Cheese & Hessian
Are you a wedding industry supplier and thinking of attending a wedding fair for the first time? Last weekend Racks, No.4 Clifton Village and The Square attended the fabulous Extravaganza Wedding Fair. It was our first fair outside of the venue and Julia, has marked the occasion with a fun ‘inside view’ of exactly what it was like, over to Julia.
07:00 Who gets up at this time on a Sunday? Answer: no one. I’m walking the streets of Clifton to get to work and the only living thing I pass is one lonesome pigeon who is waddling quite happily in the middle of the deserted road.
07:34 I want Racks to stand out at the wedding fair – that’s why I need a lot of kit. Just having a stall with a few business cards is no longer enough. I need to capture the venue’s style & decoration, bottle it up and bring it with me. The problem is that our venue doesn’t fit in a bottle – that’s why I need this van and two guys from our excellent maintenance team to help. I may have bribed them with a crate of beer.
08:12 It’s sod’s law that the Bristol to Bath Marathon is on today as we’re trying to get south of the river. Lesson learned about checking the route and traffic beforehand.
09:02 Arrived – time to get to work! It’s a race now to get the stall looking as good as we can before the doors open. I’ve made friends with other suppliers & offered to help with their stall too – after all good relations with the neighbours will help them be positive about us to the guests.
09:40 Battling with hessian and hoping nobody is watching, laying out our information, remembering not to overcrowd the stall.
10:35 Doing my final checks before the doors open. Walking around the stall to see it from every angle – making sure that I’m happy with the customer’s view!
11:00 I’m all smiles and charm – the doors have opened and the first visitors are coming around. I’m aware that every person walking around the fair has a different story & I’m not assuming that I know what they’re here for. I’m busy striking up conversations in a natural way and chatting about whatever the customers need. Even if they’ve already booked a venue they might looking for an engagement party?
12:22 Busy recording all of the interest and customer information. I’ve made sure that there is just one place to note down everyone’s contact details – MUST NOT misplace any! I’m also writing down little details that make it personal to the customer so that I can make sure that I send them a relevant follow up. After all I wouldn’t want to send a set of different variations from our Rib-Eye Steak choices to a vegetarian couple!
13:14 It’s lunch time and I’ve survived purely on caffeine until this point. I get our sister venues to cover the stall for a moment so I can top up on a sandwich.
14:00 The wedding fair has closed & guests have dispersed. It’s time to assess the day, reflect and clear up. Cue a rematch of the battle with hessian to get it back into its bag. I’m also now wondering why I thought it was a good idea to bring six blocks of cheese with me.
15:09 I’m all packed up and everything is rammed back into the van. We’re travelling back through the deserted roads of the marathon runners who must be somewhere near Bath by now.
15:37 No resting for me – it’s time to email round those follow-ups. I’d rather do it sooner because I’m keen to have them book with us! I’m using the notes I made earlier and the conversations that I had with each customer so that I can send out the specific information they need.
17:13 I’m home. I’ve collapsed on the sofa and am ready to watch a film.
17:15 I’m asleep on the sofa.
Thank you Julia!
Have you attended a wedding fair and how does your experience compare?