Category Archives: Events

How to Get the Best Results from Exhibiting at a Wedding Show

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I’m sure you will have heard by now, but Rock n Roll Bride is partnering with the National Wedding Show, the UK’s biggest bridal event, to host an area for alternative suppliers in the spring. It’s VERY exciting indeed!

The exhibitor stands are filling up fast, and today I wanted to share some of my top tips for those of you wanting to come along and showcase your products or services. If you’ve ever wondered why some companies seem to be overrun with business after doing just one show a year, whereas others struggle to get any bookings from them, read on!

Before the show

Invest in your stand

Exhibiting at wedding shows can be expensive, not only is there the cost of the stand itself to consider, but there’s the travel and accommodation around it, as well as decking out your space and printing any marketing materials. However its true what they say, you have to speculate to accumulate and you really do get out what you put in.

If you just turn up and plonk your products on a table in front of you, don’t be surprised if you don’t get an amazing reaction, especially if the person next to you has gone all out on the décor and props! Even if their product or service is inferior to yours, if they’ve made an effort with their stand, they are going to get more people stopping by to have a look.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you do need to get creative and put some effort in. In a sea of boring, bland, white on white on white stands, people will FLOCK to you if yours offers something interesting and different (even if its just to borrow your decoration ideas for their weddings) Hey, there’s no shame in hooking them in with your amazing-looking stand and then starting to talk to them about what you do.

Research the market

It is vital that you know what kind of audience the show is going to attract. Ask the organisers for information on the kind of brides and grooms that usually attend. Are they having city weddings or countryside ones? What’s the age range? How far in advance are they planning? What are their budgets? It is up to the organisers to know all this so that you can plan accordingly.

Not only will this information give you an idea of which of your products or services might be most attractive to them (remember you don’t have to bring along everything you’ve ever made!) but on the day it will also enable you to speak to them in a language they understand.

Ask questions 

Before you book your spot, don’t be shy about asking the organisers what they can do for you too. Find out where they’ll be marketing the show to ensure they get a good turn out on the day (wedding blogs and magazines, national press, radio, TV, email newsletters, social media?)

Be sure to also find out what your booking includes. Will your name be mentioned in any marketing? What about on the programme of the day? Where will your stand be located? Does your booking including a plug, tablecloths or any furniture? Some wedding shows will give you a booth and nothing else, others will provide a table but no sockets or walls. Does the venue have WiFi? Can you contribute items to the goodie bags?

Promote the show yourself

Getting people through the door is the job of the show’s marketing department, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help out too! Make sure you’re promoting the event on your own website and social media, and let your clients know about it. It could be a great opportunity for those that have already booked you to come along and meet you, and anyone that’s following you online also might be interested in attending if they know you’re going to be there.

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During the show

Offer a show-only discount or deal

People LOVE a discount so offering a ‘show-only’ deal is a great way to encourage people to book or buy then and there. Research shows that a discount has to be significant to really make an impact, 10% off probably isn’t enticing enough for people to make a quick decision (unless you are selling really big ticket items and the saving will be significant), but a 30% reduction probably will!

If you don’t want to discount, you could always included something extra instead, such as free shipping if they purchase on the day, or a little gift.

Be memorable but not OTT

As I mentioned earlier, its vitally important to make an effort with how your stand looks so you stand out, but you yourself must also be memorable!

Never just sit, watching people go by. There’s a fine line between being enthusiastic and friendly and annoying and pushy, but you do need to be on your feet, smiling at people as they walk past and trying to encourage them to chat. The British are notoriously reserved so this can be tricky at first (for both exhibitors and attendees) but do persevere! After a while you’ll get into a flow and it will feel less awkward. Remember, no-one is going to come up to you if you’re sat on your phone, or chatting to your friend at the next stand.

Here’s another little pro-tip for free, please, for the love of all things holy, think of a more interesting opening line than “So… when are you getting married?” Couples will have heard that so many times that they’ll probably start to tune it out. How about asking people what their favourite thing about wedding planning is? Or what they’d buy for the wedding if money was no object? You could even offer them a cheeky cocktail (have a stash at the back of your stand!) Honestly, they’ll probably be so stunned that you seem like a normal human being that they won’t be able to help themselves but stop and talk to you!

