It’s the middle of January, and the wedding show season has well and truly kicked off, with shows up and down the country until the end of March. However, the Internet plays such a great part of our lives these days, so the question is ….
Are wedding shows still needed, or has the web taken over?
We all use the Internet so much nowadays that it’s tempting to think that we can’t get by without it – we check out social media sites, read blogs and use the search engines to check out businesses’ websites (and check their prices!), so does the traditional “bridal show” or “wedding fair” still have a place?
Designer Wedding Show 2011
It’s tempting to think that the wedding show might have had its day, but in these recessionary times more and more businesses are being run from home, without premises where potential customers can come in, browse around and look at the products. It’s all very well searching on-line and finding potential suppliers for your wedding day, checking out their photographs and narrowing down your options, but you can’t actually “touch” the product! The wedding show gives brides (and grooms) the opportunity to browse (often with a glass of something sparkly and alcoholic in your hand!), to meet the suppliers and talk about their products or services in a relaxed atmosphere – and you can often find some great ideas that you’d have never thought about, like personalised favours or entertainment for the reception!
So from a supplier’s point of view are weddings shows important? That’s a tricky subject, and I think a lot depends on the type of product or service you’re offering. Some people swear by shows, and some sweat at them! I’ve been to shows which have been really successful, resulting in serious enquiries and even bookings on the day – in contrast, I’ve been to shows which have been poorly attended with as few as 6 couples through the door during the whole day …. and that’s really demoralising!
Weddings shows also seem to be springing up all over the place – municipal halls, hotels, leisure venues and even pubs … everyone with some space to fill can now set up a wedding show in the hope of attracting business. Suppliers have to look at the potential visitor figures to determine whether they think it’ll be cost-effective to attend, and brides need to look at how many exhibitors will be there and whether there’s an entrance fee (because if you’re attending with your future husband, parents and possibly bridesmaids the costs will quickly rise – especially if you’ve got to pay for parking as well). At the end of the day, everyone – be they customer or vendor – has to look at the costs involved.
Personally, as a wedding photographer I choose wedding shows that I think will attract “my” type of client, and if I wanted to (or could afford it) I could be exhibiting almost every weekend at a show across Dorset or Hampshire! I think they still have a really important part to play in the wedding industry ……. just make sure that you choose the right one for you!
If you’re in Poole this weekend then please come along to the headquarters of the RNLI on Sunday for a wedding show from 11 until 4 – it’s a fabulous venue, and it would be great to see you there!
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