Be a better wedding show vendor

In Life, Marketing, UX by LauraLeave a Comment

In the real life where I’m recently engaged and now expected to plan a grand wedding – I went to a wedding show.

I’ve been to a wedding show before, this should have been nothing new to me. But, attending one of these things as a bride is a whole different ball game. First, marketing overload. Second, spam overload. Third – somewhere between the cash bubble, BBQ trucks, disco lights and super-sugary cake samples – sensory overload.

I walked away realizing this:

Every conversation began the same: “When is your wedding date?”

The honest truth is that I don’t actually know. We’ve thrown a couple of dates around and have made zero decisions. The reality of my answer is that it, conceivably, makes me THE MOST IMPRESSIONABLE AND POTENTIALLY PROFITABLE type of bride in the room: the one with an open wallet and no one has staked claim to my cash.

You guys – I witnessed so many twisted faces of complete horror at my response.

Genuinely, by the end of the afternoon, I was absolutely sick of having the conversation. Every single vendor lectured me about the importance of setting a date far enough out that my goals and ideas can be accomplished. Every single one laughed when I mentioned that the only date I’ve really considered is about 4 months away.

Here’s the deal, vendors – I’m looking straight at you. The mention I made – about me being the biggest potential client in the room…it’s true. The brides that haven’t made decisions are the ones you’re mostly likely to win as business. No bride is going to change her already locked-in venue because she saw a picture of your barn at a trade show. No one is trading floral vendors mid-plan. No one is ditching their dream dress for a second double-the-price dream dress in the middle of the show floor.

I am your potential client.

So why, then…why? Why make that crappy twisted face? Why lecture me like a child? Why explain the failures of my schedule instead of highlighting the awesomeness of your solution?

In the kindest free marketer feedback I can provide – you failed yourselves. You paid a fortune for a booth, then criticized the types of clients that could turn you the greatest profit. Instead of taking the crazy, overwhelming shebang and making it approachable – you made it exhausting and rude. That experience was terrible.

There were 4. Four vendors in total among the hundreds that made an impression worth remembering:

A pop-up weddings company
The company’s crew and I talked for quite some time about the genius of their concept. They do it all. All. And, for a reasonable price to boot.

The awesomeness of them is that they were one of the very last booths in the very last row of the venue. The row was quiet. Their booth was simple. And, praise your deity, they were the nicest and least judgmental group in the entire show.

They didn’t put me on blast for not knowing – they said it’s their job to handle that. I gave them my real email address.

A flower cart
Again – a crazy friendly team that was bringing something new to the floor. They don’t have a shop – they have a stunning cart. Guests can make their own bouquets or centerpieces. The genius of their show strategy: a simple business card that said “hint hint” on one side and offered a deal on Valentine’s flowers on the other – a leave-behind for all the grooms. Simple and brilliant.

A plus size dresses boutique
I didn’t get the pleasure of meeting the women running this show – but oogled over their amazing gowns on the show’s fashion runway. I raved to my own crew (and then messaged them on Instagram) about how they absolutely sold their concept so very, very well.

While other businesses sent their models onto the runway lacking the necessary undergarments and support to make the dresses shiny – this company had it down to an art. Every single model they sent out was gleaming, looked stunning and was obviously confident. The dresses – as expected in a show – fit wonderfully and it was well-invested effort all the way around. By comparison with other brands on the runway – they were heads above the rest.

A realty team
It’s a common trend that those getting married are also likely to be searching for a home. That makes the placement of this realty team in the show a stand-out plan. The crew printed and distributed custom labels on the spot – giving brides and their crews the ability to place a sticker onto forms throughout the space instead of standing and writing all day long. They were friendly and really didn’t even talk about housing. Instead, they gave recommendations for their own favorite vendors throughout the space. It. Was. Refreshing. And also a genius move.