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The Benefits Of Attending A Wedding Show

The Toast & Jam team discuss the benefits of attending wedding shows – where vendors like Chicago wedding DJs are preparing to fill their calendars for the upcoming busy wedding season!

by Mary Nisi

Dear reader, as we know, this is a hot time of the year for those planning a wedding and looking around for vendors. As a result, vendor dates and waitlists – especially for Chicago wedding DJs – are filling up faster than you can say mazel tov.

Biased we may be, but it’s been shown again and again that entertainment is a critical part of your wedding and can really elevate your event for your guests from ‘something I went to last year/month/week’ to ‘remember that kickass wedding we went to?’

That’s why, as sleepy January morphs into the rest of the year, it's time to start thinking about attending a wedding show. The options in our breezy city are overflowing, so it’s time to gather your closest crew and head to a wedding show near you.

Wedding shows are fun for all and a low-pressure way to meet potential vendors and gain inspiration for the Big Day.

Let’s dive in feet-first and discuss the benefits of attending a wedding show – and how it can take a lot of legwork out of finding that perfect vendor.

But First – Location, Location, Location!

There will be plenty of wedding shows to pick from in Chicagoland – trust us.

You’ll want to make sure you’re choosing your wedding show wisely. If the words ‘convention center’ are in the name of the show, you’re probably going to wind up attending a generalized vendor show that is fully open to any vendors that want to join – and who often want to be everything to anyone.

Frankly speaking, generalized shows can be a race to the bottom in terms of price and quality. Some vendors may not be the same caliber as others and it’s easy to get confused while navigating the fray.

Try to attend shows that are invite-only (for the vendors) and held at a more boutique wedding venue. This means that only experienced vendors that have a pre-established relationship with the venue and that have a pristine local reputation receive invitations.

This isn’t to say that wedding shows held at convention centers aren’t worth attending, but if your goal is to only attend one or two shows, avoid overwhelming yourself, and feel confident in your vendor choices, we highly recommend invite-only shows!

Avoid Going To Contract Right Away

A good wedding DJ company will have an engaging setup and will hopefully be able to perform, so you can get a taste of what it is like to work with them.

They may set up their booth how they’d set it up at a wedding, they might incorporate lighting, they should have their logo and/or a banner front and center, they might have a slideshow, and they should have a little sweet treat to keep passersby energized for their vendor shopping experience! We personally favor an absolutely deadly cupcake tower when Toast & Jam attends a wedding show.

It’s natural to be impressed, but no good DJ will expect you to book with them right then and there. More than likely they’ll have a signup sheet or have business cards to hand out so that potential clients can connect at their leisure – not while they’ve been walking around for hours in a busy area. If a DJ – or any vendor, really – pushes you to sign on with them at the event, no matter how much you click with them, just move on.

See, a discovery process is key. This means booking one or two calls with your vendors to see whether you vibe with them and they with you – then you sign a contract.

Toast & Jam will never go to contract without the discovery process complete. We do that because we want to ensure that our prospects actually want what we’re selling!

The Key Takeaway: Make A Connection

Remember, vendor shows you want to attend are in venues for the area you’d like to actually have your wedding! Like downtown Chicago, for example. At the risk of repeating ourselves, there will be a ton of wedding shows during these slower months – and the clock is ticking.

Vendor shows are an amazing way to connect with vendors in an informal way – to get that face time with them in an environment where you can also see how they present themselves professionally. It can be hard to schedule initial meetings; you’re trying to schedule around at least 3 different calendars, but this is a way to see them in action.

You can look at a website, social media and reviews, but it’s hard to get a sense of someone’s vibe before you meet with them. Wedding shows mitigate the risk of the energy not being right before going through with setting up an appointment.

Connect with the Toast & Jam team today!

We’re Toast & Jam, the most 🔥 wedding DJ service in Chicago. We want to turn your wedding into a super-fun dance party that your friends and fam will reminisce over for years to come.

Sound cool? Cool. Fill out our short little contact form here so we can get a sense of your needs, wants, and desires - and we’ll go from there!

Bonus: We exist on social media! Here’s our Facebook, and here’s our Instagram. Happy scrolling.

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