Need Help Preparing For A Wedding Show

Business By ladyonzlake Updated 9 Jan 2009 , 3:35am by indydebi

ladyonzlake Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 12:09am
post #1 of 12

I just got this awsome opportunity to do a local bridal show with a caterer. He rents the community kitchen that I do and saw my business card and invited me to "tag" along (no charge) with him in his booth. His thought was that I could help get brides to his table if they saw catering and wedding cakes.

Anyway, neither of us has done this before and we have 1 week to prepare. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I will be displaying one dummy cake, possibly a picture board and I will have bite size samples in covered containers.

Oh...and he says that so far no other cake vendors have signed up for the show icon_surprised.gif

11 replies
cakelady31 Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 12:42am
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cakelady31 Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 12:51am
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Ok , Ill try this again! I just typed out this whole reply and when I submitted it said internal error or something like that , then lost the whole thing! What the?

As I was saying...... Sounds like a great business oppurtunity! Good Luck!
I too am attending my first bridal show in a few weeks . I will be bringing 1 or 2 dummy cakes, a nice skirted table with tablecoth, my portfolio photo album, business cards, and flyers I had printed up that are pretty much big business cards. I am having an apron emboidered with my logo and business name on it which I will be wearing. (I figured can hold business cards in the pockets to hand out)

Best of luck to you!

MaisieBake Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 9:34pm
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You're doing all the samples? That's a pretty big favor to do for someone.

How clear is the division between his catering cakes and your wedding cakes?

MaisieBake Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 9:40pm
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You're doing all the samples? That's a pretty big favor to do for someone.

How clear is the division between his catering cakes and your wedding cakes?

indydebi Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 11:37pm
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Originally Posted by MaisieBake

How clear is the division between his catering cakes and your wedding cakes?

i think she means if brides saw "catering" (chicken, beef, baked potatoes) and "wedding cakes" in the same booth. I dont' think she meant catering-cakes and wedding-cakes.

Cakelady31, I wouldn't keep all of my cards in your pocket. Put some on the table. I may not want to take a big flyer, but I'll happily take a biz card. (Does your show require you to bring your own table? icon_confused.gif )

cakelady31 Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 11:44pm
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No , I am not keeping all my cards in my pocket. I mean't just a handful! I have one of those nice little business card stands. With the flyer Im hoping that it's one of those things that are a little harder to misplace than a business card. so I was going to hand out a flyer with my card stapled to it.! And yes, I am bringing my own table.


indydebi Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:03am
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Carol.... I must have mis-read the part about cards-in-your pocket, then! icon_redface.gif

Hope you're not paying a lot for booth space that doesnt' even come with a table! That's a new one on me ... icon_surprised.gif

j-pal Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:17am
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There are lots of things that can go wrong (or right) with this type of situation. I've done similar things that have ended badly, and I know of other vendors who have also done this and things ended badly.

Some things you might want to decide beforehand: Are you representing yourselves to the brides as two separate entities, or one combined "all for one price" deal?

Obviously, if he/she wants to appear as if they offer "it all", then it gets confusing to the brides to have to meet with two individuals when ordering, and you definitely don't want them (the caterer) setting your prices for you. I've known some decorators to just leave their "partners" photo albums with set prices for particular cakes and if "adjustments" need to be made, they'd have to take that up with their "decorator". The problem with this is that it gets dicey and confusing and it's harder to get individual referrals this way.

If you are working together and getting business from each other, are they going to ask for a "kick-back"?

What happens when the bride wants to use you and changes their minds about the caterer? Do you admit that you're not the same entity? Or, if it's clear what's going on, does the caterer start to resent you?

If you know other vendors that are caterers, is this going to keep you from referring them? What if you do the cake for an event, this caterer does the same event, and their food is really bad? Then your business is reflected on by them.

Also, you might check with the bridal show guidelines themselves... I used to do 4-5 shows a year and every one of them had rules AGAINST sharing booths. The people putting on the shows make a huge chunck of money on booth and table rentals and usually don't want to start a precedent of booth sharing.

IMHO, bottom line, my personal experience has been that it works out great if the vendors refer you, but try your best to keep a distinct line between your business and theirs. In the end, it's your decision and different people have different experiences. Good luck!

j-pal Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 12:25am
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Ooops... it's been a long day. I apologize for offering unsolicited advice. You weren't asking if this was a good idea, you were asking how to prepare!!! I hope I didn't sound like a big negative know-it-all, but I've seen situations like this go really wrong, really fast! Please just make sure that you and this caterer have your expectations really clear beforehand and again, sorry for the really long post!

BTW... business cards, brochures with flavors and general information, displays, photo albums and samples if you have room. One cool thing I've done at bridal shows before is to have a laptop or TV set up with a looped slide show of my cakes. Sometimes it's difficult for lots of brides to be looking at the photo albums at the same time and this allows for a lot of people to watch at the same time. Takes some time to set up, but if your photos are already on your hard-drive, then it's super easy. Good luck!

cakelady31 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 3:20am
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icon_redface.gif Sorry Indy, I hope I didn't come across harsh in my response. !!!

Didn't mean to if i did. I actually got a great deal on my space where I am sharing with a few different business, a "wedding botique" so to speak , and we have a double space. thumbs_up.gif
J pal...Great idea on the laptop picture slide show. I have a digital photo frame I wanted to bring but apparently they charge tons for electrical hook up! I am sure there will be tons of cake diplays that are gonna blow me right out of the water! But... I am going to have fun with it!

As usual you guys are the best when it comes to help us newbies out!

Thanks ,Carol

indydebi Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 3:35am
post #12 of 12

Gosh, no! I didn't read anything harsh in there at all! thumbs_up.gif

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