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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:52 PM   #1
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Bridal shows

Anyone have any feedback on how successful you were at a bridal show. Cost for space is about 1K and trying to do a cost benefit analysis.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 07:10 AM   #2
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I will try and keep my grumbling to a minimum

I have had mixed success at the bridal shows. I have done three shows this year, two shows were more or less free because they were hosted at the local malls. I did well at these shows, booking several weddings from them.

I then did a show that cost me 650 bucks. It was a large disappointment for two reasons. The first reason was the facility, (a hotel they used) did not allow vendors free internet service, so I was unable have my laptop show off our web services etc.

Secondly, even though we paid for this show, it was clear that the show hosts made critical planning errors which were devestating to our marketing for that day. Our placement in the show itself was horrible. We were in the middle of a room, and most of the vendors were on the walls, so watched the line of people come in and just down the walls and out the door. The line was essentially missing our table, (and two other in the middle) without ever coming by. We essentially had to step away from our table and point people to the middle where there were other tables. It was terrible planning by our show hosts.

With out being too mean, if you do a show, make sure you are clear about your placement in the show. Get placed beside either a coordinator or the best placement is beside a table with food. Don't get placed near another videographer, photographer or DJ. The DJ will blast any demo music to smitherines.

I'm doing the same later show in January, if it does not turn out better, we'll just do another show with someone else.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #3
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Re: Internet Access

Steven:

Have your local techie copy the important files from your server to the laptop. All your html files and most others will work from your laptop. If you are serving up streaming video you might need some special configurations but it should be doable for a minimal cost.


Randy
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Old October 4th, 2006, 02:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall Allen
Steven:

Have your local techie copy the important files from your server to the laptop. All your html files and most others will work from your laptop. If you are serving up streaming video you might need some special configurations but it should be doable for a minimal cost.


Randy
Thanks Randall, I am my local techie, I'll do exactly as you said, next time. I just didn't expect it.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 05:42 PM   #5
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Wedding shows

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Moon
Anyone have any feedback on how successful you were at a bridal show. Cost for space is about 1K and trying to do a cost benefit analysis.
Unfortunately for me, being in the low end market, a show cost would prohibit me from making any money because my nich is cheap and my market small. I just put a few hundred into some marketing (winter high school sports poster add - 3x5" size) so I'll see how that money was spent (wisely or otherwise). I have considered print adds in wedding planning books, but I am slowly working my way up to that. I am trying to grom the non-wedding end of the business (corporate ads, memorials, sports montage) so I might not want more wedding bookings.

I'm at possibly having 4 weddings in one year and considering that I am employeed full time as a java developer, that is stretching my time commitments. The means that more advertising might not be best for me. I probably need to work on my margin and raise my prices a bit to compensate for fewer gigs.

jason
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Old October 12th, 2006, 06:21 PM   #6
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In my experience, bridal shows must have a large number of brides attending to make the show worthwhile. In my local area the average number of brides attending a show is around 150...way too low for me to invest any more time and effort. Most of the brides are tire kickers, looking to see what is available and who has the best price. About 2% of the attending brides to a show actually express sincere interest. That has been my average over the last six years.

You have to have a very attractive booth to get attention. A good booth demands a lot of attention, planning, construction, and cost. Add $600 to $1500 to the trade show fee to get a better idea of what the event is worth.

The greatest benefit to a bridal show is the connections you make with other vendors.

Still, one or two sales will more than offset the cost of attending a show. If those sales generate more connections for you then the energy and cost will be worth the effort.

Bridal Shows are a part of advertising. Advertising boils down to one solid conclusion. You can not prove a direct connection between advertising costs and sales, but you can prove a lack of sales if you don't advertise. The challenge is, of course, to find the best advertising medium for your market.

Many Bridal Show promoters want you to give away a door prize of a specific value or more. Some stipulate the gift be something tangible; something not part of your sales packages. My advice is to tell these promoters to take a hike elsewhere. Offering any kind of gift is your decision alone, and should not be a part of the vendor booth contract.

Bridal shows don't last long...four to six hours. You need to be in constant conversation, preferably with brides who are really interested in your services. One thing I have discovered to be a real bother during a show is the incredible number of basic questions. While legitimate questions, answering them takes a lot of time, so you need an informed assistant or some other means to get these questions answered without taxing your serious sales efforts. I chose to make a special DVD video that answers all of those basic questions. It is projected onto my biggest screen. My smaller screen that shows specific examples of my work. It is a chaptered DVD that allows me to provide specific visual answers as I converse with the serious brides.

Hope this helps.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 11:57 PM   #7
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years ago i did one and all they (potential clients) did was walk around and try to get the business' to undercut each other, as opposed to looking at the work and striking a deal. This is the clientelle im trying to avoid..

tyre kickers, umming and arrghing really gets my goat..
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Old October 13th, 2006, 04:36 AM   #8
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There's a really small segment that can benefit a lot from them...the rest, to me, don't fall in their group.

It's such a crap shoot really. You've got placement, time of year, accessibility, marketing from promoters, etc all out of your hands.

If you're in a small town there should be word of mouth about you anyways. If in a big city there will be so many other vendors there what makes you stand out besides price or some gimmick?

If you're just starting out the money goes a lot further in a wireless setup, good tripod, etc. If you're established it's like lighting a cigar with a hundred.

I feel if you're in a medium sized city with a transient population (university town) that people don't flee when they graduate (one where people actually stick around or get stuck) bridal fairs are really worth it if you're in the middle of things. If not I don't think it's worth it...but that's me.

Anyone who feels they need to burn this money just send it to me and my orgainization. We'll actually put it to use and I'll make you a killer flyer and have someone run it over to the local university and get you the exact same if not more so response :)

Paul
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Old October 13th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #9
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Good System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler
I chose to make a special DVD video that answers all of those basic questions. It is projected onto my biggest screen. My smaller screen that shows specific examples of my work. It is a chaptered DVD that allows me to provide specific visual answers as I converse with the serious brides.
I like the idea of a chaptered presentation DVD and I have been trying to master on my self. I still am working on the clips that woudl ge into the chaptered DVD. My main problem is getting the source material from all the different projects onto one drive in order to combine them in one render. I can only fit one wedding on my edit system (120GB total drive space) at a time (the rest are on a 250GB USB2.0 backup HD) or the source is burned to DVD. I guess I might start to burn final projects to tape so I can go into the tape and pull out the specific section(s) I want.

jason
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