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Why invest in participating in a bridal show if you aren’t going to take it as seriously as possibly and make the best ROI that you can?
Bridal shows and weddings expos have been around for many years and brides love attending these events because it is something that makes them feel special and can help them check a lot of things off their planning list!
As the creator of a wedding expo myself, I have learned a lot about what it takes for a business to be successful at a show. I even offer one-on-one booth strategy meetings to help businesses prepare for events.
In this post, I wanted to share a few of the most important tips when it comes to seeing success at a wedding expo.
Figure out what makes your brand unique and use that to stand out against the competition. As I am sure you know there are several different companies within each category in the wedding industry at expos and it isn’t enough to be just another photographer or planner or caterer, or have the best deals, you have to nail down why someone would connect with you on a deeper level and represent that! Are you a dog lover who is obsessed with photographing puppies walking down the aisle? Do you have a special bond with your grandmother who taught you how to cook and that is why you became a caterer? How can you take your story and those unique aspects that make up your personal brand and use that to connect with potential and ideal clients?
Offer something of high value to show attendees, but offer it in a strategic and smart way. Figuring out whether you want to offer a discount or a booking incentive at the show is important and we definitely think there are right and wrong ways to offer these. Our favorite method is booking incentives (i.e. book by this date and get an extra hour of coverage or upgraded honeymoon suite)
When offering either a discount or booking incentive you want to make sure your offer is very clear at the event by using signage and/or having a take away for brides to be able to recall what your offer was. You also need to create urgency by having a deadline. Let’s face it – you don’t want brides coming to you 4 months later hoping you will still honor that deal.
You also don’t want to offer something for free that is going to take a significant amount of work or time from you as the business owner. High value to a client does not have to mean high cost or sacrifice to you. (Adding an hour of coverage is high value for clients because they can fit in more on their wedding day – but is only 1 extra hour of your time versus discounting your entire package).
Follow-up is key. I know that email campaigns seem scary but it doesn’t have to be. I encourage at least a 3 email sequence. First, a thank you email for attending, Second a personal email diving deeper into your business and what makes you unique and third, a reminder that your discount or booking incentive expires soon.
Best part is you can create these emails BEFORE the event so that all you have to do is upload emails, make a few adjustments and hit send. Pro tip – have two different sequence buckets – one for the overall bridal list and one for the brides who actually stopped and spent some time chatting with you (make sure you are capturing their information at your booth). The theme of the emails can be the same, but keep the overall bucket more general and the other bucket more personal. If you have time to even add in specific details about a certain couple that you really clicked with, that is always another stand out factor!
These are very brief overviews of just a few tips that we have for getting the best return on your investment. We have a 25-page PDF on How to be a Successful Vendor that we’d love to share to those interested. You can reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
A preview into the topics that we cover in this PDF:
– How to pick which bridal shows/wedding expos to participate in
– Booth design
– How to showcase your unique brand
– What marketing materials to bring to a bridal show
– Offering discounts and/or booking incentives
– Best ways to offer giveaways
– What should you do leading up to the event
– Follow up strategy/what to do with the bridal list
– Getting your best ROI/Break down of costs associated
– Bonus! Questions we are most frequently asked
– Bonus! Quick tips for bridal show success and etiquette