I've decided to take the plunge and show at a wedding expo.
But having never done one ..or anything similar ...my brain is spinning with a tonne of questons.
how many dummy cakes should i have?
should i have a theme or show a cross section of the work i do?
to have samples or not to have samples?
if i have samples - are mini cupcakes ok?
should i have an expression of interest doc or just a guest book to get client details?
booth size - is bigger better?
if you can help me with any answers or just have some suggestions based on previous experience i would be very grateful.
ps.... if your feeling really helpful - i would love to know the one thing you would do again and what was a waste of time (but maybe seemed like a good idea at the time)
Congrats on the leap. I tottally understand how you feel, both excited and nervous.
#1 Size has everything to do with it. Regardless of size you need to fill it. which means the more space you have, the more cakes you need to have on display. I personally like to set mine up as a roaming tour. I don't put a table in front to block off the potential customers. It welcomes them in and gives you a chance to talk to them.
So I put several cakes around the back of the booth and use a small round table in the middle with what I feel is my most inpressive cake. Take small uplights and focus them on the cakes. I set up the centered cake just like I would for the actual reception, with toasting glasses, cutting service, etc.
By all means have cakes to taste, you do large sheet cakes, or mini cupcakes, whatever. Food always draws more people to your booth.
Have handouts about your business, with pics is better. It should include your business name, location, tel #, website.
I have my own drawing. They have to fill out a guest card and I'll give something away. Like a 6" cake, Take plenty of cards and pencils as well.
I also take a separate blank sheet form, If I connect with someone and they want to set up a date to come, take their info and promise to get back to them. (You can also take your appt book if you feel it necessary)
Don't expect to make a lot of sales, you can do a flyer or mailing blitz after the event is over and you have time to unwind.
Good luck, sorry this is so long, but hth
I've only done 1 expo so far. It was very heavily attended, I'd say 4000 people came thru there. I was the only cake vendor.
I had 3 display cakes and a small display of cupcakes. I only had one table and didn't want to pay for another. Check my facebook page, I a pic of my table on it.
I had a photo album for people to flip thru.
I made 5 x1/2 sheet cakes and I cut them in advance into 1" squares into sample cups with lids. I printed my name and phone number on small labels and put them on top of the cups.
The expo was only 4 hours long and the samples were gone in less then 2 hours.
The cupcakes I had for display I gave to the surrounding vendors at the end. The whole point for me doing the expo was meeting other vendors and trying to network. I actually didn't expect any business from it other then that.
Things that worked: having the samples prepared in advance was awesome, and having my name on the cups was even more awesome - I booked 3 consultations from those cups and all 3 booked big wedding cakes.
Things that didn't work: Trying to get people to sign up for consultations there at the table. I only got 2 people to give me their info, both dodged my call and neither called me back.
Thing I would do differently: I told my assistant to try and space the samples by hour, when she ran out of a flavor to tell people to come back in 30 minutes to try another flavor. Great in theory, but she got super flustered because we were literally mobbed. It was complete chaos! You want your samples to get in the bride and groom's hands, not her entorage that could care less and grabs 6 samples just for themselves. It left me without cake to give other brides for the remaining 2 hours we were there. So next time I do an expo, I will ask to put samples in the bride and groom's goodie bags, which only the registered bride and grooms get. If you are her sister or a bridesmaid you generally don't get one. Anyway it would have saved a ton of wasted cake on people that could care less about me, and that way I would have made sure every one of those brides had a sample of my cake.
Good luck! It was a ton of fun!
Awesome info thanks so much
Thank you so much for taking the time to help!