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Old December 11th, 2009, 08:13 AM   #1
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Bridal shows

anyone still doing these, and how are the results these days? I am about to sign
for one in February, i just hope I am not wasting my money.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 09:40 AM   #2
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Scott,
well I can't speak about your area but here in Chicagoland there are 2 BIG companies that produce the shows, they used to be partners then split and the one started his own thing so now they compete.

Anway, last year I did 2 shows because I got a great deal on the space. I hadn't done a show for a number of years and after doing the 2 I realized why I had stopped doing shows. Lower attendance, a lot of looky lews, and no business out of them. I think a big number of brides let the keyboards doing the walking, find a bunch of vendors via internet, then get together with the ones they want to and go from there.
I could be all wrong but I know I won't be doing any more shows EVER. But that's me.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 09:59 AM   #3
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what about print advertising? I had planned on doing that as well, to hit
a new market. I don't want to gamble a lot of money and lose.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #4
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we have a show january 11. there is usually a very good attendance. i have been a vendor before but not since 2006.

i am promoting our new basic video service, most brides usually walk quickly past the vendor booths to the fashion show. this bridal fair has a morning and afternoon fashion show each 1.5 hours.

the plan of attack is to hand out our info and bridal show coupon. this is usually the first question from brides. What is your show discount?

i am trying to market to the bride wanting a very basic recording and this show typically attracts them.

the handouts will probably get lost in the "brides bag o stuff" consisting of items thrown at her by vendors as she raced to the fashion show.

i do receive a list with the contact info for all brides who registered. i want to do a follow up email but have not decided on the approach.

instead of an email with an incentive to book i am considering just a thank you email and hope you enjoyed the show. this might stand out amongst the other email received trying to sell the bride a product or service.

any ideas on how to get the brides from the show to register for our e newsletter?
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Old December 11th, 2009, 12:01 PM   #5
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I always attend the shows, but not as a vendor. I go to network with photographers and venues, pay my $10 or $20 bucks to get in and set up some meetings to show my work. There are always planners/venues looking for new connections. Networking is by far the best way to get leads in this biz IMHO.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 12:53 PM   #6
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I agree on the networking and i keep in contact with all vendors and use the show to make new connections.

i think of the bridal show as a way to network with the brides. not so much to sell them at the show but as an introduction to later contact them by email, post card etc.

if i recall correctly it is suggested a bride needs to relate to you in some fashion at least eight times before booking. the bridal show is one of many connections.

it is ideal when a bride is referred to you by another vendor. she can then recall meeting you at the bridal show, receiving you card, email etc. this is one of the eight connections.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #7
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I've done 3 shows in the past two years. The last one was about 3 weeks ago because I landed a free booth!

I've booked ZERO brides.

It's mainly people/brides/families just grabbing your card, pamphlet, DVD, etc. to take back home and go through later.

Is it worth the cost and effort? Not in my opinion. However it is a good way to meet other vendors.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 02:07 PM   #8
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Whether or not it is worth it will depend on a number of things: you and your product, the quality of the show and your market.

For us, we do the same wedding show every year and have been in it for about 6-7 years now. We've always booked some weddings from it, sometimes even AT the show itself. Our show costs about $650, so it's been just worth it for us to do the show every year.

My one piece of advice? If you're going to do a show .. be aggressive. You can't just sit there and let all the brides walk past you. At a wedding show, brides' eyes tend to glaze over and they walk around like zombies. You have to get out in front of them and introduce yourself and get them to stop for a second and check out your work and talk to you. Even if a bride brushes me off, I still usually try and give her one of our brochures so maybe she'll check us out later.

Good luck!
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Old December 11th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #9
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yes you have to be aggressive booth location is always a factor.

one year we were right next to a dj, so it was very difficult to talk with brides as we were competing with his music.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #10
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Our experience in the UK is very different.

Our main objective at wedding fairs is to get our demo into each visitor's hand. Second is to chat with them, third is to make an appointment to see them in their own home. We almost never book a wedding and the few we do usually don't confirm.