Host a workshop or seminar

A lot of wedding fairs put on workshops or seminars that attendees can book into. Why not speak to the organisers and see if you could sign up to host something? Not only are they great ways to interact with potential clients, but they showcase your product or services in a really organic, non-sleazy way.

In the past I’ve taken part in flower crown workshops, watched make up demonstrations, and once I even got to paint (and then keep!) a pair of shoes. But one of the best I’ve ever been to was a wine tasting, and let me tell you, it was PACKED. I mean, who doesn’t want to try some free wine!? The person putting it on was also offering discounted bottles if you bought them then and there and you know what, even though I wasn’t looking to place a bulk order for a wedding, I left with two!

Network with other suppliers

Wedding shows are a great place to meet other wedding suppliers. In this industry a lot of opportunities that come your way will be because of who you know, so don’t be shy, go up and talk to other people exhibiting at the show and make some new friends!

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Big News: The Rock n Roll Bride Collection is Coming to The National Wedding Show!

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You don’t know this, but when I started thinking about Rock n Roll Bride as a business rather than a hobby, one of my first big ideas was to organise an alternative wedding fair. However I shelved the concept before I even began to do anything about it because it just felt too big and scary. I was paralysed by the enormity of actually pulling something like that off.

Now some of you may remember that in September I was invited to take part in The National Wedding Show in London. It was a fab day and I loved meeting the exhibitors, but most of all it was a real thrill to hang out with my readers that came along to the meet and greet. The experience gave me a mini-brainwave and that early idea started to come to the forefront of my mind again because who could be better to make that dream a reality than the biggest wedding show in the country!?

So we had a meeting (remember this day?) and to my utmost surprise they loved the idea! I can’t quite believe I’m writing this, but Rock n Roll Bride will be partnering with The National Wedding Show to create The Rock n Roll Bride Collection, a dedicated area for alternative wedding suppliers, at the Spring 2016 shows!

With the NWS being the biggest wedding show in the UK (with an average of SIXTEEN THOUSAND attendees in London alone!) in the past, they have mostly been focused on the very traditional end of the wedding market. I honestly thought they’d laugh this blue haired, tattooed chick right out of their 21st floor Canary Wharf office! However the fact that they want to partner with a brand such as Rock n Roll Bride to begin to cater for the much neglected alternative market is very. exciting. indeed.

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Come and Grill Me at The National Wedding Show!

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Attention bad ass brides to be! I’m super excited to let you know that I’ve been invited along to The National Wedding Show, the biggest wedding fair in the UK, to do a live Q&A session and meet and greet in September! I’ll be at the London Olympia event on Saturday 26th and I’d just LOVE to see some of your friendly faces there.

With over 250 exhibitors, catwalk shows and big day advice from wedding experts at the Wedding Theatre, The National Wedding Show is almost a rite of passage for the newly betrothed. Tickets to the shows are available to buy right now for £15 (£20 on the door) but if you use the discount code ROCKNROLL, you can snag yourself two tickets for £25!

Remember, if you want to come and hear me speak, book in for the London show and come along on September 26th! Access to the Q&A is included in your ticket price but seats will be first come first served. I’ll be speaking at 2pm and I’d recommend getting there early.

I will be answering your questions on anything and everything you can throw at me. Maybe you want to hear my thoughts on dealing with family dramas, who my favourite bridal brands are or you have a query about starting your own blog or business? Nothing is off limits, so scribble down some questions and I’ll see you there!

The meet and greet will take place straight after the Q&A and will be a much more intimate event for competition winners only.

Today I’m giving away ten pairs of tickets to all of the above — the show, the Q&A and the meet and greet! PLUS each of you will get a signed copy of issue 4 of the magazine (on sale September 3rd) to take away too.

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Join Me At The Etsy Wedding Fair!

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I love Etsy. You love Etsy. We all bloody love Etsy! So when they got in touch to ask me if I wanted to attend the launch evening of their 2015 wedding fair, and bring 20 readers along with me, I was thrilled!

