Wedding Fairs & The Exhibitor…

Wedding Fairs have been around along time, They really only came to be big and important in the \’00\’s , when almost every hotel wanted to be a wedding hotel and they decided to hold a wedding fair to let everyone know that they take weddings. Wedding Fairs were big business back then and even in today\’s challenging times for Brides & Grooms and indeed the hotels, Wedding Fairs are as popular as ever with every Sunday between October – April hosting / offering a Wedding Fair somewhere in the country. We see even sports stadiums and non-hotel type wedding venues getting in on the act to take a piece of the action and so to say get a piece of the \’cake\’. We also witness some wedding establishments having no exhibitors at all, where they just wish to show off their actual venue, the ballroom(s), food etc. for the prospective Bride & Groom, with a lot of emphasis on the food where Head Chefs and their staff actually cook a sample of each wedding course for the Wedding Fair visitors on the day (usually held in the evening time – mid-week). For a Wedding Fair to be successful, it requires good exhibitors. We take it as a given that the hotel is capable of holding and hosting a large or small wedding with all the required components on-site or easily available on the day. Competent management who know the work that is involved in securing a wedding and then having the ability and know-how in managing it so that everybody leaves with fond memories and the possibility of new bookings as a result is paramount. So, getting back to the exhibitors. If the wedding venue holding the Wedding Fair decide to invite exhibitors, they need to be good, well-established wedding businesses/ services, or the Wedding Fair could become a waste of time for the Bride & Groom and their parents / family. With respect to the exhibitors, what makes for a good wedding fair:

  • Fair fee for participating
  • Many other good exhibitors present in the room
  • Plenty of space for equipment / stands and for speaking to Brides / Grooms and their parents / families
  • A location in the Wedding Fair venue room where every visitor can\’t miss you, so much so that they have to almost speak to you
  • Many people walking about, with an air of enthusiasm, happiness and \’love\’ in the air

What can the hotel do to ensure that the exhibitors meet a lot of prospective customers and receive bookings on the day?:

  • Plan and execute an advertising & marketing campaign that utilizes every advertising medium locally (and nationally if relevant), so that all prospective Brides  / Grooms know about it
  • Provide a table, white cloth and power supply that meets the exhibitors needs
  • Hold a Fashion Show (though not too long of a duration as when the show is on, there is no one speaking to the exhibitors)
  • Give most or all exhibitors an opportunity to sell their business over a microphone for one – two minutes or alternatively interview them or promote their business for them in some way
  • Include information about each exhibitor in their wedding packs that they provide to each Bride / Groom

Exhibitors bring a lot to a Wedding Fair on behalf of the wedding venue that is holding the Fair, but it is up to them to \’reel\’ in the buyers and make the sale. The Wedding Fair venue\’s focus is on getting Bride / Groom\’s to book their wedding day with them regardless of the exhibitors. You could say that the exhibitors are being used to make them look good, so it is important that the exhibitors use every opportunity in having all these Brides / Grooms in one place for three – five hours and take that all too precious booking deposit before anyone else does.

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