Another Tatton Show in the bag and what great fun. From what i hear it was the busiest for a few years and there is lots of pictures on our Facebook page of the weekends event. Our team of Joanna, Zoe and Katie were there to greet all the brides and grooms to be offering our bespoke event hire. It has already proved very successful and we are processing enquiries all through this week. Everyone we have spoken to should be contacted at some point.
So what happens before the day?
There is sooooo much to do. The staff turn up happy (hopefully) ready to greet all the potential customers on the day with a fully made up stand for them to stand in front of, but what goes on behind all this? I will go through the basic process of our recent Wedding Show at Tatton Park.
Well firstly before it even starts, you must pay for it well in advance and though it’s not a gamble it is certainly a calculated risk and a big outlay of cash. A company should not do these bigger shows without thinking it through. This cost then doesn’t stop! Its great you have a space which is paid for by the metre but now it’s time to fill it as well as looking professional. This is where the real work begins. The first year I did it I arrived with 4 letters spelling LOVE and 4 crates to sit them on. I look back now and cringe haha
You must come up with a marketing plan of what needs to be pushed and basically go for it. Explain to a designer what you want and get it printed. This starts with the wall panels of the unit you have just paid right through to the leaflets. Leaving the panel walls looks awful though and puts your potential customer right off. A counter would be great to work from so that adds to the cost especially when branding it with The Added Extra logo and website. At this point we are over 2000 pounds and then you realise we have no carpet, signage or electric at this point!!!
I must say at this point though that the company that organise called Archant are extremely helpful and help you through every step of the process.
You speak to the company who are making your shell unit spending a further few hundred pounds in carpeting which may as well be in your company colours at this point so that adds to the cost, and paying for the hire of 1 plug which always seems harsh, especially when you then pay a further 11 pounds for them to test it when they supplied it in the first place. Exhibitors moan but this would be a lot of work for the organisers and to be fair they have never let us down, so I accept this.
So, after endless meetings of what to push, and why to push them, and then changing it all again and then probably again just for good measure you realise you have just covered all the marketing posters you paid to get printed.
The items need to be checked and bubble wrapped as not to bash them when walking across a muddy field in the dark the Friday night before. Staffing arrangements must be made to ensure all the above can happen never mind the actual days when convincing staff that working all weekend is good for their future.
So now you would think we are ready….NO!
There’s all the marketing to do. We need to make sure we are in the brochure and on the Archant website and directory ensuring the current write up makes sense. You have to push the actual Wedding Shows on your own various social media platforms while updating your own website keeping it current. While all this is going on, I’m still controlling the spending or trying to and doing my actual job, while staff throw in ideas like “we should maybe have sweets on the counter?” The leaflets should be designed and ready while making sure there is enough.
It does seem to be endless prep and every year when I set off, I realise I bloody need petrol just to add that bit more expense. A staff member will then ask despite all the worry “how much can I spend on my lunch?” I agree I should feed the staff, even treat them, but be warned that big shows result in big food prices…a bottle of Coke this year was nearly 3 pounds and no not a litre!
Is it fun?
Oddly I would say yes, but not in a cheesy way like “yes it’s great to meet new people” or “We love meeting Brides”…of coarse we do, but that is the job.
I actually take great joy in completing all the above and seeing the end result. It is a great chance to revamp all your marketing and address your future ambitions for the Added Extra. The staff get to enjoy the experience and they even learn from it for future shows which can only benefit my company. The fact that the items I offer to people to enjoy especially excites me when I’ve been part of the design and making of the props. Granted some people say it’s not for them, but this is fine. If everyone wanted the same, then no wedding would be unique. The shows are simply to show future couples what they can do for their wedding day.
After all this, the staff enjoy a show with a difference, I do get to network with fellow suppliers and my company is part of a fabulous weekend organised by Archant. Thankfully all the money spent does come back to me, so what seems huge amounts is eventually good investment and keeps the company strong. It is also important that customers see you and know you exist and not going to go bust anytime soon.
And so....the whole process is repeated again. You come away thinking what can be improved and think "I'll do that next year". I must also say i love my staff, they work so hard and i appreciate all they do for me. Like every supplier in Tatton Park that weekend, each lift their game, year on year, surely this benefits us the companies but more importantly the wedding couples.
See you Tatton next year :)