Ah yes, the Southern New England Bridal Show at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Every year it snows or rains during load-in night. Every year we go home at the end of the day with no voices left. Every year we feel like collapsing by the time we get home. But… every year we meet a ton of cool people and talk to countless brides and grooms and make great connections. So, we keep going back.
This year was no exception. However, there were some differences between this year and past years. As for positive differences, this year we had me, Emily, and Britt running the booth. It was great to have two leads and our event planner there so people could get a lot of info and get a good feel for our personalities. Turnout was also pretty good, especially considering that sometimes bad weather within a day or two of the event can sometimes cause a lot of people to stay home and drink hot chocolate.
As for a negative difference… In past years at this show you might remember (if you’ve been following along with us for a good amount of time) that we would essentially build a chalkboard room in place. It was kind of monstrous and last year the show coordinators weren’t really too thrilled with what we were doing. It also required a van to transport the panels and also my dad to come and help me build it since it was a two person job. Probably three, but that’s how we do things. This year I had the genius idea to cut the panels down into smaller panels and then hang them on one another with metal rings.
All was good when Emily and I went to set up on Saturday night. They were hanging and all the photos were mounted on it. When I went in on Sunday morning before the show they were just like I left them. I tempted fate and attempted to hang two smaller panels to the bottom, at which point the entire thing came crashing down. It was like when someone breaks a glass at a party and everybody goes silent and stares at the person who broke it. I was that guy. Fifty five minutes until show opening.
No big deal. I’ll hang them again. Three panels in and it came crashing down, this time knocking over a manikin in the booth behind us (Anthony’s House of Formals – a really great business with good people running it). They were gracious enough to roll with it. Now it’s about 30 minutes to go time. I start to panic. I don’t normally panic, I’m usually pretty calm and collected, but the notion of having a blank red curtain (standard show setup) as our booth backdrop was making me sick.
I decided to hang the top two panels only so we could at least have our logo behind us and a few small pictures. I used double rings to not have a third disaster. I got them up about ten minutes before the show opening, then scrambled to get our table set up. It was ridiculous. All’s well that ends well, though, and everything went great once it started. It wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to look, but it served its purpose and we still got to hang out with a ton of people throughout the day. The lame cell phone picture above is from Saturday night, before the big crash. We don’t have any pictures from Sunday because there wasn’t any time to stop and take a photo. I wish we did take a shot though because we put the uplights pointing up at the chalkboards and it looked pretty sweet. CHEAP PLUG – We now offer uplighting.
Overall the show was cool. We had fun, and for any of you that came by to visit us – thanks for doing that! Looking forward to reconnecting with all of you that we met at the show!