This weekend is the BIG expo here in Hawaii. The January Wedding Expo traditionally is the biggest show with the most vendors and the best crowds. I guess everyone is planning for their weddings in the summer, and getting all their details locked down.
A partially finished booth, with bamboo cabana and uplights
Now, we personally DO NOT set up a booth at the show. Mainly because we do not want to compete with our own clients for customers. Rather, we support our industry partners by providing them with FREE product to stock their booth. Tables, linens, tents, fabric draping, lights, dishware, chairs, lounge furniture, you name it. The only charge we do pass on is a small $60 delivery fee. That’s it! This not only helps them financially, it helps their booths to look that much better because they get to treat it like one of their own events, and make it look the way a wedding is supposed to look. If a wedding were to take place in a 10×10 plot of land, that is.
Sometimes, couples who are getting married have some ideals about the wedding expo, that may cause them to be disappointed after the show. I think it would be smart to debunk those myths today:
1. Vendor options are not always Best Available
Many vendors don’t take part in the show for one reason or another. They may be very busy this time of year, or simply are in such high demand that they don’t need the extra revenue that the show provides. While it is good to check things out at the show, keep in mind that there ARE other companies out there that may be just as good – if not better – than the options available in the aisles.
2. Booth Designs are not always Best Available
Yes, people who are spending money on a booth certainly want to create and design a booth that is worthy of your attention. But there are limitations, including lighting, cost, space, and time. The Blaisdell show hall is very well lit, which makes it great for seeing the whole show floor, but it doesn’t allow for killer lighting design, which really sets the mood at many weddings. Not being able to control the lighting really limits the design of some of the booths. Cost is also a consideration. Although it may be awesome to drop on a white dance floor topper and a custom logo decal on the dance floor, that costs big bucks. So it probably won’t make an appearance at the show, because that vendor is already spending enough money on the booth. Space is certainly a constraint. A single booth is 10×10′. An archway and 8 chairs fills that space. A round table with 6 chairs fills that space. Two 8′ tables with brochures and a TV fills that space. You get the picture. One little miscalculation with spacing, and a well-designed concept that would be awesome in a real venue can be reduced to a half-baked look with some pipe-and-drape behind it. A final limitation is time. The show only allows vendors in on the morning of the show. And then you compete with 128 other vendors for parking, while once you get inside the show it’s a chaotic hum of hundreds of booths all being built at once. Some of the design and decor work that could have been done is just too exquisite and detail oriented to happen in that short of a timeframe. So it gets cut.
So if you’re looking to get married, enjoy the show! It’s certainly the ONE you want to go to this year. I’m sure there will be many many amazing booths and some cool product and services to check out. Have fun and ask lots of questions! Just don’t forget to get some drinks afterwards. You (and your aching feet) will probably need it!