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  • Wedding Fairs

    This coming year we are going to focus as much as possible on seasons, special dates etc etc. With this in mind one of the things we are thinking of is Wedding Fairs. Our understanding is that these are not so much places to sell as promote but we have no experience of them ourselves. Do any of you wonderful crafters do them or have any experience of them and if so what advice, pearls of wisdom etc can you offer us? We welcome any.

    Pete & Mo
    "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci
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  • #2
    I've just started enquiring about them in my area as I'm starting a vintage china rent business. I have spoken to other local people to try and gain some insight on which wedding fair may be of use to me. In our area it seems that most venues sell 6x2 ft tables for around £100-£125 +VAT if they expect around 100 people through the door. One venue that expects around 300 visitors charges £300+VAT and expects a special offer to be given to brides on the day too.

    I might pop along tomorrow to have a look but I have booked one for February. I'm told most people advertise and can take bookings but wedding dress suppliers do sell dresses on the day. I haven't any first hand experience yet.

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    • #3
      My sister used to make wedding dresses and I went to some fairs with her. They're generally more expensive than craft fairs, but they do vary quite a lot, depending on the poshness of the venue. Some small ones she did cost as little as £50 (about 10 - 12 exhibitors) while really top notch ones were over £500.

      You generally get a mix of photographers, florists, jewellers, car hire, stationery designers, wedding planners, gentlemen's outfitters, and of course wedding dressmakers and sellers, and others that I've probably left out. My sister never sold dresses on the day but made them to order, and often got orders for the whole lot - bride, bridesmaids, mother of the bride, men's cravats and waistcoats etc from one family. You only need one order like that to make it well worth your while.

      Having said that, people rarely placed orders on the day. My sister used to work all the time (no sitting down behind your stall at these events!) telling them all the benefits of what she could offer, and she had leaflets with the same information for them to take home, together with photos of previous gowns she'd made. She would sometimes not know whether it had been worth it until several weeks afterwards when people contacted her.

      Likewise, other exhibitors were promoting their businesses rather than selling on the day. Many give special offers if you order on the day or within x weeks of the fair.

      Would you be taking orders for commemorative plaques and such like? I think you would probably do well as it would be something totally different. I suppose it's like everything else in this business - you don't really know until you try it.
      Kate
      www.cuckoos-nest-fairs.co.uk

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cuckoos Nest View Post
        Would you be taking orders for commemorative plaques and such like? I think you would probably do well as it would be something totally different. I suppose it's like everything else in this business - you don't really know until you try it.
        We have some ideas for items for the wedding breakfast table, wedding favours, some of which we have supplied in the past, and I already make custom jewellery.

        We realise it would be quite an investment as we would have to upgrade literature and promotional material as well at the very least. It's not something that we would anticipate doing this year but making enquiries and forward planning ATM. Would probably launch on line and in a small way at the odd relevant fair this year for a bit of feedback first with a couple of visits to local wedding fairs in our area as well.

        Thanks for both your replies, much appreciated.

        Mo and Pete XX
        Mo. Bodrighy Wood.
        Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage..Lao Tzu.
        www.bodrighy.co.uk
        https://twitter.com/#!/AuntieMornie

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        • #5
          I have been doing wedding fairs for the last 8/9 years. A few years ago it was fairly lucrative but now it is a dying death. I make wedding stationery. If you are going along these lines and you have a website make sure people can buy from your site before going to a fair as most customers have a look then as they are walking away they say oh, everything is on your website, isn't it?

          If you don't want to spend too much money go the ones at the hotels. Lots of hotels have their own but you need to enquire quickly as most hotels have the same companies for years and they are reluctant to change what they know.

          The last fair I was invited to they were desperate for a stationery company but that was the same weekend as the big Hobbycraft Fair at the SECC. They had no stationery company going at all. Don't know if they managed to get anyone or not.

          Forget to mention that you will need some kind of leaflet to hand out to customers advertising your goods and that can be costly if you need someone to design and print them for you.
          Last edited by annelieskirk; 14-01-2013, 12:53 AM.
          http://www.effervescentlime.com
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          • #6
            Leaflets aren't expensive if you go to the right company. I use a small local printer who has an in house designer. I have a rough idea what I want before visiting but pay for the designer time per hour. I think the charge is around £35/hour. I have had leaflets designed for two businesses and the total the designer has spent on the leaflets, including changes, is around two to three hours. I have just had four hundred, double sided glossy A5 flyers printed for £80 which included the design time.

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