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  • Wedding shows – How to survive a big one (and enjoy it )

    As an exhibitor at lots of large national wedding shows for many years, I have seen the most enthusiastic of brides turn into a haunted exhausted shell at the end of a busy wedding show appearance. My sympathy knows no bounds for these poor souls-the wedding show newbie. Veterans tackle a show with confidence and purpose.

    A newbie has that startled-where am I? and What the heck am I doing here? look about them.

    To anyone who has never experienced a large wedding show it can a daunting experience but it doesn’t have to be. It can be informative, instructive, productive and yes-enjoyable.

    Just follow my light hearted but entirely honest guide and you too can be initiated into the hallowed club of wedding show veterans.

    Like any good former girl guide-be prepared!

    This preparation should begin before you take your first tentative steps into the show. Check out the website for the show-it is full of useful information on exhibitors, facilities, parking etc.

    Many exhibitors will have features on the website, from top tips to competitions so always worth knowing about these in advance—if you see something you like check out the exhibitor’s website in advance. When you then meet them at the wedding show you will already have a good knowledge of their work and the meeting is the cherry on top.

    Decide on what your aim is in attending the show. If you are looking for photographers for example, find out where the exhibiting photographers are situated and visit as many as you can. Research their websites if you can.

    Take a roller suitcase. You will be inundated with brochures, leaflets and free samples and unless you have a brawny entourage you will not be able to carry it all.

    Wear comfortable shoes. You will walk for miles and only the hardiest of “soles” will make it to the end of the day in heels.

    Go to the loo even if you don’t think you need to. Despite the excellent facilities at large wedding shows, at busy times the queues are always inexplicably massive.

    Do take lots of drinks and snacks. The food halls are often crowded and the biggest shocker of all, especially for a self confessed chocoholic, is that I have never seen chocolate on sale at a wedding show. Why in a market aimed primarily at women-madness I tell you!

    Learn to say no. Only take leaflets from suppliers you are actually interested in. You will save your muscles and a few trees as well!

    Make sure you cover the whole show. Don’t skip aisles or you may miss a hidden gem of a supplier. I am always amazed to see people walking down aisles with their hands covering the side of their faces to avoid looking at suppliers! Why? You pay a lot of money and often travel a long way to attend-make the most of the experience.

    Be cheeky. Always ask the suppliers about their show offers and any discounts. If you don’t ask you won’t get!

    Do check out the catwalk shows. They are brilliantly choreographed and a great opportunity to sit down for 20 minutes-believe me take those opportunities as often as you can!

    Spy on suppliers! Check out how they behave when they do not know anyone Is watching. You could be entrusting these people with a part of the most important day of your life. It’s amazing what you can find out.

     

    Treat yourself. Do stop at the champagne bar. A wedding show is one of the first steps of your wedding journey so make the most of it.

    After the show, have a long bubbly bath and then go through your booty of leaflets and decide which you want to follow up. Do not delay-good suppliers book up quickly and if you leave it too long you will just have a pile of leaflets gathering dust in the corner to show for your hard work and that would not do for a wedding show veteran!

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