This September I attended my first wedding exhibition in the Greater Manchester area. After building up my wedding cake portfolio and creating several dummy cakes, I’ve decided that it’s time to sign-up to a few wedding exhibitions in my target areas.
To be honest I was quite nervous when I initially booked a stall. However, I soon began planning how I wanted my display to look and how many wedding cake designs I wanted to create.
Wedding Cake Designs
Firstly, I wanted to remain true to my style and brand. I wanted to create a pretty, vintage themed wedding display that showcased a variety of designs to suit an any wedding. I created an ideas board and decided to create a vintage birdcage cake displayed on an acrylic maypole stand with 24 cupcakes, half of which were placed into China teacups and half trimmed in vintage lace. This design proved to be very popular on the day.
I then chose to make a timeless rose cascade wedding cake, a rose ‘sandwich’ cake with vintage lace, and tried to keep a similar shade of pink across all designs as I thought it would make the designs appear more consistent.
I found making the wedding cake dummies a wonderful opportunity to have free reign over designs, whilst also practicing new techniques. I have always wanted to use edible silver leaf on a cake, so I did! I also wanted to create a romantic Shakespeare / Great Gatsby inspired wedding cake, so I used script print on wafer paper and made a wafer paper feather. I added these to a large dummy cake along with a metallic golden theme of brooches and pearls.
Attending a wedding exhibition is basically a sales pitch. I knew I would need to ‘stand out’ in order to encourage people to take a look and engage with me. I bought personalised bunting, table accessories, luggage label business cards and took my iPad to show a slideshow of all my recent wedding cakes. As I was representing my business I made sure that I looked presentable, so I wore a pretty pink dress and flat shoes (I’m not Wonder Woman haha!)
I found it surprising how long it took me to set up and display all my wedding cakes. I think I underestimated the time and cost implications of attending a wedding exhibition, so don’t get caught out and plan ahead. There is the cost of the stall, bunting, business cards, pretty cake stands, dummy cake preparation, table accessories and of course lots and lots of time.
On the Day
I arrived at 9am, with visitors arriving at 10:30am, and I returned home at 4.30pm. I attended the event alone, but I probably advise others to take a helper because I found the numerous trips to and from the car quite relentless. There were also times where I felt I missed out on speaking to potential customers as there was only myself at the stall. Obviously it would be tricky for someone else to quote for particular designs, however they could have given out business cards and made pleasantries until I was available.
Meeting future brides and grooms was such an enjoyable aspect of the day. I would speak with everyone who passed and glanced at my stall. I found that asking them “Have you sorted out your wedding cake yet?” was an excellent conversation starter. Having the iPad was also useful as it allowed people to browse through other wedding cake designs and open their mind to other possibilities. A final tip would be to display prices for each design as it made it a lot easier for people to gain an idea of pricing structure.
I took an order book with me and actually took an order on the day which I was over the moon about. Since then I have taken a further four more orders as a direct result of the wedding exhibition, making the day very profitable.
I was also given a live radio interview with a local radio station who were present on the day. Hopefully someone out there heard my squeaky voice and wants to place an order.
Wedding Exhibition Checklist
If you’re thinking about attending your first wedding exhibition then I would fully recommend it. Before agreeing to attend I’d go through this quick checklist to make sure you can get the most out of the day.
- Is the venue popular?
- Has the wedding exhibition been advertised well?
- How many visitors are expected?
- How many sales do you have to make for the day to be profitable?
- Do you have enough wedding cakes to display?
- Do you have enough business cards?
- Fully update your website and social media sites to direct people to.
If you have any wedding exhibition tips, then post them in the comments below.