Echuca Wedding Expo 2017

First time at the Echuca Wedding Expo!

As of 2017 – the local wedding crew know about me :D.

So off I go to into a new little space this year. I’m quite looking forward to doing the Echuca Wedding Expo on the Sunday 28th of May 2017. If you’re interested in checking it all out come along!  The expo the Stubberfield Group Sports & Entertainment Centre from 10am to 3:30pm

Echuca Wedding Expo Logo

Echuca Moama Wedding Expo 28.05.2017

I’ll be doing my thing in booth 66 along the first stretch of booths. Also – I’ll also be opening the event with a few songs on the main stage. So should be a great event!

Since last year I’ve been asked by a few people why I don’t do the Echuca Moama Wedding Expo? It had me thinking. Why would I? Why wouldn’t I? I had a bit of a think about these things and came up with a few reasons why I would, I why I may not.

Why not do the Echuca Wedding Expo?

Why not indeed? I’ve been a musician in Echuca for at least 5 years now. I’ve done weddings, had fantastic feedback. Does it seem like I don’t need the expo? Even though I do have my foot in the door a bit, compared to some other local musicians, the amount of wedding work I get is quite minimal.

Does that mean that weddings aren’t really my thing?

I have made my staple of gigging in venues really. I do enjoy the hustle and bustle – even the roughness and rowdiness that comes from pub gigs. They’re easy too! Walk in, set up, play, pack up, get paid, leave. Really easy work for the money. Also I have no pressure or expectations really in the local pub scene. People know what they are going to get.

Is it the cost maybe?

The booth I got was approximately $500. I’ve also given up my time on a Sunday to play a gig. So the effect is two fold. If I don’t gig – and then pay to go to the expo – it could mean a $800-$1000 difference to my weekend.

Is there too much competition?

This Echuca wedding expo had 10 booths in the “Musician” category. From what I’ve heard, that is the most there has ever been. Does that water down the market so much that it doesn’t make it worth it?

Is it hard work?

I mean – yes I’ve worked in sales. I really hated feeling like I was forcing a product down someones throat that they really weren’t wanting or looking for. Will I have to blow my own horn very hard? Am I comfortable doing that? Or do I just turn up and the business just comes to me.

One other thought I had was, am I really good enough to mix it with the professionals that operate in the wedding space? Some of these acts are incredible. Talented, professional, good looking and unique. Did I have what it takes?

So – I went and did the expo. Here is where the other half comes in….

Why do the Echuca Wedding Expo?

I’m now on the other side of the Echuca Wedding expo. It was a yuuuuuge (as a certain US president would say) weekend for me. Not just for the expo, but with gigs, family and other social events. Lets say I was up at 7am both mornings – and in bed no earlier than 3am each night.

Echuca Wedding Expo Tyler Selfie

Lokki Acoustic & Tyler Hudson at the Echuca Wedding Expo 2017

I went to make a start on setting up my booth on the Saturday arvo. I wanted to take my DJ equipment along, just as a visual indicator that I can do that also. Heading down the stretch and meeting a few neighbouring booths was great – but also quite intimidating. Some of these booths had literally spend thousands of dollars on their sets. Extravagant visuals and props were sprawled out of many of the booths. Massive banners and pop up signs were the norm – clearly the bigger, more bright or unique booths had the experience behind them and knew how to really stand out. Then here I was – with pretty much just my music gear and my little hanger sign that is about as big a doormat hanging from my speaker.

No matter! I’m taking it all as a learning experience this year and went about my business. I was one of the early ones to arrive the next day. I’d decided if I didn’t quite look spectacular in my booth – I was at least going to sound as good as I could.

As the day unfolded, I got quite a few answers to my original questions and qualms about why I wouldn’t do this expo.

Does that mean that weddings aren’t really my thing? 

Luckily I had already resolved myself to think that weddings are DEFINITELY my thing. This year has been a busy one. New material has been a little harder to craft into sets as gigs are coming so often, it’s sometimes hard to keep things fresh. In the bar scene – If people can see you 3 times a weekend every weekend – you kind of lose your shine. With weddings – you get a new set of people to wow nearly every time! Most weddings mean a party – people are up for having a good time so the newlyweds can reflect on their own celebration. Even though there is a bit more pressure, and the work is much more, the chance to step up really does suit me as well. So I can put that to rest – weddings ARE my thing.

Is the cost of the Expo too much?

The Echuca Wedding expo I saw as more of an investment. Yes short term it was a cost, but long term it was going to benefit me much, much more. Even if I got one booking (which I have) that would mean I have made money on the investment. So that puts this to rest fairly easily.

Is there too much competition?

At the Echcua Wedding expo – each musical booth had 6 minutes to perform every hour. So all up we had about 30 minutes of play time each. While that wasn’t much, it did allow a lot more time to actually talk to people, which I felt was the main thing anyway. As this was my first expo, I didn’t feel the competition effect as much. Others that have done it a few times may disagree with me and see a bigger drop in the work that has come from the expo. Yes I would’ve liked to play a little bit more – this space in particularly will be interesting in the coming years.

Is it hard work?
Lokki Echuca Wedding Dress Rehearsal

Dress Rehearsal for the Echuca Wedding Expo 2017

At the start of the day we saw people just wandering by. If you didn’t shout out to them – you didn’t get much. The past salesman in me kicked in pretty quick – soon I was stopping people everywhere. To tell you the truth, I had a lot of fun actually doing that. Part of what makes me a good entertainer I believe is being able to talk to people – on the mic, one on one, in groups. Approaching people has never been hard for me – luckily! This was one of those situations where you had to be approaching EVERYONE!

The lack of sleep the nights before had a bit of a drunk effect on me too, so I was in finer form than usual :D. The work doesn’t just fall in your lap – you still have to earn it. So I decided to be myself and have a little fun and party even if no one else wanted to. That’s what you do as an entertainer! You have to show that you can liven up the party – so off I went.

Everything else kinda fell into place then – and it was great fun and a great time. People asked me “how did you go?” to which I replied “I have no idea! But I’m having fun”. I told myself, I was part of the club now. If I got no bookings, at least I’m in the industry and people know about me. Luckily, amidst my having fun, some people actually caught me performing and liked what I was doing. So some immediate enquiries came through and everything worked.

What I’ll Do Different next time….

I really did try and learn from some of the experienced operators what I could do better next time.

Signage

One thing is my signage – even if it is just to bring myself up to a standard. Other performers booths looked AWESOME – and I was jealous. So that is a definite.

An extra hand

Being solo in a booth meant I was stuck in one spot most of the day. I really wanted to go and chat to people in other booths and get out and about. Next time – I’ll bring a helper for sure.

Use other media

One great idea was to have a TV or iPad etc going with some media while I wasn’t able to perform. Next time, I’ll be ready.

So that was about it for my Echuca Wedding Expo experience! Will I be back next year? Sure ;). Planning to be bigger and better too!

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