Exhibitions are an excellent opportunity for vendors to display their products or services in front of hundreds of newly-engaged couples. There’s no other event that gets you this close to potential customers without the need for awkward conversations and cold-calling. You’ll be in direct contact with interested brides- and grooms-to-be. To ensure everything goes smoothly, you should prepare well ahead of time. Having a checklist of what to bring is essential in this preparation period. Here are six must-have items for any exhibitor.

Free giveaways to attract visitors.

Even the smallest exhibitions can feel like a zoo at the busiest times. With hundreds of visitors and dozens of stalls, you have to find some way of standing out amongst the crowd. Offering complimentary giveaways is the best way to get couples over to your booth and initiate a conversation. Everyone loves free stuff, especially couples who are planning an expensive wedding. You don’t have to go overboard with the gifts. A free treat, drink, or knick-knack will suffice. It’s all about giving couples a reason to approach your booth.

Examples of your product or service.

When couples attend an exhibition, they’re trying to put together the puzzle of their wedding. Each product and service represents one piece of that mental puzzle that they’re trying to picture as vividly as possible. As a vendor, you have the potential to be one of those pieces. In order to offer a clear picture of your services to potential clients, it’s critical to have some examples on hand. Tangible examples are ideal, but you can always use photos of previous weddings which used your services.

Business cards with your information.

A majority of the business generated from an exhibition doesn’t come from deals made at the actual event. Instead, you’ll make a large portion of your money from contracts made after the exhibition through follow-up calls or emails. Couples want time to think about their options following a show. It’s rare that they’ll be willing to make a deal on the spot. As an exhibitor, it’s crucial to bring business cards so interested clients have a method for contacting you after the event.

Refreshments and snacks for booth operators.

Exhibition booths can become hot and stuffy over the course of an event. With hundreds of people walking around in a small room, there’s a good chance that your booth operators will get uncomfortable at some point. It’s helpful to keep some snacks and drinks nearby to keep everyone fresh and satiated. Don’t confuse these refreshments with those being offered to visiting couples. Keep a separate stash for employees manning the booth. Sheet for collecting contact information.

Sheet for collecting contact information.

Even if a couple said they would contact you after the show, there’s no guarantee that they’ll remember or even hold on to your business card. If you don’t have any method for collecting the contact information of potential clients at the exhibition, you’ll be relying entirely on their will to reach out. For this reason, every exhibitor needs to have a method for collecting emails, phone numbers, and other sources of contact info from interested couples. This can be as simple as a sheet of paper and a pen or something more creative if you have something in mind.

An attractive and inviting booth.

While you probably won’t forget to bring a booth to the bridal show, you may forget to design it beforehand. These stalls shouldn’t be something thrown together at the last minute as a hodge-podge of your products with a few decorations here and there. As a direct representation of your business, an exhibition stall needs to be well thought out and ideally planned weeks or months beforehand. You want the right combination of flare to attract couples without going overboard. It can be helpful to attend a bridal show as a guest, see what aspects of booths you like, and incorporate these ideas into your own.

If you’re a vendor looking to set up a booth at more bridal shows in your area, visit Wedding Shows Work for a list of upcoming events.