Are you attending a bridal trade show, such as White Gallery or London Bridal Week, soon? Make sure you read this guide to avoid making any mistakes during your visit
Show season is fast approaching – the bridal trade show season is kicking off in March with London Bridal Week and White Gallery, and you need to make sure you’re prepared. There are plenty of things you must do when visiting a bridal trade show, but what about what you need to avoid? We’ve rounded up the 11 mistakes you should never make when attending a trade show.
Let’s start from the bottom up. Yes, a heeled boot looks amazing with any outfit, but you’re going to be on your feet all day racking up thousands of steps. Go for comfortable, practical footwear and save your fanciest shoes for the evening events.
Anyone who has been to the Harrogate Bridal Show will know how temperatures can fluctuate when you’re at an exhibition – particularly if you have to go through an external walkway to reach another hall, then sit under the glare of the spotlights as you watch a fashion show. Wear easy to remove layers so you can simply shed a few when you need to – before adding them back on to do any venturing outside.
Make sure you’re aware of who is exhibiting before you set off for the show. By checking the exhibitor list for shows such as London Bridal Week (which you can see here) you can easily see if your suppliers are there – and where they’ll be – as well as checking out any new bridal brands you might want to take a look at.
Don’t set off to a bridal trade show without having made some appointments! Make sure you contact the people you want to see ahead of attending to book in some time with them. If you leave it to chance, they may be fully booked by the time you get to their stand and not have time to go through the latest collections with you.
It can be tempting, especially if you go to the shows every year, to just make a beeline for the lines you stock and stick to those. Avoid doing this – by all means, catch up with your usual suppliers, but take the time to explore the show and meet with some new people. You never know what gems you might discover.
We get it – it’s a long day trekking around a show and taking everything in. But resist the temptation to cry off too early – by attending the networking events and parties centred around the shows, you’re not only widening your social circle but you could tap into new business opportunities and chances to collaborate.
You can only get so much from seeing a dress on a hanger – to truly appreciate it, you need to see it move on a styled model. Make time to attend the catwalk shows so you can better understand the dresses. It also gives you ample opportunities to update your social media and you can quickly see which dresses your followers prefer!
The most organised attendees are the ones that pre-register. By pre-registering for the show, you’ll be the first to find out about guest speakers, exclusive news and the latest exhibitors. It makes sense to sign up as far in advance as you can so you’re as prepared as possible.
Pre-register for both London Bridal Week and White Gallery by clicking here.
Know how much you have to spend before you attend the show. Having your budget clearly defined will help you to make more practical business decisions. Also, make sure you ask each supplier if they are doing a show deal for orders placed that day. You never know what you might uncover!
Some bridal trade shows, such as London Bridal Week, offer educational programmes in the form of seminars and one-to-one business advice clinics. Make sure you take advantage of these in order to truly be the best you can be.
It can be tempting to go alone and leave your team behind to run the show in your shop. However, it’s wise to go with at least one other person; someone who you trust. That way you can get a second opinion on any purchases you might make, your team can learn more about upcoming trends and fashions and you’re all in the best possible place to advise the brides that visit your store.
After more advice? Check out the owner of Pantiles Bride, Maria Musgrove’s top tips for planning ahead to prepare for your visit to a bridal trade show.