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Old October 10th, 2007, 05:00 PM   #1
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Wedding Show Woes

So this past weekend my wife and I did a wedding show that had some crazy times . . so I thought I'd vent a little.

First, we usually set up Friday night. This is good because if you're missing something or something isn't working right you can fix it by Saturday morning. At this show, the venue already had an event going in OUR HALF of the center on Friday night, so we had to set up last minute on Saturday morning.

We show up and unload into our booth space. Then the event director informs us that we have to move to a new booth due to a mistake they made. So we haul all of our stuff to the new space, and it's now an inside corner booth instead of an outside wall booth. This means the back of our booth is now exposed to the public instead of a wall.

So we rush and call the rental place and order more pipe and drape stuff. Then I have to run out and pick up the stuff and get back so we can finish setting up. As I'm headed back into downtown I notice people walking everywhere with dogs. Traffic is getting backed up and it's not looking good. Then, I notice that a large group of people with dogs has formed up right on the street where the loading dock to the event center is. Apparently there is big dog-walkathon type thing going on . . and it is apparently kicking off right where I need to unload at. What's worse is that it's kicking off less than 30 minutes from when the wedding show is set to begin.

Within minutes all traffic is at a standstill while police barricade off roads. I'm sitting in my truck shaking my head in disbelief. I'm being held up by people walking dogs.

Eventually I make it to the loading dock and we finish setting up while the show is already open. Not ideal, but not the end of the world either.

On the 2nd day of the show there is an actual wedding scheduled to take place. Personally I would think it's totally lame to get married at a wedding show in front of a bunch of people you don't know, but that's just me, so whatever.

The problem is, our booth is now right next to the stage where they are getting married. As this ceremony is taking place I'm in the middle of running through the various parts of one of my DVD's with a potential couple. The event director comes over and interrupts me and asks me to turn the volume on my TV down. Now, to be perfectly honest, it's barely loud enough to understand what people are saying, but I give in and turn the volume down from 40 to 35.

Two minutes later the event director comes over AGAIN and and interrupts me AGAIN right in front of this couple and asks me to turn down the volume more. At this point I kind of lose and say "I'm sorry, but I'm trying to do business here." To which he says, "Okay, I'll remember that."

I just don't get how he thinks that I'm going to pay good money for a booth to try and get business and then shut it all down while some couple who didn't want to pay for their own wedding does a hokey free wedding in front of our booth. It was unbelievable. I still can't believe he interrupted me TWICE while I was trying to talk with a couple.

Don't get me wrong, I understand it would have been nice for the couple getting married to have my TV off and everyone watching them, but maybe they should have thought of that before they decided to get married FOR FREE at a wedding show?
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Old October 10th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #2
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I happen to work for a conference center for my day job and I can certainly understand your frustration with the event director. Our event managers, one in particular, would have done the same and probably worse. I really like her, but she's not always too keen on keeping vendors happy at a large expo-type event like that. Her concern is the overall event, which is probably what that guy was doing. Not trying to defend him, just saying I can relate on that point as I see it on a daily basis.

As long as the company that booked the show is happy, event managers are usually happy. Did the expo center host the show or was it organized by a wedding association or other organization? If it was a third party and not the expo center itself I'd make sure you voice your complaint to that third party. Just my two cents from the industry.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 05:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Oveson View Post
I happen to work for a conference center for my day job and I can certainly understand your frustration with the event director. Our event managers, one in particular, would have done the same and probably worse. I really like her, but she's not always too keen on keeping vendors happy at a large expo-type event like that. Her concern is the overall event, which is probably what that guy was doing. Not trying to defend him, just saying I can relate on that point as I see it on a daily basis.

As long as the company that booked the show is happy, event managers are usually happy. Did the expo center host the show or was it organized by a wedding association or other organization? If it was a third party and not the expo center itself I'd make sure you voice your complaint to that third party. Just my two cents from the industry.
You actually brought up a very good point. The event director I'm talking about is the same guy that I paid for the booth space. He isn't someone that works for the event center itself. He IS the one who organized the event and gets the proceeds from the booth sales.

If it were just someone who worked for the event center I would have only been mildly annoyed. But this is the guy that I paid for my space in the show, and for him to interrupt me TWICE while with a potential couple was just way out line I think.

