Working a Wedding Bridal Show :: part 2

bridal show booth display
Continuing our discussion on the best practices of working a Bridal Show:
  1. Promote your blog. Remember that “Bridal Wars” giveaway I mentioned above? Well we decided to take photos of brides/friends and put it on the blog to VOTE for the best photo. Our blog traffic went through the roof that week and several months afterwards. So simple, and it totally worked. We now hear from brides that show up at our booth that they faithfully read our blog. Which is a great form of marketing for our business.
  2. Bring your Calendar. Depending on your type of wedding business it will depend on whether you will actually BOOK new clients at the show. DJ’s, bakers, some photographers and other vendors that offer package pricing can book clients at shows. As wedding planners, we do not bring one single contract to the show. We want appointments. Usually we ask the bride (if the conversation is going well) if we can contact them later to set an appointment or schedule the consult on the spot. EVERY vendor is vying for their attention so our approach is a “soft one”, not pushy at all. We ask to contact them. I will carry a notebook and may write down their name so I can flag them later for follow-up or at least remember the conversation. It’s really your choice, but I find that being respectful of them and their time is a much better approach.
  3. Discounting. Not a huge fan of this concept. For one, we have many clients that will walk through the show and come to see us. (Which is awesome, by the way. Nothing like an excited bride running up and hugging you in FRONT of other potential brides.) I would hate to see a full-priced client walk in and see a published discount. But again, for some vendors this works. If you are going to offer a show discount, be very specific with a limited time frame. I think the best way to discount is wait to send out personalized information to brides after the show when you have collected the attendee database.
  4. Show Follow-Up: We have found that direct snail mail marketing is “zzzzzzzzzzzzzz” and costly. So we use email marketing. Be sure that you have permission to email the show attendees. A good idea is to create your email campaign while you are preparing for the show. How many times are you too tired after a big bridal show or you are moving on to the next big project, that the email campaign gets lost in the shuffle. If you are interested in getting more business, be sure to have a sales “hook” in the email campaign otherwise you should simply look at it as a branding campaign.

Happy Selling!