I came on here seeking advice on doing a wedding expo several weeks ago and received great info. from everyone here and just wanted to report back on how it went. My expo was 2 weekends ago and I'm so happy I did it.
First off, I went to a seminar put on by the sponsor of the event the Monday before and it was very helpful. He went over general things on what to do and what not to do based off of their many years of experience doing these expos. I also met a few vendors there, who I made sure to connect with again at the expo.
Second, I stressed quite a bit on my samples. My plan was to do 2 flavors, but I had some issues as I was baking, so I ended up doing only 1. I don't think it hurt though. It took some stress off of me as I would've had to bake twice as much. I got rave reviews. It seems not a lot of brides have never had Swiss Meringue Buttercream! My only bad review was from one of the vendors' kids, who wanted chocolate, lol His parents were very sweet though and loved the sample that I did have
Third, I ended up being only 1 of 2 cake decorators at the expo. The one large bakery that usually does these expos ended up not showing up. I think they had a wedding and something else going on. Worked out for me! Also, the other cake decorator specializes in gluten free, so we were completely different niches. I actually went over the day of the set up and introduced myself. She ended up coming to my booth the next day and complimented my cakes I also sent people over to her booth who were looking for gluten free cakes. They weren't going to be my customers anyway, so I thought it was a nice thing to do for the other baker as well as for the brides.
Fourth, at the end of the second day, I went around to just about every vendor and gave them samples. They seemed pretty thrilled! Some took 2nds, 3rds, even 4ths I had enough though and let them take as much as they wanted. I think everyone was winding down after the 2 days and saw free cake as a much needed treat. I think I made some friends
Last, and most important, I made a good enough impression on some of the vendors that they said they'd be putting me on their preferred vendors list! One lady, who remembered me from the seminar, actually put me up on her website after day 1 as the only cake vendor on her list. Her and her husband were probably the warmest people I met there. She raved about my cakes and my samples. Unfortunately, she said the other caker there wouldn't give her mom, who was with her at her booth, a sample because she said here samples were not for the vendors. That left a very bad impression. I'm just so glad I made sure to give other vendors my samples. I emailed her the next day to thank her again and she said that she had 3 consultations that week and she'd be giving all of them my info. She said she'd be promoting me like no one else. I haven't had someone (other than family) have such confidence in me since my mentor in college. It's really very humbling and I'll be eternally grateful.
I've been in contact with a few brides already asking for quotes. Only time will tell if any of this will lead to real bookings, but I'm 100% glad I did the expo!