The Etsy Wedding Fair is taking place at Oui 2 Rooms in London on the weekend of May 16th and 17th, however Etsy have invited me and 20 of you to their exclusive launch event from 5-7.30pm on Thursday 14th! At this preview evening, as well as being the first to see the show, we’ll get some lovely bonus perks including a special discount on all items, free drinks and nibbles, live music, free admission to floral wedding hairpiece workshop and a special gift to go away with!

This is the perfect chance for you to see some of your favourites in person, meet the sellers and maybe even place a custom order! As you know Etsy is the place to buy beautiful, quirky and fun handmade items, so even if you don’t want to buy anything, you’re still going to leave with plenty of awesome ideas for your own big day. In short, this is one wedding event you do not want to miss!

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The event will be showcasing some of Etsy top wedding sellers from all over the UK including We Are ArrowComeuppanceHello Pops of ColourWolf and InkDebbie CarlisleMustard and PeachesMiss Sarah CakeCuriousme DesignHetty RoseGilly GrayMatchimony and The Lovely Drawer.

For your chance to win one of ten pairs of tickets to the launch event on May 14th (and meet me there) simply comment below, telling me what your favourite Etsy shop is. Easy!

You have until next Sunday, 26th April to enter, and winners will be contacted via email within a week of the closing date.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

If you aren’t one of the winners for the event on the 14th, the fair is open for the general public on May 16th and 17th. Early Bird tickets cost a teeny tiny £7.50, and once these are sold they will be £12 each. All tickets also include a complimentary drink on arrival.

I CAN’T WAIT!

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Way Up North 2015

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In early December I received an email from Cole and Jakob of Nordica Photography, inviting me to speak at a wedding photography summit that they were putting on in Stockholm this coming October. It took me approximately 3.5 seconds to reply and say “OMG yes! Where do I sign?!”

Sworn to secrecy, I quietly and internally freaked out about travelling to Sweden to speak to a conference of 500 photographers all about blogging for business… but I was excited. Very goddamn excited.

Then, this month, they slowly started to drip feed their social media with the rest of the line up… and my quiet, internal freak-out became a whole lot louder and more vocal.

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10 Ways To Tell If You’re At a Hipster Wedding Fair

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Article by Becky Hoh-Hale

In a world saturated with wedding fairs it can be hard to know which one is right for you. There are even now a whole new breed of  ‘unique’ wedding shows, from alternative to vintage and everything in between, making the choice of which one to visit extra confusing!

Being dubbed the bridal event for hipsters, A Most Curious Wedding Fair is hitting Norwich this Sunday and London on 7-8 March, but what exactly is a hipster wedding fair? This is just a bit of fun, of course, but here is the ten most important things you should check to make sure you’re in the right place!

1. Look around you, do the majority of the visitors and exhibitors have any of the following? 
Male checklist: Beards, man buns (muns!), tattoos? Female checklist: Micro fringe, long bohemian hair, prominent eyebrows, aztec poncho? Unisex checklist: Bobble hats, NHS style glasses?

2. Is it taking place in an industrial warehouse space, on an uber cool London street?
Just to be sure there should be concrete floors, exposed pipes and white-washed brick walls as the backdrop. There should also be colour pop graphics, trendy typography, pineapples and naked bulbs!

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3. Can you sense a ‘theme’ to the styling of the show?
Does it involve Mid-Century furniture, cacti, makrame and/or wicker? Most Curious is themed around Palm Springs this year and will be incorporating all of the above, with plenty of crochet panels and foliage hanging from branches. There are also special installation spaces dedicated to the theme to give you ideas for all aspects of your wedding.

4. Is the in-house cafe service a hipster favourite?
At Most Curious this year the food station is being provided by the now infamous Cereal Killer Cafe! Nothing could be more on trend than nostalgia, particularly from the 80s and 90s, and Cereal Killer Cafe has received notable acclaim for their nod to this with their love of breakfast goods! The poster boys of Hipsterdom will be at the show serving their milky, crunchy goodness and damn good coffee all day long. And they can cater your wedding!

5. Is the show also billed as a ‘shopping experience’?
This year Most Curious is pioneering ‘Shop the Show’, highlighting the cool indie brands and makers who will have accessories, floral goodies, paper goods, sweet treats and décor items for sale on the day. Items will cost between £1 and £50 meaning you won’t have to break the bank either!

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