We recently shared our wedding PR insight with Vows Magazine on how wedding vendors can make the most of bridal shows. It got us thinking of our own experiences, as well as the success (and lesson learned) stories of some of our vendor friends. Here are Something New for I Do’s top dos and don’ts for attending bridal shows:
Dos and Don’ts For Attending Bridal Shows:
Don’t attend a show understaffed: From set-up to break-down and the chaos in between, make sure you come prepared with a team to assist you. You’ll be wishing you had more help. Especially when your booth is swarming with brides and some have to pass you by because you’re busy with another bride. Even if you bring a friend who knows nothing about the industry, having someone to collect information from interested brides for you will be more helpful than you think. If this just isn’t a possibility, make sure your marketing material is attractive (so it’s picked up). And also make sure it conveys your brand and services clearly and creatively (so that you stand out from the stack of business cards).
Do make time to connect with other professionals: You’ll have an opportunity as a business owner to mingle during lulls if you bring extra help. If you do this, you’ll walk away with not only customers, but some good vendors to network with.
Don’t be too salesy: When talking with brides, don’t be so anxious to sell yourself or your services. Make sure you listen to what they have to say. Then, sell around whatever the issue may be. Most vendors usually have a prepared pitch they’ll use to sell brides at shows. Be unique, listen and sell around their specific needs.
Do take notes for next time: While you’re setting up, take a look at what your fellow vendors are doing to promote themselves at the show. What makes their booth unique? What are they handing out? For new professionals, bridal shows can be overwhelming. You always want to design a booth that draws brides in. If it’s on Pinterest, it’s not new. Find something unique and interesting to generate that foot traffic.
Do capitalize on your lead list immediately: Brides leave these shows with an armful of marketing materials. And they will also get bombarded with emails after a show. Try to reach out before the rest of the pack. Remember that weddings can take up to a year to plan. Therefore, you have more opportunities to capitalize on your lead list. Plan emails you can send out over the course of a few months. This will make your business relevant to the whole wedding planning process. You’ll stand out amongst the others who are simply spamming their email with open house invites.