When planning our wedding I did our research mainly via the internet, mainly due to the distance between our home and our venue. We attended two bridal shows but I only needed to check 1-2 more vendors off my list, so I didn’t spend much time visiting booths. The shows were small, with only a handful of vendors, and the short time we spent there didn’t really allow me to form much of an opinion on bridal shows.
Earlier last month, I finally was able to head to Las Vegas to check out WPPI!!! I’ve been telling Chris for years that I’ve wanted to go but the timing was just always bad. Two weeks before the show, I was searching LV flights (as I always do, for no particular reason) and found an awesome rate. Between the low cost flight and comped rooms, I just couldn’t pas it up. I booked the trip…and then danced, sang…the usual stuff I do after booking a trip to Vegas.
My experience at the WPPI Expo not only introduced me to a few awesome new companies, but it also gave me gave a few ideas to share to help you survive the next bridal show you attend!
- Impress me.Vendors are there to make a big impression on you and should be showing their best samples. I was shocked by some of the low-quality poorly exposed, out of focus photos that album companies were showing off. If the images weren’t of good quality, I moved on immediately. I couldn’t judge an album’s true quality if the photos inside weren’t top notch.
- Exhibitors knew me…at least they pretended to.
I introduced myself when visiting a few booths, mentioning that I was a current customer/I post on their social media/etc and they would instantly thank me and tell me they knew exactly who I was. I didn’t care if they meant it (they were seeing 100’s of people a minute, so I’m sure all of the faces started to look the same), their response made me feel important. I work hard for my money, so as a consumer it’s important for me to do business with companies who view me as more than just another way to profit.
3. Respecting the bubble.
As a bride, you’ll likely be spending quite a bit of time with your vendors, especially your photographer, so it’s crucial that you connect and feel comfortable when with them.One exhibitor approached me to tell me about their product and was beyond invading my personal bubble, leaving mere inches between us. Each time I tried to step back, she took a step forward. I left the booth as quickly as I could because I just didn’t feel comfortable.
4. Engaging customers.
I noticed that the booths which had exhibitors walking around, standing, and interacting with customers had much more foot traffic than those who were sitting in chairs looking bored. I also passed by these booths, thinking that if the exhibitors weren’t interested enough to engage and show excitement over their product, I wouldn’t be either.
5. Suffering memory loss.
I received A LOT of info and tons of brochures. It’s pretty overwhelming looking through all of this and I can’t even remember some of these companies, even though I talked to them. When I visited a booth that I wanted to remember, I took a few photos of their products with their business card on top of what I was photographing. I also took a photo of the entire booth itself. Now that I’m home and a few weeks have gone by, WPPI seems like a whirlwind. Believe it or not, I’m still overwhelmed! Luckily I am able to look back on the photos of the booths and products I had taken so I can match up the “faces” to the businesses and products I fell in love with.
Bonus Tip (thanks to bride, Jessica): It’s a great idea to bring along labels with your name, address, and phone pre-printed. It will save you the time from having to constantly write down your information when speaking to vendors.
Planning on attending your first bridal show? Comment below to let me know if you found these tips helpful!