1) Create a new email account.
2) Register in advance.
3) Make a game plan.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed without a solid plan. Which types of vendors you are most interested in? Are there any you have been dying to meet in person? Make a list of the wedding services you need and have an estimated budget for each service. Plan ahead, map out your route and visit your must-see vendors first.
4) Come prepared.
Make sure to bring:
- Pen and paper (to take notes).
- A tote bag (to carry all the brochures you’ll get from vendors).
- Pre-printed address labels (to enter giveaways and to give to vendors. Include your name, wedding date, wedding location, mailing address and wedding email address).
- Cash (to pay for your ticket if you have not pre-paid and to purchase refreshments).
- Checkbook or credit card (to put down a deposit in case you want to book a vendor).
- Calendar (to know your schedule in case you need to make follow-up appointments with vendors you’re interested in booking).
- Color swatches/themes/ideas (to bounce off of vendors that you want to hire).
5) Eat before the show.
It’s impossible to think clearly when you’re hungry. Popping cream puffs and truffles all day might give you a brief sugar rush, but you’ll fizzle out quickly. Eat a light, healthy breakfast before the show, bring a few healthy snacks (and water!) for during, and plan to go out for food afterwards. Planning an after-expo meal will be a nice rest after being on your feet all day, and it will keep your expo buddies focused knowing there is a reward at the end of the day!
6) Take notes.
It’s important to take notes on pricing and services, but also your personal opinions. When choosing a vendor, it’s important that their personality is a good fit, too. Is there anything about the vendor’s personality that stands out? Are they friendly and professional, or grumpy and unwelcoming? Take notes on individual cards or sheets, and then staple these notes to each flyer or business card when you get home to help remind you who you’ll want to contact later.
7) Wear comfy shoes.
It may seem obvious, but a bridal show is not the time to show off your newest pair of heels. You will be on your feet and walking A LOT, with many other brides. Also, whenever possible, leave your coat in the car – you’ll have less to carry, and you won’t be hot!
8) Play photog.
Bring your camera or keep your smartphone handy, and be sure to snap photos of anything you like. Vendors often have sample displays and setups for inspiration – you may see a centerpiece idea, a new way to display escort cards, or a fancy way to serve cupcakes.
9) Get organized.
As soon as you get back from the show, organize your goodies – categorize your vendors, make any last-minute notes, and take note of who you want to follow-up with. Chances are, within a week you will start forgetting details, and you want to be sure you remember everything!
Now check out our list of upcoming Bridal Shows and Expos in the Frederick County area and have fun!