Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bridal Shows... How to survive and get the most out of your experience!

Bridal Shows are an adventure for the soon-to-be bride (or couple). You have an opportunity to meet with many of the local area vendors that are dedicated to making your day as special as it can be. Make the most of your experience by being prepared and arming yourself with some time-saving tips!

1. Create a new email account designated for all things wedding! Keep your personal or work email spam-free by creating a separate wedding e-mail account that is used specifically for your wedding related communication. You can also use this email when you enter wedding contests or promotional drawings.
TIP: Save your regular email address for the vendors you sign.

2. Pre-register before the show to save yourself time & money. Not only does pre-registering allow you to save time from having to fill out all your information at the entrance, but there’s probably a good chance that you can take advantage of discounted ticket prices and early-bird contest drawings.
Helpful tip: Check out the list of vendors exhibiting in the show you will be attending. Often times, exhibitors are given comp tickets to give out to people interested in their services. Call up a vendor that you are interested in hiring and ask if they have tickets so you can come check them out.

3. Do your research and check out the vendors that are expected to exhibit in the show. Visit their websites to get a feel of their style and pricing. This will help you eliminate vendors that don't fit your budget and/or style.

4. Have a game plan - make a list of the wedding services you need and have an estimated budget for each service.

5. Allow yourself time- Be prepared to spend 2-5 hours at the show.

6. Wear comfy shoes- You'll be on your feet all day... keep your dogs from barking!

7. Bring pre-printed labels- include your name, wedding date, wedding location, mailing address and wedding email address that you can have readily available to give each of the vendors you meet.

8. Bring your own tote bag- Carry your own tote so you can put all the brochures, cards and "give aways" from vendors. Be sure to have an oversized envelope so you can tuck away the information of vendors that you were really impressed with and might book, thus saving you time sorting through all your stuff after the show!

9. Bring a notebook and pen- Take notes! Take notes! You'll be getting an overload of information. You don't want to forget any of it!

10. Bring your date book- Know your schedule so you can make follow-up appointments with vendors your want to book.

11. Bring your camera- You will see many things and talk with many people. Have a camera on hand so you can take pictures of some of the things you saw during your visit. Did you see a great idea for table settings and centerpieces? Perhaps there was a great cake on display at a cake designer's booth.

12. Bring your color swatches/theme ideas etc- If you have your ideas in hand, a vendor could possibly give you some ideas on how to pull it all together.

13. After the show, organize all your new information immediately! Then make your follow-up phone calls.

Have fun and enjoy the show!

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