Charleston Wedding Expo
Civic Center Full of Brides
The Charleston Wedding Expo was this past Sunday at the Charleston Civic Center in beautiful, downtown Charleston, West Virginia. This was my first year renting a booth for the event and I must say it was a very exciting day. Winter storm Grayson didn’t detour any excited brides-to-be. The temperatures felt pretty warm compared to the bitter-cold days before.
The past two years I have gone to shows as a spectator, walking around, pretty much the only single male in the entire place. I was scouting out the other photographers’ booths as well as talking to venue proprietors and other wedding professionals. Those shows were a great introduction for me into the world of the professional wedding vendor lifestyle.
New Player on the Field
This year I was a player on the field. It felt awesome. The energy was much different. I had my booth to set up and lots of brides to chat with. I’m a very outgoing people person so I knew I would be in my wheelhouse. I have spent almost 20 years selling commercial whitewater rafting videos for jimminy crickets’ sake! I can talk to anyone.
My presentation was pretty good, I thought. I was happy with my display and my take-home literature for the brides. I have been making my own custom frames in my wood shop and this was the test. I cranked out 6 frames at once. They came out pretty good. Lots to learn on making frames and I’ll always be improving them, but that’s always the case and that’s why I love doing what I do.
Learning by Experience
The biggest advantage of the day was that I was placed directly in front of hundreds of potential clients, right there in person. This was huge because a living, breathing personality trumps a front page google ranking any day. I spoke with one young lady who said she was frustrated with facebook searches because she couldn’t discern the difference between true, professional wedding photographers and “someone with a nice camera who photographed their cousin’s wedding.”
Next year I would like to get there and get set up earlier so that I could have a little time to walk around and look at the other vendors’ booths. Some of them are really extravagant. Some were so fancy they obviously took a lot of time and money and years of experience to refine.
Thanks for reading and if you were one of the brides at the show, please comment below and let me know how I did. If you have any suggestions for improvement, I would be grateful for that.