Our top tips on how to get the most from your visit to The Harrogate Bridal Show
The Harrogate Bridal Show is known as the home of bridal in the UK. For over 30 years the industry has gathered in this beautiful Yorkshire town to shop from hundreds of brands, discover the latest trends on the catwalk and catch up with friends.
When attending a bridal trade show you need to make sure you are making the most out of your time there. That’s why we’ve put together a retailers guide to The Harrogate Bridal Show.
The Harrogate Bridal Show has a full fashion show timetable showcasing the latest designs by the finest UK and international brands, so it’s important that you set some time aside to attend at least one show.
These fashion shows offer a great opportunity to make good buying decisions for your business by spotting some of the latest trends and seeing new collections brought to life. Bridal brands such as Casablanca, Ladybird, Coya Collection, Dando London and Allure Bridals have already confirmed their place in the fashion shows.
Make sure you keep an eye on the website and register for the newsletter to find out more about who will be showcasing their designs on the runway.
It’s always best to set up appointments with your favourite brands prior to the event. This way you will ensure that you definitely get to meet with suppliers and have plenty of time to look through the latest collections.
Ella O’Keefe, Marketing Manager for the show added, “With five halls, 350 brands, fashion shows and networking events to attend, my number one tip would be to pre-book appointments with suppliers and come with a plan. And don’t forget to Pre-register for fast-track entry on arrival."
Before you attend the show sit down with your team and make a solid plan. Determine what it is that you want to achieve and then your set goals. With over 350 brands in attendance, The Harrogate Bridal Show can be overwhelming, so making a plan before you arrive will undoubtedly help your experience to run more smoothly.
Determine which brands you want to visit, what new collections will your brides want to see, what questions you want to ask the designer and finally how much your budget is.
We suggest taking a look at the exhibitor list prior to the event as this will also help with your time management.
The Team at Aurora Bride said, “We have a staff meeting before Harrogate to see what brides are starting to ask for and trends we can see coming – this way we know how and where to shop and the looks we are after.”
Make the most out of the networking opportunities that The Harrogate Bridal Show has to offer. There are plenty of places, both at the event and in the surrounding town, so take some time to grab a bit lunch or a glass of bubbly with familiar faces.
The famous Bettys Tearoom is always welcoming to visitors and the likes of Banyan Bar & Kitchen and Drum and Monkey are fantastic for evening meals.
Also, make sure you attend the after hour events such as The Bridal Buyer Awards and the BBSA annual party as these offer even more chances to network and have fun. The British Bridal Suppliers Association will be holding their annual party on the Sunday night whilst The Bridal Buyer Awards will be taking place on the Monday evening (9th September).
Stocking accessories that will complement your gowns are a great way to bring in more brides and increase revenue, so it’s important that you visit some accessory brands while at the event. Brands such as Twilight Designs and Thomas Laine will be exhibiting alongside new talent Posy & Pearl and
Having a budget is essential when it comes to trade shows as it will allow suppliers to work with you to see what you can afford in terms of a sample buy. We recommend having two budgets. One for designs that you know your brides will like and another for more fashion-forward gowns. Rebecca from The Dressing Room Bridal added, "This took me literally years to get right! I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to come away from Harrogate knowing I have made the right decisions for my business financially."
Our most important piece of advice is to enjoy yourself. The Harrogate Bridal Show is a fantastic event in the bridal calendar and one we all look forward too, so make sure you take some time out of your day to have some fun.
And finally, after the event reach out to all of those people you met, whether it’s suppliers or other retailers, as this is a great way to make even more contacts in the industry.
It’s also a good idea to reach out to the organisers with your feedback as this will help with future events going forward.
Register for The Harrogate Bridal Show here so you can attend the biggest and most important industry buying event on the bridal calendar.