This is your investment. You want to make the bridal show work for you in every way possible. You can’t just show up and expect the best. Preparation, presentation, and follow-up are some of the key steps in the bridal show process. By following these seven “commandments”, your bridal show participation will be worth every minute!
Thou Shalt Be Prepared
First, choose the right wedding event. For professional and well-connected experiences, find shows that are headed by experienced promoters, usually members of Bridal Show Producers International (BSPI).
Plan the following details ahead of time. You need to choose the right booth size and choose prizes and gifts for the brides and grooms. Make a budget for the booth design and a budget for staff. Create collateral in advance.
Prepare an emergency bridal show marketing tool-kit:
- business cards
- breath mints
- change of clothes
- safety pins
- duct tape (this is for your display, not you hopefully).
If you need questions answered, talk to your sales representative. They should be willing and able to explain anything you need to prepare for the bridal show. If they can’t or won’t, you’re in the wrong show.
Thou Shalt Prepare Thy Staff
You must educate your staff before the show. Instruct them on how they should represent your business. Their demeanor and appearance is important because the first impression is critical. Rehearse your pitch. Make a schedule ahead of time so your staff knows when to show up. Pencil-in scheduled breaks in case your staff gets overwhelmed or an emergency arises.
If it’s just you, make sure you have water and snacks. Remember to breathe before you speak to your next customer. Don’t worry, if you present yourself and your booth correctly, this show will fly by very fast.
Thou Shalt Proclaim Your Name
Don’t forget to display your business name. Common sense? Yes, but people forget sometimes the simplest detail all too often. Have adequate signage for not just your name but for your promotions, collateral, and samples.
Thou Shall Not Have a Boring Booth
Simple touches make a big difference. Provide strong visuals. Be creative. Welcome couples into the booth so provide ample (walking) space.
Thou Shall Not Overwhelm
Even though we say to not have a boring booth, you cannot overwhelm your potential clients. Keep it simple. Don’t unload your business into your booth. You need to create a comfortable environment for the couples to come in and for yourself and staff also. You want to come home at the end of a successful day feeling fantastic, not feeling miserable about your experience because you kept tripping over your own merchandise.
Not only is it about the booth, but about the information you present. The right information is the right amount. So set appointments, don’t sign contracts. Here, you came to the bridal show for clients. Next, have the clients come to you to see your place of business, to see how you operate, to examine more portfolios to ensure they will do business with you.
Thou Shalt Follow Up
Work your lead list the next business day (not the weekend, you and your clients need to relax). Work it again. Call or e-mail them. Tell them to check out your website and blog. Invite them to follow you on Facebook or Twitter. Confirm appointments.
The biggest commandant you shouldn’t break?
Thou shall participate!
According to credible industry sources, over 900,000 brides and grooms will be attending bridal shows over the next year. You cannot afford to miss out on these opportunities!
So follow these seven commandments for your next bridal show experience. Not only do bridal shows help you, they create perfect opportunities for your clients: the brides and grooms of today.
Great Bridal Expo® ; Great Bridal Expo Group, Inc. Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved.