We were invited to participate in The Great Bridal Expo, at the Hyatt Regency O'hare, just outside of Chicago. We accepted and then came to terms with the fact that we had no idea how to prepare for a bridal expo. I brainstormed different things that I thought would be important to have and wrote list after list after list. Then I convinced two friends to come help me out because no way was I going to do this myself!
To prepare for the expo I gathered lots of pictures of wedding cakes I've done over the years, prepared and had printed a mini-brochure to hand out, made several model cakes to have on display, made sure I had enough business cards and then baked and baked and baked because I needed 1000 samples. I put each sample into a little lidded cup, and now that we've done the show I'm so glad I did!
When the doors opened we were surrounded by future brides and their grooms waiting for samples. It was insane! People were waiting in line for at least two hours to get a taste of our cake, and we weren't the only cake vendor there. We just talked and handed out samples non-stop from noon until about 2:30, when the expo started the fashion show and we finally got a break. One of my friends who was working with me had to leave at 1:00pm and even though she was standing two feet away from me I never even saw her leave! We gave away every single sample and people were still coming back asking for more. So many people came over to our booth to tell us how fantastic our cake was, and we could hear people as they were walking past our booth talking about how good it was.
All in all it was a great experience and we've had a lot of emails and phone calls from people who tasted our cake there and I'm pretty confident that we're going to be getting lots of orders. We're going to participate in more expos and meets lot of new brides!