Posted by Xplosive Entertainment on 10/30/2014

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Next Showcase | Xplosive Entertainment

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Next Showcase | Xplosive Entertainment

For those newly engaged, or for a family planning a bar/bat mitzvah or sweet 16, you will often find vendors talking about showcases. It’s one of the most popular ways to find the right professionals for your event. These event planning shows whether referred to as showcases, expos, conventions, etc. are typically specialized by event. For example, you’ll see advertisements for a bridal show, a Mitzvah showcase, etc. These events can be especially productive because you may be able to meet vendors you might not have otherwise, and you can do so all at once in one central location. Additionally, there are often great incentives and prizes that make attendance especially appealing. But, while showcase attendance has a number of benefits they can also be overwhelming. We put together some great tips to help you get the most out of your next showcase.

  • Make Labels. Often vendors have forms with contact information they will ask you to complete. So before attending, create a label that includes your name, event date, email, address, and phone. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious you could include a picture to help the vendor put the face to the name when the event is over.
  • Create an email for your event. For vendors this can be the best way to collect email addresses for continuous advertisement. If the thought of constant emails from persistent vendors or emails from your caterer getting lost in your personal or work inbox overwhelm you, create an email address specific for the event. Event emails are free to setup and as simple as “joshandamy2016@gmail.com” or “Alexmitzvah2017@yahoo.com”.
  • Have a plan. Know what you’re looking for. Meaning, if you already have a photographer, skip past… don’t’ waste your time. Move on to the vendors that offer services that you still need. It’s too easy to get stuck in a long conversation. If available, you may want to get the list of participating vendors in hand before the event. This way you can narrow down the list of who exactly you want to meet with.
  • Show up early! Arrive early and be sure to target the vendors you are most interested in first. Some shows get busy. And, some customers are very talkative. You don’t want to get stuck waiting for a professional to finish conversation with a talkative prospect.
  • Do your research before attending a show. Find out if you will have a chance to sample food from one or various caterers, see a band/DJ perform, etc. Learn how many vendors are going to be at the show. Some showcases are crazy busy while others are empty. If available you may want to get the list of participating vendors in hand before the event. This way, you can narrow down the list of who exactly you want to meet with.
  • Examine a vendor’s booth. This is super important. A vendor’s display at a showcase will tell you a lot about their company. The vendor booth displays should be clean and tidy. More importantly is the vendor standing alert and eager to chat with you? Or, are they sitting disinterested behind the table? Showcases are an opportunity for companies to put their best foot forward, if they do not then they may not be the best vendor for you.
  • Ask vendors for referrals. Get insider reviews. Well respected vendors earn the compliments from others in the business.
  • Don’t fall for pressure tactics. Showcase “specials” are a common place, but you should never be forced into booking on the spot to get that discount. If you set an appointment with the provider to follow up and explore his/her services, that incentive should still be applicable.
  • Try to win prizes! Who would complain about a free honey moon? Complimentary spa day? Discount to your entertainment? Many vendors at showcases provide prizes to get their service spotlighted. Take advantage of this.
  • Bring a friend or family member. Get the opinions of people you trust (especially people who have already planned the same type of event, such as a friend who already got married and can provide good insight).
  • Don’t lead on a vendor. If you are not interested, tell them so. If you lead them on, you are likely to be engaged in an unnecessary lengthy conversation, you may get harassed with phone calls and emails, and you are quite frankly wasting their time too. Be courteous, vendors pay good money to participate in a showcase. Every minute at these shows counts for the vendors.
  • If your preferred entertainment vendor isn’t performing, ask where they’ll be next. Bridal shows and event showcases typically have a performance or a main MC for the night. This is the perfect opportunity to get an idea of how your perspective vendor performs live. It can give you a much better feel for their style and whether that matches the feel you’re looking for at your event.
  • Phone, event binder, or planner; have your schedule ready. While some vendors may not be able to access their calendars, those who can may be able to book your appointment right there. Knowing when you’re available will make those appointments much easier and quicker to schedule.
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