As an aside - we used to offer wrapped sweets (Celebrations) as an inducement to stay but Elf n'Safety laws in the UK mean we have to ask the parent's permission before allowing their children to have one - even if they're helping themselves without invitation so we stopped it.

However, we don't go to the big fairs which we've found economically useless, but prefer lower key affairs - the best are charity events, which get a good type of client, willing to pay and listen.

Unlike us, Danny O'Neill has recent experience of one of the biggest UK shows. I wonder if he'll comment?

I am aware that photographers (who are so numerous most fairs limit the number in any one show) find fairs of declining value. There are many fewer video producers prepared to shell out for fairs so for us it's easier. We also have a good relationship with one of the main regional organisers and occasionally get invited to participate free of charge because no video people have taken space. That's to do with having a reliable and good-looking stand I believe.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Hayes View Post
anyone still doing these, and how are the results these days? I am about to sign
for one in February, i just hope I am not wasting my money.
Did one last year. The cost of the show, printing, and the wedding book associated with the show was about $3k. I did not book any clients as a result. I am highly unlikely to use either the book or the wedding show again. Client bookings were flat year over year, though depending on how you look at it, that could be seen as incredibly lucky given the terrible year 2009 was for secondary services (like it or not, that is what cinematography still is in our market).
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Old December 16th, 2009, 07:20 AM   #12
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I am also in the UK and we do about 5 shows a year, we go for the middle size ones, not the large national ones, but the nice hotels with about 100 vendors type.

We do not offer demo discs (got too pricey) but I guess that is a good idea. WOuld be interested to know the return on investment for bookings Philip?

We pretty much always book minimum of 1 on the day (sometimes upto 3) as we offer a show day discount that people that are already interested in us snap up.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 07:37 AM   #13
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Vince, our events rarely have 100+ vendors, more like 50+. We reckon to dispense between 80-150 disks ar each and whilst we don't take bookings for the reason I mentioned, we do get solid responses which invariably convert - average 1-3 each event.

Beyond that how many go to the website or book after seeing the demo and the brochures? I wish we knew. Like everything else in advertising, 50% is wasted - knowing which 50% is the trick!

We never offer a show discount - on the basis that anything which makes people risk a decision is likely to go belly up. In three years we've only had one confirmed booking cancel. Your experience is interesting.

Because one of last year's weddings is being featured in a regional wedding magazine we've taken side-by-side advertising - and dropped three wedding fairs to afford the space. Next year I'll tell you if it's worth it!

I'd be interested to hear from Danny O'Neill - I'm sure he told me he was doing the Birmingham show and I'd be interested in his evaluation.

Finally, if we believe that our demo is the clincher (and we do even though we estimate it costs us 1 each), then it makes complete sense to distribute as widely as possible.
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Old December 28th, 2009, 02:13 PM   #14
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Bridal Shows

I host a bridal show in Lexington. Our January show has approximately 75 vendors and attendance averaging 500-600 registered brides. I think just about any wedding professional benefits from participating in a show if they do three things. 1) Have an interesting looking booth and easy to understand information handout; 2) Have an engaging personality and a great 30 second description of what they do; and 3) Follow up by using the list that you get from the show. Alot of brides are a little overwhelmed by what they see that day. But if you follow up in a week with a nice post card or email blast, reminding them of your show special, or unique service then you have the best chance of getting their attention and keeping it. Our booths are $550.00 for a 10 x 10. I think that's pretty reasonable from what I've seen around the country.
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Old December 28th, 2009, 10:29 PM   #15
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Hi Michele

My biggest problem is that I'm usually doing a wedding shoot at the weekend and all our shows are also on the weekend.
Unless the "boss" is present it seems pointless to pay all that money to have an "assistant" to just hand our brochures or demos!!

For this very reason I haven't done a show EVER!! If someone had the foresight to host a show during the evening - mid-week then probably a lot more videographers would be able to be present.

Chris
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