Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Watseka Wedding Expo

Above:  My table display all lit up ready for the show.
Below:  Close up of samples on display with my sample material book.

This past sunday I participated in my first wedding expo in Watseka, IL. Weeks leading up to April 15th I was busy organizing my sample cardstocks, pocketfold styles and past invitations and stationary I have created. I rumaged through stores looking for thrifty but neat display items to enhance my tables.

Hours and hours of thought and preparation went into this event...thats part of me being a perfectionist showing! I did come across a few bumps and last minute alterations when my original Pegboard display was too large to transport in my Jeep. Luckily I had safety pins and was still able to use my drapery and lights!

This was the first annual wedding expo hosted by a local wedding DJ company. A small show with a great selection of vendors each with thier own specialty from flowers, cake, jewelry, dresses, and photography-it truely was a one stop shop for the brides.

I had a great time meeting the various local vendors and sharing my crafty passions with the brides and their loved ones. I can't wait to do more expo's in my area and hopefully one day expand to do the larger ones as well.

Going through this for the first time here is a list of suggestions for those looking to do their own show/expo as a vendor:

1. Look over the contract and make sure you understand everything in it. These should be fairly simple to read and go over-don't be afraid to ask questions.

2. Practice your display/table set-ups prior to the show. This helps you get organized and ensures that you will have a flawless display that will represent your quality of work ---presentation is everything!

3. Get some rest and eat! It's easy to stay up the night before finalizing the little details but don't stress over it. It helps to have everything ready to go the night before. Make sure you get enough sleep so you are bubbly and alert the next day-no one likes a grumpy vendor! Eat breakfast before the show and bring along snacks and drinks to hold you through the show.

4. Arrive on time for the set-up, usually 2-3hrs before the show starts. You may think you don't need this much time, but its better to be done setting up early and relaxed before the show than to be frazzled the last minute trying to put up your display. Mine took about 1.5hrs to set up from start to finish.

5. Always stand by your table/booth-don't greet potential customers sitting down. I was surprised to see many vendors sitting until the brides approched their booths. Standing up and greeting guests is a great way to show that you are ready to assist them.

6. Make sure you have a business name/sign on display. Business cards, brochures etc are also helpful to have on hand. Bring extra pens and contact forms with clipboard to make it easier for the customer to fill it out. Have contracts on hand in case anyone books at the show.

7. Although its not always required, having a give-a-way at your booth is a great way to attract clients to the booth. I didn't do this at the show but will consider doing it on future ones. Maybe a gift card for your services, or something not related like Gift cards/basket to local coffee shop or restuarants.

Every show will be different, just be prepared to go with the flow.


  1. Your display looks great and the tips are really good too, TFS!

  2. Love your display....Thank you for th advise on my nautical burlap mini album. Can I ask you how much would you pay for something like that? Because i have no idea how much I spent in supplies or labor.....any idea is appreciated.....

  3. Awesome display! love it, so inviting! tfs!

  4. Seems to be quite lovely and creative wedding planning ideas. I'm invited for an engagement party of my senior friend at one of the famous NYC wedding venues next week. His sister has done all the bookings and arrangements. Excited to meet all my friends after long time.