. If everyone came at the same time it would be chaos! This year for the first time I took advantage of the day before setting up time. Usually I would come in the morning of the show to set everything up, never again. Kami, who helped me design the booth, met me during our 1:00 – 3:00 drop off time and we were able to set up in a no pressure atmosphere.
Before the Show Starts
I enjoy arriving at the show early to make any adjustments to the booth that might be needed. This year we had some minor adjustments to make and again I was glad we set up the day before. I knew what I needed to bring the next day to make everything perfect before the doors were opened to hundreds of excited brides. Also, I take that “before time” to walk around and visit with my favorite vendors and check out the new ones that have started business. I grab business cards and flyers to take home with me that can be added to the packets that I hand out to my brides when they come for a tour.
Attending a Bridal Festival or Bridal Fair as a vendor does not have to evoke fear. By focusing on the fun, and excitement of meeting new friends, and future brides to your venue, the nervousness will flee as you go through the day. The first year will be a learning curve, but after that it will be a breeze.
Take these 5 tips on preparing for the bridal festival into consideration and you are well on your way to enjoying a successful Bridal Festival experience.
If you would like more information on starting and running a wedding venue, feel free to check out my ebook “How to Start and Run a Wedding Venue- In Your Own Backyard“!