If you’re not learning things in business every day, something is probably not right. I’m relatively new, so I am at risk of being engulfed! Be that as it may, I’d like to share some of my recent experiences here. Perhaps they may benefit some of my readers, even those with a far wiser head than mine. Even if they are not Independent Civil Celebrants like me!
The Wedding Fair
It was my pleasure to exhibit at the Middlesex & Bucks. Wedding Show at the Bull Hotel, Gerrards Cross on Sunday. The weather was quite welcoming (for much of the day, anyway!) and the venue certainly was. The atmosphere was lovely and the Show well-organised and well-attended. I think most people who came felt it was worthwhile and enjoyable.
I too enjoyed it and made some potentially valuable contacts both in the room and from passing couples.
So what did I learn?
- The first thing is not to stay rooted behind your table. If you are not active in ‘grabbing’ people, then some will go past, and they might be the very people who would go love your service, if they only knew about it.
- Be pro-active. Greet the visitor cheerily. Initiating a conversation with strangers is not always easy (tell me about it!), but try things out. “Are you enjoying the show?” seemed a good ice-breaker for me, but two people just said, “Yes, thank you” and rushed on by, so I needed to try other approaches.
- I know these events are tiring, but don’t stay on your chair, especially when people are passing through. And texting hardly gives the right impression!
- Try and avoid leaving your stand untenanted (difficult for me, as I was on my own). A few possible clients came through when it was lunchtime, but several stalls were deserted. I picked up one potential client because I was prepared to stand up and abandon my delicious sandwich!
- Unless it’s really dead, stay to the bitter end. A lot of people were packing away fifteen minutes before the advertised end, but I gained an interested contact in the final five minutes.
- Get to know other businesses in the room. Apart from possible collaboration at a later date, you may be able to help each other. I was next to a flower arranger, who, generously lent me a couple of displays for my (very bare!) table. (In return, I’m looking to buy some product from her.) We now each have the other on our suppliers’ lists.
- If you build up a relationship with your neighbour, they may be able to direct you people you might otherwise miss. A photographer and neighbouring beauty expert regularly passed each other leads – “Oh, now you really must speak to X here.”
- Finally, but crucially, don’t forget to smile. Your goal is to attract people!
I have two more Wedding Fairs to look forward to in February: Harrow Arts Centre on 2nd February and Sir Christopher Wren Hotel, Windsor on 16th February. I intend to profit from the lessons learned. Maybe I’ll see you at one of these? If not, I’ll let you know how I get on!
Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made life-cycle civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe.