23 April 2012

Kettering Spring Show – how it went

Back in February (how the time has flown!) I exhibited at the Northamptonshire Newspapers Spring Wedding Show. You can read about my preparations for the show here.

Over the last few years I have done several open days at wedding venues in Surrey alongside a small selection of other suppliers, but this was my first time at a larger scale show.

It was such a huge learning curve for me and a really important experience. It was interesting to see the difference in attitudes and interest of the visitors when there were so many stands to see and competing for attention, compared to the small scale open days.

I had quite a small table and didn't know what to expect with the amount of space I had available around the table. I ended up being on my own, next to a column in the middle of one end of the room. Here are a couple of pictures of my table with my samples of work and portfolio.

My table and samples of work.

Me trying out my welcoming smile.
Looking at the pictures of my table it's easy to see that there is a lot of white and it gets a bit lost against the column. If I had known my positioning in advance, I would have made a large sign to stick on the column above the table, the A4 framed sign didn't do the job. Most of the other stands had a banner stand or large sign to draw the eye and visitors in to take a closer look at their stand. If I do more shows in the future, I definitely need to invest in a banner stand of my own.

On a more positive note, most of visitors that did visit my stand made some nice compliments about my designs and particularly liked the thank you card sample (below) that I supplied for the goody bags. Hopefully they will choose to use my services when they are ready to order their stationery. Many of the brides I spoke to were in the very early days of their wedding planning.

Information about Lovely Designs and a thank you card sample for the goody bags


During and after the show, I got talking to some fellow suppliers and swapped details. A couple of them gave me some handy bits of advice.

I was the only stand specialising in wedding stationery at the show but there were a wide variety of suppliers that I met. Here are links to their sites:

Beauty:
Eastern Retreat Spa – Northampton
http://www.easternretreat.co.uk/

Fonga Spa – Northampton
http://www.fongspa.com/

Hannah Stanion
http://www.makeupartisthannah.co.uk/

Catering and Cakes:
Chocolate Expressions - Northampton
http://www.chocolateexpressions.co.uk/

DDW Catering – Northamptonshire
http://www.ddwcateringltd.co.uk/

Special Cakes – Northampton
http://www.specialcakes.com/

The Sugar Fairy – Kettering
http://www.thesugarfairy.co.uk/

Your Paella – Northamptonshire
http://www.yourpaella.co.uk/

Decor:
Lovely Designs – I was there too of course!
http://www.lovelydesigns.co.uk/

Time 2 Celebrate – Northamptonshire
http://www.partyshopkettering.co.uk/

Time4Tea – vintage china hire, wedding styling, afternoon tea – Northamptonshire
http://www.time4tea.me.uk

Dresses and Suits:
Bonnie Brides and Grooms – Corby
http://www.bonniebridescorby.com/index.htm

James Michael Menswear – Corby
http://www.formalhirecorby.co.uk/

Panters – Northampton
http://www.panters-menshire.co.uk/index.htm

Suitors – Buckingham & Northampton
http://www.suitors.co.uk/

Suzanka – Northamptonshire
http://www.suzanka.co.uk/

Warwicks – Northamptonshire
http://warwicksmenswear.co.uk/home/

The Wedding Wardrobe – Northamptonshire
http://www.wedding-wardrobe.co.uk/

Flowers:
Flowers by Charlotte Davies – Northamptonshire
http://flowersbycharlottedavies.co.uk/

The Lavender Shed – Corby
http://www.thelavendershed.com/

Photography:
ASC Photography Solutions Ltd – Northamptonshire
http://www.asc-photography.co.uk/

Issi Greig – Northamptonshire
http://www.issigreig.co.uk

Pleasing-Prices
http://pleasing-prices.net/

Venues:
Hunting Lodge – Market Harborough, Leicestershire
http://www.huntinglodgehotel.com/

Kettering Conference Centre
http://www.ketteringconference.co.uk/

Three Swans Hotel (Best Western) – Market Harborough, Leicestershire
http://www.bw-threeswanshotel.co.uk/

Other:
Goldfinger Rings – Hatton Garden and Horsham, Surrey
http://www.goldfinger-rings.com/

Silver Dove Ceremonies - Peter Wyllie – Northampton
http://www.silverdove.org.uk/

Total Eclipse Disco
http://www.totaleclipsedisco.com/

Poppy Cottage – Portraits and Digital Art
http://www.poppycottagedesign.co.uk/