Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Catch up & Bridal Show Adventures!

So we were gone for 9 days for the to visit family.  Most of the time when we go away for that long we get back and need a vacation from the vacation.  You all know what I mean.  This time we got back and for the next 5 days I was in bed with the FLU.  All I can say to that is AGHHHH  = (  It was BY FAR the worst sickness I have had in I couldn't even tell you how long.  Fever, aches, chills, congestion, sore throat, coughing the whole shabang, just awful.  And lucky me I may still cough for another 4 weeks, super fun.  I did get antibiotics, which did help, at least enough to get me out of bed to attempt to get as ready for the bridal show as I could, which was at that point only 6 days away!

The Bridal Show is a ton of work just to get the booth ready.  Then comes the actual weekend with renting of a van, loading, about 5 hours of set-up, 2 days of Brides, breakdown, load and unload.  In the end it is all totally worth it.  I don't want you to think it is all actually can be a lot of fun, but all the hard work goes into creating that perfect presentation of your work to showcase to the brides.  Too many vendors go to these big shows and just bring themselves, some business cards and a few things for the table.  I think they are nuts.  If you can't make your booth look amazing it is 1) a complete waste of money and 2) it makes you look very unprofessional.  I hope some of those poor vendors catch a glimpse of this.

So how did our weekend go? A - MAZE - ING :)  When everyone told me it was a big one and that tons of vendors book their entire year from this show I thought to myself wow is this for real or are these people just talking it up?  Let's just say, at least at this moment we LOVE Today's Bride and the show at the I-X Center.  It was sooo much bigger than any show we have ever done and there were that many more brides to knock it out of the park.  Other than having to get used to all of the tight restrictions on time, booth specs, moving in/out we are all about it.  Now that the hard part is over we are super excited to meet with all of our new Brides for 2013.  If all continues as it has since the show...we may even have to turn people away.  I know, sad, scary and exciting all at the same time.  With that here are some pictures of the booth.

Now, the highlights of the weekend.  First off, I had my sister Kelsey, fellow DG Invites employee fly in from NY to help with the booth.  She is great.  I tend to be a bit on the reserved side until I get warmed up when talking to brides at these shows, but she just dove right in talking to every bride she could.  She definitely gets an A++ for her efforts this past weekend. Not to mention we worked super well together to get the booth set up.  The fastest set-up to date!  Now for the minor catastrophe.  We were on our way to the show early Saturday afternoon.  We had just left Starbucks (how could we make it through the day without Starbucks??) and I had just realized I did not have a pencil for the appointment book.  I had her text Allyson to bring a pencil (who you have not really been introduced to yet) she is my new Nanny, Invitation Helper...she does it all.  The latte was in her lap between her legs and we were at a red light.  The light turns green, I go and that small little hole in the top of the coffee cup just spilled out the most ridiculous amount of latte all down the front of her shirt and puddled in her lap.  At that point in time a string of lovely f-bombs and other terrible language came out of both of us.  It couldn't be helped we were already off to a late start that morning.  So our only option was to turn around and go home to salvage what we could, as fast as we could.  We managed to rinse out her shirt and blow dry it so we could carry on.  Back to the show!

At the show I had actually moved my booth to a location next to The Magnolia Photo Booth Co.  Back in October I had discovered them with my Husband and son at another Today's Bride Show.  The pictures are still on my fridge.  I love the quality of the photos, the kind of muted look to the colors in them and the great book brides get after the event with all of the photos in it. Not to mention the photos are posted on their website to share to your facebook page, buy, create a card with, tweet etc.  I thought moving next to them would help bring traffic to my booth.  I mean come on, everyone loves a free photo booth opportunity!  Lucky us not only is this particular booth great the people that run it, Fred and his wife Kristin just make it a million times better.  They are hilarious, entertaining and great to just converse with.  We loved everything about them and after a long first day, we were so excited to come back and hang out with them for second day.  Feelings were mutual and we are going to request to be next to each other at any other shows we both plan to attend.  Watch out Cleveland this is a great vendor pairing in the making :)  We both just had a jam packed area full of brides I wish I could have taken some action shots.  So packed that several times the thought of expanding to a double booth next time crossed my mind.  We shall see what 2013 brings!  But much love to Mag. Booth of Cleveland for an entertaining weekend...we are glad to have met you!  I suppose I can share our end of day shots that definitely got better as we went on.  I did say it was a long weekend right?

Kelsey and I...end of Day 1

Kelsey and I day 2, about an hour left

Allyson, Kelsey and I...end of day 2

This may very well be one of my longest posts to date.  Too long? Maybe, but there is just so much fun stuff to share!  Another big one for the weekend is that I was interviewed by NPR.  Not really sure what, if anything that will turn into, but it was fun and you may hear me talking about how I started out and bridezillas, lol.  Then there is the outcome of the far approximately 65 Brides are scheduled or requested to be contacted to schedule initial consultations.  I know OMG!!  That is literally double that of any other big show I have done in the past and honestly not far behind our total orders for all of 2012.  We can only hope that 2013 brings wonderful things our way....and NO more FLU!!  Our biggest goal of 2013?  Double our sales and network like crazy in Cleveland!