FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- I'm posting this here even though I participated in the AZ expo because it's important that all potential vendors see a review. My business got suckered into participating because we didn't find any local reviews. Since the same people run the expo in every state, I highly doubt the quality improves based on show location.
Vendors, do NOT do business with this company! They will pressure you, lie to you, and then give you no help when you need it. Save your money and spend it on another show because Great Bridal Expo is a complete RIP OFF. Brides, do NOT support this company! You will be disappointed by the show anyway because it's very small and some of the vendors aren't even wedding related. Save your money/time and go to a different expo.
There are more details in the review I posted for the Phoenix expo, but here's a basic summary:
Great Bridal Expo uses high pressure sales techniques to get you to sign up.
Great Bridal Expo failed to file paperwork which nearly prevented us from getting a permit to give out samples, which would have made doing the expo pointless for our business
GBE was unhelpful when contacted about the permit issue and took weeks to straighten it out, with much of the work being done by myself and my business partner. It caused us to be late submitting it which cost an additional fee.
GBE lied to us about how many people were going to attend the expo. They said 3500 with 1200 brides and there were less than 1000 people - more like 750 - with only around 300 brides. This caused us to waste a LOT of product because there weren't enough people there to take samples, which means wasted money and wasted time. Our business took a loss because they lied to us.
GBE misrepresented the size of the show - it was very small and would be quite disappointing for a future bride. So small that there was no way they could have fit 3000 people even if that many had shown up.
GBE allowed businesses to participate that weren't wedding related at all, which is pretty sad since there were less than 50 vendors present.
GBE misrepresented their booth size. We paid for 8x 8 and got a smaller booth.
GBE lied about their level of customer service. They said they'd be available to us to answer questions and help when we needed it - but when they got our money, they stopped answering emails. On the day of the show, all vendors were given inaccurate information about where to unload (huge problem), we were told there was no place to get hot water for our handwash station (we had to break into an off-limits kitchen), and no one even checked on us before or during the show.
The employees we worked with at GBE were varying degrees of clueless and/or totally rude. Debra was the worst. She pressured us really hard to purchase space and then didn't help us at all after we paid. At the show, she came around to pressure us into signing up for the next one... when we mentioned the issue with the samples, she said very condescendingly, "You know you don't have to have samples to do the show, right?" In a cake business, yes, you DO need to sample.
All the vendors we spoke with had the same issues - they were lied to about how many people would attend and got terrible customer service.
To sum up our very long story: GBE will push you into buying, try to get you to sign up for multiple shows, won't help you get necessary information, won't answer your questions, will lie when they do answer, won' t help you at the show, and will treat you poorly if you complain. They are a TERRIBLE company, a total rip off, and now I know why all the other people we know in the industry do the AZ Expo instead.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- Had to pay $8 to attend, $15 to park (which was a deal for the day, otherwise it would have been closer to $40). Only approx 20 vendors attended. The show started at noon. We were there prior to noon, had to wait in line for 45 minutes to get in. Only 3 people checking in >400 attendees!! Once in there, we saw all of the vendors, by 1:30. The bridal fashion show didn't start till 2:30. There were no food vendors there!! We didn't eat prior to arriving, as we thought there would be food!! Only one cake vendor and she did have teeny tiny samples. Which each took one sample. After the fashion show, which we did enjoy, we ate at the hotel. All in all it was a very expensive day and we didn't accomplish much for the time and $$ we spent. We were all VERY disappointed!!!
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- Great Bridal Expo is a HORRIBLE place to exhibit. If you are in the wedding business you DO NOT want to have anything to do with the people at Great bridal Expo. Not only are their sales people pushy, they will take advantage of you making up lies that you have to purchase more than one city or event when that is not true. We got roped into during their multiple city tours. The hotels all turned out to be dumps & NO BRIDES ATTENDED !!!!
The very few that did attend were very low end brides having shot gun weddings & NO wedding budgets. When we brought up our discontent to the sales person at Great Bridal Expo she ignored us. When pressed she referred us to the President of Great Bridal Expo which is where she must get her unpleasant manners from. He has been ignoring us as well. There are many reliable, good intending other wedding exhibit companies out there. Do not waste your time or your money on Great bridal Expo. They are truly Horrible!!
What was interesting was we were only one of a handful of other vendors!! They hardly have more than 20 vendors at each (no wonder the sales person was such a vampireshe saw us coming!!). When we asked about this (concerned that it really wasn't a "real expo" & as a result no one would attend) we were told they set it up like that on purpose so that we would have more time to spend with each bride??? We took that hook, line & sinker.
Now, do you really think they "turn away" exhibitors so that "we" will have more time to spend with the brides? Uh, huh......I hope this warning helps you not to make such a costly mistake by exhibiting with Great Bridal Expo.