Also, I'm not kidding when I say the volume was already pretty low. I was already apologizing to the couple since it was quite difficult to hear spoken words. This director basically wanted my volume to the point that you couldn't hear it all.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 11:58 AM   #4
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Ouch! If it was the event organizer himself I'd kindly let him know that you won't be patronizing his event again and that you won't recommend it to any other wedding vendors that you associate with. Is this an annual event?
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Old October 11th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #5
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Yes, it's an annual event. There is another fall show, however, so I will likely be switching to that one now.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 05:10 PM   #6
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Man oh man, Travis

What a day, weekend, and event. I don't know how you kept your wits as well as you did. I try to be pretty patient and somewhat tolerant. It doesn't always happen though and I'm sure I would have come unglued with that event organizer.

Come to the wedding show? I would've given them a show they wouldn't soon forget.

I'd probably haul that bozo into small claims court for breach of contract. I might not win but at least I'd ruin HIS day and waste a buch of HIS time. Let him see how it feels.

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Old October 11th, 2007, 05:52 PM   #7
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Well, honestly, hauling him into court would ruin my day as well, so I'd probably pass on that. But otherwise I'll be letting everyone I know in on how I was treated.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 07:53 PM   #8
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The devil made me think it...

Heh, heh, my evil twin made me think perhaps you should stop the sales pitch, grab your camera and begin filming the wedding in progress, making sure to have the prospective clients accompany you as you begin shooting the wedding - filling them in on your lighting, camera angles, sound considerations, etc, etc... When the event director came by to silence you, say "What, isn't this a staged wedding???" After apologizing, wave the clients back to your booth and continue closing the sale, discussing the "hands on" session they just witnessed. And who knows, maybe you could sell the video footage to the B&G. Sorry for the naughty thoughts - now I'll go do my penance.

Seriously though, perhaps for the next event you could get an agreement with the event director to be the designated videographer. I'm sure it would generate sales as the event's de-facto wedding videographer.

Good luck, Michael
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Old October 11th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #9
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Actually, you bring up quite an ironic point. They DID have someone videotaping the "wedding". The husband of a photographer who happens to have a videocamera (he doesn't do this on the side or anything). I was amazed that with 3 videographers in the show that they didn't ask a VIDEOGRAPHER to videotape the wedding.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 09:08 PM   #10
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OMG, sounds a bit crass to me but perhaps consistent with the event director's mantra. Sorry about your plight - a good lesson for us all.

Regards, Michael
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Old October 12th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #11
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Dogs heh....

Just imagine how the officers felt being taken away from real work to be put in charge of holding up traffic so some rich dog lovers can walk their dogs! hehehe.

But it sounds like quite the experience. I completely missed that wedding expo but I was shooting a wedding on the 7th and was required to attend a relative of my Wife's wedding on the 6th, so I was completely booked for the weeked any way. I might try and catch the spring expo, but the funds to get a booth aren't there so I'd just attend to network with the DJs / Video / Photo guys and gals.

Sorry to hear it was such a PITA.

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Old October 12th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #12
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Well

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Actually, you bring up quite an ironic point. They DID have someone videotaping the "wedding". The husband of a photographer who happens to have a videocamera (he doesn't do this on the side or anything). I was amazed that with 3 videographers in the show that they didn't ask a VIDEOGRAPHER to videotape the wedding.
They were already cheaping out and having their wedding at a wedding show so the bar is set pretty low already.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 07:51 PM   #13
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They were already cheaping out and having their wedding at a wedding show so the bar is set pretty low already.
That's a good point. Although it might have been cool to have some real videographers doing their thing to help educate people that it's something you need to do . . oh well.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #14
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No Doubt

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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
That's a good point. Although it might have been cool to have some real videographers doing their thing to help educate people that it's something you need to do . . oh well.
No doubt it would have been neat to have a crew cover that wedding. Some of the neatest footage I saw was from a WEVA convention covered by a bunch of videographers.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:05 AM   #15
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They have the bridal show on a SATURDAY? That's nutty from the start.

I can't imagine the show will be around for long. In Phoenix we have a heavily promoted, pathetically run show also. Yet we also have a strong network of vendors, and few vendors will do the show any more. Word spreads fast.

At the last show they stuck a Pretty Potty vendor in the back row (by himself). The only people that even saw his booth were checking to see if there were more vendors. I imagine most of his visitors were asking where the potty was!
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