Last month was the second annual Canadian African Caribbean Wedding Show. This year was particularly special...because I was there! I was featured in the show as the Lead Event Photographer, aka Service Sponsor!
I've been to trade shows before, but this was the first time that I joined in as a participant and I was very nervous. One of the things that helped me overcome this was the people involved. I'd seen and worked with Treasa Brown from Leigh Events and some fellow participants before. So I was confident that this event would be proper!
For those of you out there who have never participated in a trade show before, here are some helpful tips to make your first experience awesome!
This was another tactic I had to lessen the butterflies in my stomach. The more I know, the less uncertainty there is. So, I asked questions and read all the supplied info from the event coordinators. I also attended an organized meeting weeks before the event at the venue to learn directions and see the parking situation. Then, I made sure to come in early on the day of to get the lay of the land.
Get around and talk to the other show participants. This is a great time to network, not only with potential clients, but also with others in your industry. You never know where it could lead: model shoots, booking clients or just more talented friends.
Try Everything, See Everything...
Literally, see and try everything available. In some trade shows, they give you access to everything the show has to offer. In my case, I was able to see every fashion show, taste every cake and curry, and have multiple Photo Booth sessions.
Comfortable Shoes Required
This is not a day for sitting down. Your job today is to show your stuff! It's much easier to do standing up... You'll be walking thousands of steps all day long. It may seem like a small detail, but wearing comfortable shoes will help with any 8 hour day.
Look out for new trends
Like an attendee, it's important to keep an eye out for new trends that you can take part in. I was fortunate enough to be there when Treasa, Leigh Events and Laba, Ambessa Weddings announced this year's launch of Elegance Noire. Canada's first wedding magazine for women of colour. This is a huge deal for brides out there that were having trouble seeing themselves in the marketplace. In future, I hope to play a part in this magazine.