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We are discussing the different ways to get more clients on the blog. And today we focus on wedding shows. Is a Wedding Show your best option? Let me start by giving you my personal experience. When I first attended a wedding show as a vendor, I thought I nailed it. I had a great looking booth (designed based on the themes that were popular at the time). I had all my post cards ready, banners and business cards. I had a fantastic give away lined up for my brides and was excited for the day to come. The show came and we had quite a few people at our booth. Lot’s of brides that seemed interested and even filled out the ballots. I collected emails and was extremely excited about the follow up.
PS: We have work sheet templates to use at wedding shows below.
Come Tuesday, I email my clients and I hear nothing back. Day 3, I did another follow up and still nothing. I was completely devastated. I had spent almost $1000 on marketing materials, $2000 to register at the show itself, paid for extra services such as electrical, furniture and a few other things. I spent at least $5000.00 that weekend and I had no bookings. I aimed to book at least 5 new clients to get back all the hard earned money and make a little bit of a profit. Guess what? I had zero bookings. Nothing! Nothing to show for a weekend of hard work.
Is a Wedding Show your Best Option?
Yes it is! Why do I say that after a failed attempt? What did I do wrong? Well after this failed attempt, I decided to a hire mentor (Best decision I ever made by the way – I booked them 1 year into the business after getting no clients). I explained my long sobbing and frustrating story. She sympathized and went on to tell me what I could do better and how to really get the needed attention the next time I do it. Before I tell you how you can rock and have a successful wedding show experience, here are a few things I did wrong.
- I did not research the show. If only I had taken the time to research it a little bit more (Don’t get me wrong, it was exactly were my clientele (target niche) were going to be). The only thing is, the other vendors really rocked their set up of their booths, and mine was great, but just great. It needed to stand out.
- We had no weddings under our belt, so we could not show case anything in terms of a wedding portfolio. And brides are visual and really wanted to see our past work. They kept asking for it.
- We were set up in the right spot with lots of traffic, but our booth did not really pop, compared to everyone’s booth at the wedding show.
Now here is how you can make the best out of it. At the next show, we managed to book over 15 Weddings for that year, and the following year we booked 5 more from that very show as clients kept our marketing material and remembered us even after a year later. Here are the tips (PS use them wisely 🙂 ) :
What type of clients will attend the show?
Keep in mind the type of clientele that the wedding show is targeting. They are some really elite and high end wedding shows, that target brides with over $50k budget. If this is your client type, you need to ensure that you Website, marketing materials and especially your booth is above elegant. And we mean extremely high end and unique. You need to dress extremely prestige looking to really attract these types of brides. And they are some shows that attract average to norm brides. Go ahead and attend a few shows and pay attention to the clients that come in and the type of vendors. Look at the set ups and note how the vendors approach the clients. This will tell you if this is the right show for you. Expect to spend up to $10,000 on very elite wedding show, but the return on investment would be to great to miss out on :).
Leading up to the Wedding show – Pay attention to where they are marketing the show.
This is to ensure that the show will have a lot of your clients attending. If they are not promoting or not promoting it really well then you won’t benefit. You want quality leads at the show. I attended a new wedding show once and it was a complete disaster. Barely any brides attended it, a lot of the people that came through all wanted free things and were not interested in booking. They should be promoting it on the radio, with wedding bloggers, local magazines and definitely on Facebook. Brides are on Facebook.
Your booth Displays should be out of this world. You want it to look extremely beautiful. Partner up with some vendors for cross promotion and help each other out in terms of decor. Let the brides connect with your set. Let them be WOWed. My first booth was okay, my second booth was an actual Tiffany box that I had someone design. We gave away a Tiffany bracelet to a lucky winner. Our booth was full of potential clients. And they loved the Tiffany theme, and a lot of them wanted a Tiffany styled wedding. Guess what? We booked over 15 weddings at that show, 5 the following season as they had seen us at the previous show.
Collect Brides Email and contact information
Do not forget to collect emails at the show. A bride has given you legal permission to contact you once she fills in your forms. Remember the laws of emailing people that have not given you consent. Make sure you indicate on your sign up form that they have given you the right to contact them. In addition to collecting emails, have an area for business cards or post cards of your marketing material. What is the secret of getting emails? It is giving them a Freebie in exchange for their email. You can do this on social media too. It does not need to be restricted to wedding shows.
Promote your attendance
Just because the wedding show is promoting the show does not mean you should not be doing the same. My biggest return on investment was promoting my attendance at the show. You’re on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook right? Promote at least once a week leading up to the event. Talk about other vendors that will attend. Such as “looking forward to meeting “XY Photography at the up coming show June 6th, 2016”.
“ABC Events is getting excited for the up coming wedding show coming up in Wedding town June 6th, 2016 at the Coin Centre! Come visit our booth for wedding inspiration & advice on planning your most special day! Looking forward to meeting all the potential brides. Our booth number is: “366 #ABCEvents. “
Lastly invite potential clients to see you at the show
If you are working on signing on a few clients but they have not finalized, why not invite them to the show where they can see you and meet you. And event if a client has already booked, invite them over to meet other vendors. You will look good. These clients might bring friends that are thinking about getting married. Use every opportunity to network with other potential brides and the vendors at the show.
In conclusion is a Wedding Show your best option?
- Yes I would definitely encourage you to do the show
- Make sure your booth is completely amazing
- Bring a copy of your work (Real weddings or style shoots if you do not have a wedding) and share this in either an album – but a laptop or TV is better as you can get more eyes on it.
- Promote it on all your social networks, this will definitely attract brides to your booth
- Once at the show, live tweet and keep sharing on social media (Tag the show organizers and other vendors so that they can share your post and increase your publicity).
- Do not forget to collect emails.
- Email clients as early as two days later after collecting contacts.
- Keep posting on social media even after the show
Some booths that we totally fell in love with:
Found on Pinterest- No source
So is a Wedding Show your Best Option? Tell us in the comments below.
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