Today’s post is dedicated to our most recent event project which we were thrilled to produce with and on behalf of the events team at Chiswick House & Gardens Trust. This quiet oasis of landscaped Italianate gardens located in west London, with its stunning 18th-century villa, has long hosted beautiful weddings but had not, to date, hosted a wedding showcase to really demonstrate its endless possibilities.  I’m a strong believer that the bridal market of today expects to see and experience so much more before buying – technology has made that possible in so many ways, it’s now far more expected that venues and wedding professionals can truly demonstrate their worth and their work much earlier in the wedding journey and hosting an impressive wedding showcase is a key way of delivering that.

Cue Kelly Chandler Consulting to produce and project manage an eye-catching, inspiring, well attended and commercially successful live event.

I’ll let the photos do the talking but here are some of the key show traits which we worked hard to bring out and which you can too:

1.  Collaboration – teamwork, team spirit (whatever you want to call it) it was clear from the start that this was a team game – we wanted to get away from separate companies purely displaying their talents and more towards everyone working to dress and design beautiful spaces – this was represented throughout the show and in particular in the 4 distinctively designed dining tables, the placement card table and the log/tree trunk creation which were the work of lots of wedding professionals (do see full credits below).

Champagne flutes with name cards | Kelly Chandler Consulting Log / tree styled wedding cake display Styled wedding breakfast table orange purple pink | Kelly Chandler Consulting

2.   A warm welcome – we humans are simple folk really and everyone appreciates good food and drink; a wedding show is a far more relaxing experience if guests can circulate with a lovely cocktail in hand, enjoy some edible bites as they waft through what should be a warm, friendly and fun experience. Guest feedback on the Chiswick House & Gardens Showcase was exceptionally positive on this front and both Food Show and Ampersand (two of the venues’ approved caterers) really showcased their separate wedding catering talents throughout the event with some real delights.

Waiter tray canapes | Kelly Chandler Consulting

3.  The guest journey  – try to make the guest experience as simple and rewarding as possible – we ensured we had good event signage so that guests could find us (very key) and greeted each couple with a beautifully designed show guide so they could know what was going on (and when) and who was part of the show. Then they were treated to a luxury goody bag at the end of the visit as a small thank you.

Rows of pink A4 goodie bags | Kelly Chandler Consulting

4. Inspiring and sharing  – as I’ve already mentioned, couples planning their wedding in 2017 tend to really do their research more than ever and want to learn from the experts and get to know the wedding team they’re putting together to ensure they’re a great match to their ideal wedding day. There’s no better way than to be able to join in and listen to expert talks and workshops on key wedding topics, as well as to be able to listen to live music. Our expert stage was filled from start to finish to bring as much to life as possible.

Bride model and wedding dresses on mannequin Kelly Chandler speaking at open day | Kelly Chandler Consulting Faux cherry blossom tree display | Kelly Chandler Consulting

The results?

The in-house team have been exceptionally busy fielding enquiries, lining up show rounds and booking in wedding dates. Past inspiring wedding shows we’ve organised have resulted in an increase in annual wedding bookings of 20. Pretty good don’t you think?

Do you host a wedding showcase? What changes can you implement to make it representative of the weddings you actually produce?  If you’d like to talk about outsourcing or having additional help with your next showcase, then do get in touch.

Images: Andrew Gleed Photography &  Kate Nielen Photography // Florals: All for Love // Tabletop hires:  Couvert // Acrylic place cards: Intricate Creations // Cake: Sherry Hostler Cake Artistry // Furniture: Academy Furniture // Catering: Food Show // Catering  – Ampersand Catering // Marquee:  Academy Marquees // Tree creation: All for Love London // Bridal Gown Boutique:  Ellie Sanderson Bridal // Dancefloor: Lighting with Intent, Lit up Letters: Doris Loves