The Prep No-One Sees


Wedding Shows are great fun, however, the preparations that go into them than can often be overwhelming.

I certainly found myself getting overwhelmed in the run up to the recent Wedding Show I did.  I do this show every year and this year I had booked for 3 x2.5 stand on a corner.  Great for visablity until I decided to rebrand my business 3-4 months before the show!!!

So, I’d already got my budget sorted for the actual stand but hadn’t factored in a budget for re-doing a lot of my print work.  Thankfully I have a very understanding printer and we came up with a plan of action together.

The biggest challenge for this stand was thinking how to represent planning and coordination but also how to ensure visitors don’t walk through my stand, which from experience of having a corner stand in the past happens quite often! 

So, once I had started the process of re-printing a lot of my material – flyers, business cards, foam board, uniform etc, I set up trying to map out where everything would go.  There are lots of stand planning apps but none that were doing what I wanted so I used a work document and shapes.  

I also went old school pen and paper to do lists.  I love Trello but for this I need a clear visual infront of me to tick things off as a prepped and also packed the car!! I also had to think how I was transporting everything as I didn’t have the budget for a van which would have been the easy job.  Luckily my partner was coming with me and so a lot of the bulky items he took 

On the set up day, panic and overwhelm set in as I had envisioned my stand the other way round, so when I first looked at my blank space it seemed a lot bigger.  5 minutes later, I set about placing the TV and mounting the boards on the wall and this was when I realised, the stand was just rotated by 45 degree and actually was going to work much better. 

I had to adapt my photo idea for blocking off 1 side and instead, hung them around the top of the stand.  Once all of these were in place, I could then set about putting the tables in place and then look at the angles for where to place the selfie frame and the mannequin that weren’t going to be a trip hazard or block the key information 

I think this is actually the best stand layout I’ve done out of the 4 or 5 times I have done this show and even made changes during the event when I realised that not everyone could get to the flyers without having to walk into my stand. 

A key consideration for this show was the follow up process as it was going to be a busy one, so I had prepared a QR code that would take visitiors to an enquiry form and one to book a call for those who knew they just needed my help! SOmething, I need to consider for next year is remembering to get them to scan as I would have great discussions and then let them walk off with a flyer, but also having more of them so it didn’t rely on the ipad.

Preparation is key but so is stepping back, reflecting and making the relevant tweaks.  I know there are things I can do differently next year but I am already starting to see the rewards from the show.

Is there anything else about my prepation that you would like to know?