Wedding Expos are a great way to do some quick and easy research on vendors for your wedding. Instead of spending hours Googling different vendors and requesting package prices, wander through the exhibition hall that’s full of various vendors, grab some brochures, and ask any burning questions. You’ll have your vendors picked out before you know it! But before you jump headfirst into the crazy, take the time to get prepped and make the most out of your next expo experience. So grab your notebook and pen; it’s time to get expo-ready!
Get your tickets online and come with snacks
An oldy but a goody. Booking your tickets online prior to the event will save you heaps of time; instead of standing in line and wasting the chance to be the first customer your goal-vendor meets, you’re ready with your QR Code at the door, get scanned and you’re in!
Another plus is coming in with your own water bottle and a few snacks. The cost of food at expos can be astronomical, so come with your bag or pockets stuffed with snacks to keep you going while those less prepared than you have to leave early for lunch.
Timing is everything
Pick your arrival time at the expo to, hopefully, have the least amount of people crowding the halls. It’s often crowded first thing as the expo opens, so consider arriving during lunchtime. Most of the other visitors will wander off to find lunch and there’s usually a lull in the action. Luckily, vendors don’t leave their stalls just because it’s lunchtime, so you’ll have the chance to ask your questions while they’re not too busy.
If you know exactly what you’re looking for and who you want to speak with, you can come in the last hour or two of the day when the crowds are mostly gone. However, keep in mind that by that point the vendors have been there since 6am or 7am, and have spoken to a hundred people or more so they’re tired and a little less enthusiastic than they were first thing.
Get a game plan
It can be fun to just wander into the expo and see what you can see, but you’ll get better value for your time and money if you come prepared with a game-plan.
1. Know what you’re looking for
Whether it’s the perfect dress, a certain photographer you’ve been eyeing or a great wedding coordinator (hi!), know what and who you’re looking for. That way, when you go in, you can focus on meeting who you need to before you run out of time or steam (and before your preferred vendors get too busy).
2. Determine your secondary goals
You’ve finished meeting all the key vendors you wanted to and now have some time to spare - yay! What are your secondary goals for the day? Are you looking to meet people and get a few ideas, or are you hoping to snag a few freebies? Venture back into the crowds with a new game plan ready to go and maximize your time!
3. Know your boundaries
Some vendors will offer incentives to book there and then, but know your boundaries and your budget. Are you planning to book today or are you gathering research for a comprehensive comparison? Don’t feel pressured to book just because it seems like a good deal; rather, take their info and call the next day if you’re 100% sure. Chances are, exhibiting vendors are more than happy to honour a promo price if you book within the same week.
Look out for expo discounts
Exhibiting vendors often offer an expo-special to those in attendance. It can be anything from 30% off your selected DJ package to a free engagement shoot if you book your wedding photography with the right promo code. If you play your cards right and are willing to book with vendors in the moment, you can score some massive savings during your expo-visit.
Take pre-prepared entry forms
Most exhibiting vendors will have some kind of competition running during the expo, giving you the chance to win any number of amazing prizes. To save time, and your writing hand, have 20 or so entry forms with your details pre-printed and ready to go.
Be sure to include your full name and the name of your fiance, the date and location of your wedding, as well as your email address and phone number. With your entry ready to go, you’ll have more time to chat with vendors and enter more competitions!
P.S. Don’t forget to take a pen and notebook for any deals or vendor details you want to take note of while you walk!
Until next time, keep making your special moments unforgettable x