Further Thoughts on Wedding Expos

Before I get into it more, I feel the need to mention that I’d forgotten to note that the woman hawking the stretch Hummer in the Luxury Wedding Expo parking lot was dismayed because the model they had there didn’t have the fireplace that some of the other ones did. Apparently more vehicles need to be aflame on the interior and she wanted us to at least know that the option was available. Yes, I’m serious.

After writing the last post, I forwarded it on to my friend Amanda to get her thoughts. Because we seem to have either the same or really similar thoughts about a lot of things and because she was actually there for one of events, I wanted to see if there was anything she had to say or maybe to bounce stuff back at me that I hadn’t thought of. She was far more peeved about how Dave and I were treated at the beginning, but also she felt that the whole environment was antithetical to how she wanted to be approached. It was interesting to me because this was very similar to how I felt, but a different enough twist to give me something else to really ponder.

After spending a couple of weeks thinking about it more and more, I think I’ve determined that many if not most wedding shows are not for people who are big shoppers in general, but also people who don’t actively shop at stores/events while they’re there.

Another thing that struck me was that Amanda feels very strongly about not only how she’s approached, but also how everyone was treated at the expo. Women are largely treated as though they aren’t shouldering a significant portion of the financial burden, if any, of their weddings or it’s assumed that they have a far larger budget than might seem reasonable otherwise. This was more so the case at the Luxury Bridal Expo, but there was a a fair amount of it at the Carnivale show as well. Thankfully there isn’t as much of an old fashion pressure on the men at these things to be the provider to pay for everything as I’m certain there once was, but the attitude that pushing as much as possible on the bride to make it the absolutely best day ever creates some side effects. First is that the bride is going to freak out from overload at some point and she’s going to talk to her fiancé and/or parents. I will bet you that any family that’s involved in any way in a wedding is going to feel a fair amount of stress if the bride is essentially being convinced that they have to be the central generator of ideas regarding stuff like vendors/venues. I understand that there might be a large number of women out there that are super excited to be the central figure in planning their wedding, but I think it’s also fair to say that it shouldn’t be assumed that this is the case for everyone. Also, nearly all of the vendors I encountered at most of the events weren’t nearly as excited to talk to me as they were Sylvia. It’s possible that they were just drawn to her sunny personality, but I’m not confident that was all the was going on in the vendors heads especially considering how consistent that feeling was.

Also, what about the couple that are doing it all on their own without any outside help from family? The two shows that we Sylvia and I went to together didn’t really have any personalities that cared if family was any kind of consideration. You can have everything from couple who have huge or really close knit connections to couples who are doing it themselves. By the vendors not making an effort to at least understand the potential background of the couple, then it’s kind of a cold sale and who wants to work with a vendor that you don’t think at least understands the basic structure of how things might go. If a simple question was asked like, “are you planning on having a lot of family coming?” they could do double duty in terms of quickly determining if the couple is someone they want to work with or making a connection and suggesting particular services that might tailor better to their vision and price point. I dunno, I think that might be a bit of a stretch, but it sounds like such an easy idea to implement that could potentially result in better sales and connections with clients.

Now, having said all that, Sylvia did go to the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance show last weekend with her mom and she reported that it was a far better experience. She said that the people were really personable and super approachable and seemed far more interested in talking to people and building a client base/relationship. There was even one woman she spoke to for over 20 minutes and Sylvia still doesn’t know what she was selling. It’s interesting because it seems like that might have been the really good thing to go to as at least a few of my qualms were handled pretty well at this event versus the two that I’d been to. I’m a bit annoyed that I didn’t go so that I can report on it specifically, but if there’s at least one wedding show out there that’s at least trying to talk to couples like people as opposed to part of a machine, that’s a start.

Edit: Thanks for correcting me on the show that you went to Sylvia!

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One Response to “Further Thoughts on Wedding Expos”

  1. Sylvia Says:

    Just a small correction. It wasn’t Indie Wed (never went to that one). It was the Chicago Green Alliance weding show (can’t remember the actual name)

    http://committedlovechicago.com/

    I was skeptical, because I was equally unimpressed with the shows Ryan and I went to, but went to support a friend who had a booth there. It was great! Totally what these shows should be.

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