colleagues,I would like to start a conversation here about your
experiences with Bridal shows. What do you think that work and what
doesn’t , what brought most weddings to you etc.
I find that the best advertisement at the Bridal show is just playing
and playing… sometimes it is for 4 hours nonstop, but it is worth it… also there are
pieces that the brides love , especially Pachelbel Cannon or Wagner
Processional arranged By D.Henson – Conant, from Flute and Harp repertoire also Cannon or Vivaldi – Winter.
I prefer smaller shows, because they allow for more personal contact between you and the bride. At larger shows (with 500+ brides and family members in attendance) there’s barely enough time to strike up a conversation as they’re busy picking up your brochures and grabbing handfuls of candy from your table.
I’ve done one show which I would consider “medium” in size (with about 300-400 brides), and I hired an assistant for the day. It was the best decision I’d ever made, because once my table was flooded with people, it freed me up to play and answer questions while she took care of the prize giveaways and handed out brochures and business cards.
It would be hard for me to justify the cost of one of the larger bridal expos, because I have about all the work I can handle based on traffic from other sources (online marketing, etc.). Besides the registration, you have to think about linen rentals, printing of marketing materials, and the cost of any signs, display cases, picture frames, flowers, candy (believe me, they LOVE candy) that you need to spruce up your table. That means the cost of one show can easily add up to over $1000.
I’d rather stick to smaller shows that are venue-based, where it doesn’t cost as much to exhibit, and you get more quality time with your potential customers.
In my rural area, smaller shows (80-140 brides) are the only options available. Over the years I have purchased a table cover with my name on it, a vinyl banner for the back of the booth, a wooden easel for another poster, etc. I always have an assistant who is good at selling to talk to the brides so I can play or go and network with other vendors who might refer work to me. I always bring my amplifier and candy. I use a digital picture frame to display photos from past weddings. I keep my table along the side of the booth welcoming people in, instead of across the front keeping them out.
I have to book at least two weddings to meet my out-of-pocket expenses, and I always seem to. Am I booking 20 weddings? No way! But I keep going because it keeps my name out in front of other people who have hired me for birthday parties, receptions
Thank you all,
I really appreciate your insights. I have to say that I am already doing most of mentioned improvements, but the idea of an assistant didn’t occur to me and I will try it in the future. Also another thing I have done in the past is 10% off coupons that I give out at the show. Coupons are valid for booking for 2010 or 2011, but they have to be used within 30 days after the show, meaning the bride has to book me within a month after the show. That has work quite well for me, at least I got all the bookings in that first month.
So thank you all, if you come up with some more ideas, please keep them coming , we all need more work and weddings in this economy – competing with recorded music.
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