We often get asked about wedding fayres, bridal showcases, wedding shows and the various other things that these are called. Other wedding vendors often ask which one’s we attend, as do some of our clients. They all appear a little shocked when we say that we don’t to them, and that we are unlikely to ever consider exhibiting at one.
We regularly get contacted by companies wanting us to exhibit at their particular Northern Ireland wedding fayre, we have always said, “thanks for thinking of us, but we are not interested.” We have had companies offer us special discounts, special placements at the fayre and on one occasion a company even offered us the option to exhibit free of charge as they wanted us to be a part of their particular fayre, we still said no.
When we first decided to offer our services photographing weddings we were advised by other Northern Ireland photographers and some from further afield that wedding fayres where a must do and the best way to put ourselves in front of couples looking for a wedding photographer. So we visited quite a few to see how they worked for ourselves.
We quickly realised that they weren’t for us. When we speak with potential clients we prefer to do it on a one to one basis, that way we can have a relaxed informal chat, without the distractions of working on what is essentially a market stall. We disliked the hard sell culture that tends to go with wedding fayres, as for us that just doesn’t come naturally, we prefer a much more relaxed approach.
Not all the wedding fayres we visited where the same, some seemed to have very little visitors, others where very busy, they all however seemed to operate on the same hard sale tactics that we wouldn’t be comfortable with. As an example special offers for the fayre, which when you looked into the detail where not always that special or an offer at all. From a business point of view, we can understand why stuff like this happens, the vendors need to get bookings to cover the associated costs of exhibiting at the fayre, this isn’t a route that we would want to go down though.
Our clients find us in various ways but mainly online. We have had clients that found us via simply searching for Lisburn Wedding Photographer on Google, a lot of clients have booked with us after finding us on Facebook and Instagram. We are also lucky in that our previous clients do a great job of advertising for us by recommending us to family and friends and leaving reviews for us online. When we meet with potential clients for the first time we often meet them in their own home, which is much more relaxed than meeting in a packed out hotel conference room.
That’s not to say that if wedding fayres are your thing that you shouldn’t visit them, you will find some awesome wedding vendors out there that regularly exhibit at wedding fayres. They are just not a good fit for us, and how we like to do things.