My first bridal show this weekend at DVinfo.net

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Old January 11th, 2005, 03:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Westfield, IN
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My first bridal show this weekend

I'm excited and a bit nervous. I'm starting my second year of paid wedding videography. I quickly booked up 2004 with cheap prices, but haven't booked single job for 2005 since charging what I think I'm worth as a relative newcomer. This is a part-time business endeavor, but I'm trying to generate demand to support full-time work. Other videographers I've talked to say bridal shows offer a good ROI, so I'm plopping down about $1300 for booth, electricity (yes, AC current is not included with the booth!), brochures, demo CD-ROMs, etc. I'll be working the booth by myself half of each day, and then with an assistant the other half. I hope I'm not forgetting anything. Here's what I'm bringing so far:

* 300 tri-fold color brochures
* 200 business cards
* 50 CD-ROM demos w/WMV and MOV versions (only for people who ask for a demo or fool me into thinking they're genuinely interested)
* 13" TV (Hey, it's lightweight and portable -- maybe a 30" flat TV next year :)
* DVD player for looping four short promos (about 20 minutes total)
* Roland MA-8 stereo monitors for DVD audio
* camera, tripod, light, and wireless mic for demonstration/educating the brides (so they know what to expect)
* Clipboarded registration forms and ink pens
* Snacks for my assistant and I
* Lots of charm and patience

Promoters are providing two chairs and a 10' x 10' booth with skirted 8' table. A 7" x 44" sign with company name will also be provided.

Can you offer any advice to a first-time exhibitor? Is it worth bringing an appointment book? I doubt anyone will hire me on the spot without a formal consultation and a chance to watch an actual wedding video. My goal is to get my name out there, let the short demos give a representative sample of my style, and generate some leads to follow up with after the show.

Have a great 2005, everyone!

T.J.
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Old January 11th, 2005, 03:51 PM   #2
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Tim

How may girls are they expecting? I hope it is a lot since you are paying a lot. If the numbers are expected to be 700-1000+ you will probably need more brochures, cards and especially CDs.

I would suggest a bigger TV. You need to grab their attention. A 13 inch is to easy to get looked over.

I would also suggest leaving your video gear at home and instead bring a Bride or a Mother of the Bride. Girls love to talk to girls about their wedding. Show clips of the Bride working with you and it is a for sure winner.

Definetly bring your appointment book. You need to show that you are well organized. You can check "their date" and also use it to schedule them for an in studio consultation.

All My Best,
Mark Von Lanken
Picture This Productions
www.TulsaWeddingVideos.com
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Old January 14th, 2005, 12:02 PM   #3
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Thanks, Mark.

I appreciate the feedback, Mark.

This is being billed as the biggest show in the state of Indiana. If I run out of materials on Saturday, I can produce enough of a lower-quality brochure after hours to get me by on Sunday.

We're expecting below-normal temperatures this weekend, so I don't know if many people will brave the cold. I'm very disappointed that I haven't heard ANY radio promo for the event on the three stations that are supposedly sponsoring this show. Nor have I seen the billboards that were promised. Given the lack of promotion, I don't know if turnout will be very good, but I'm hopeful.

I'd like a bigger TV too. You buying? With only the one table in a 10' x 10' booth, I don't know where I'd put a bigger TV anyway.

I just don't know what to expect, having never attended this particular show before. Live and learn, I guess...
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Old January 17th, 2005, 08:52 AM   #4
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So....How did it go??
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Old January 18th, 2005, 12:14 PM   #5
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Good time

I got at least five very solid leads that I'm following up on this week, people who definitely want to schedule a consultation. All of them are getting married in '05 -- May through October. Luckily, there were only three over videographers present at this show.

Networking was good. I may have found another shooter to assist me when my main guy has a schedule conflict or is sick. I was also recruited an establish, highly regarded photo/video company in town to shoot freelance with them. Even on my dinky 13" TV, they seemed impressed with what I could do with my Panny DVC80. I also hooked up with two wedding coordinators and made a new photographer friend.

Show attendance was lower than expected. I can't give you an exact reason. I estimate that about 500 people visited each day. I spoke to dozens of brides- and grooms-to-be and gave out about 150 brochures and about 70 CD-ROM demos. (People were snatching them up. Many said, "Great idea" and things along those lines.) I wish I could have signed up more folks, but the general impression I got from people was "don't call us, we'll call you." I can't say it was a good investment just yet, but I'm pleased in the immediate responses I got, and I feel I made a successul stride in getting my name out to some of the wedding market and area wedding vendors.

The swimwear segment in the fashion show was another nice bonus :)
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Old January 18th, 2005, 04:37 PM   #6
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Tim

It sounds like you made good use of your time and money by networking with other vendors.

Don't judge the show too soon. We will often book Brides 6-12 months after the show. At the end of the year we evalute which Brides were booked from the show and which Brides were booked from a vendor we met at the show. Only then, do we determine if the show was sucessful.

Another thing to consider is how much money did each Bride book. 2 years ago the first 3 brides booked a total of $14,000 of business and last year the first 3 brides only booked a total of $6000, so you can never really tell until you look back at the year.

Last year we did a wedding where the Bride got our demo 2 years ago and had been holding onto it, just waiting to meet a man to get married to.

All My Best
Mark Von Lanken
Picture This Productins
www.TulsaWeddingVideos.com
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Old January 19th, 2005, 01:20 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mark Von Lanken : Tim

Last year we did a wedding where the Bride got our demo 2 years ago and had been holding onto it, just waiting to meet a man to get married to.

All My Best
Mark Von Lanken
Picture This Productins
www.TulsaWeddingVideos.com -->>>

Hey, that made me think of a new marketing idea. I'm gonna go to singles bars and hand out DVDs of my wedding demos!
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Old January 24th, 2005, 08:57 AM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Craig Seeman : <<<-- Originally posted by Mark Von Lanken : Tim

Last year we did a wedding where the Bride got our demo 2 years ago and had been holding onto it, just waiting to meet a man to get married to.

All My Best
Mark Von Lanken
Picture This Productins
www.TulsaWeddingVideos.com -->>>

Hey, that made me think of a new marketing idea. I'm gonna go to singles bars and hand out DVDs of my wedding demos! -->>>

Ha!

I'm pretty encouraged that one of the couples I met with at the show had booked me late in '03 but had to put off their wedding. A year later they contacted me again and are interested in seeing some of my newer work. (I've improved a lot since then and have better gear.) Their wedding is May 28, which isn't far away. Four times out of five, once I get the couple into my home studio for a screening, they hire me. I feel pretty confident this couple will hire me.
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