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Old December 20th, 2006, 06:23 AM   #1
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Wedding Show – what do I need? tips & hints please!

Hi guys,

I have already done a few wee searches etc for this but just wanted to get some good advice from people who have been there and done it and what they would do and my position. There’s a wedding show in the UK early next year, I went to it last year to see what everyone else did etc so I could do it this year and know what to expect etc.

I am fairly new to doing wedding videos although not new to video etc. I have a few behind me and have a few booked in for next year and love doing them and I am told this shows in my work (side note: I am going to put up a clip very soon to see what you guys think… scary biscuits tho!)

So far its all word of mouth, I don’t have cards or anything yet but this is what I am doing over Christmas etc my prob is settling on a design that will last me some time. I was also going to get some leaflets printed off with prices etc. As for what to set up I was thinking two TV’s with footage playing, the camera (Sony FX1) on tripod etc and a few DVD’s etc

Other tips I noticed last year was two people too a stand, sweets on table, water and a snack… about from that I’am pretty clueless and really needing help and advice etc and someone to say I am on the right lines etc… are wedding shows good?... right for me at this time? Currently I am only part time.

Also hope this post will help others in a similar position to myself, looking forward to some back.

Thanks,
Andrew
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:08 AM   #2
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If you are paying for this show, my number one piece of advice is to know where you are placed. Get placed next to a food table, wedding coordinator, photographer, but stay away from being next to another videographer or a DJ.

If this is a free show, then you can politely request.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #3
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I've only done one show, so keep that in mind, but I would leave the cam at home and focus on the end product. I also disagree with Steven, I like being placed close to other videographers so they can see the quality difference and the value in what you do. A good show should manange the sound levels from each booth so they don't interfere with yours too much.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #4
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I don't do many shows anymore but I wouldn't worry about being by another videographer. Most show organizers keep some seperation between like vendors. Leave the shooting gear home-the prospective brides don't care-all they want to see is the finished product-lot's of business cards, lots of price sheets or brochures (if you have and or use them) lots of smile and keep in mind that if you get to talk to someone for more than 2 minutes that's a lot. The shows here in my area still draw big crowds and there just isn't a lot time to carry on a long conversation. Bring someone with you to help, always have your materials in hand ready to hand out. As far as handing out a demo, well I guess thats a personal choice. If you have a demo running (you should) and you have a demo online then in my opinion if they like what they see at the show and need a demo they'll contact you OR again around here we get a list of all the girls that registered for the show (they register when the show up) and all the vendors do an email blast and perhaps a postcard or letter by snail mail. Some will respond - most won't BUT those that are interested will and then you can send them a demo DVD if they want it.
Over the years I have had fairly good luck with shows-never really signed anyone up at 1 but I didn't go with that in mind. The purpose of a show is advertising. Remember that even if you don't get any work from it now you might in the future and your name is out there. Thats what advertising is for.
Just my $.03 worth (adjusted for the cost of living)
BTW, I've only done 1 show in the last 2 years and have no plans to do any more but thats just me.
Don
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Old December 20th, 2006, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
I've only done one show, so keep that in mind, but I would leave the cam at home and focus on the end product. I also disagree with Steven, I like being placed close to other videographers so they can see the quality difference and the value in what you do. A good show should manange the sound levels from each booth so they don't interfere with yours too much.

Patrick, I was speaking in general. You're right a good show will manage the noise levels, but I did a show where the DJ blasted the audio from my demo to pieces, it wasn't put in check. So that's the perspective I was speaking from. And I guess it is a matter of opinion as to being beside another videographer, but my opinion is, that these things are so confusing, I'd rather have the attention (short as it may be) of the prospective client, than them comparing me to my next door neighbor. I guess it's a matter of opinion.


I mentioned getting next to a photographer and coordinator, because it's a good way to catch the 'line volume' since photographer is usually the second choice aside from venue.

As for being next to the food, well that's self explainatory. :}
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Old December 20th, 2006, 03:13 PM   #6
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Along these lines...

What kinds of signage do you use to let browsers know who you are? Banners, ect? I am doing my first Bridal Show in January, and I am trying to figure out the best way to be seen.

Do you take a tv or laptop to display you work to the brides-to-be? Any other words of advice?

Thanks!
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Old December 20th, 2006, 03:27 PM   #7
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Try looking into a foamboard type sign your local printer can print.

I've yet to find a solution for video display that I like. LCD/Plasmas look crappy, or atleast some of the big ones do, from 3 to 4 feet. I wish I had a good solution, but as of this second I don't. If you do get a big flatscreen, distance is your friend. At least with Standard Def footage.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 05:04 PM   #8
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Depends on table space and how the booth is set up. The last 1 I did (ever) I used a 17" laptop (the tables were ALL 36" rounds)-prior to that I used (at the 2 or 3 shows I did in 2005) a 20 or 21 inch flatscreen TV with a portable DVD player. most of the guys I know that still do shows use a setup similar to that. A flat screen 20,21 or 22 inchs and a DVD player of some sort.

As for signage I've had to use a small (8.5X11) table sign and have used a banner that I had done that was 6 feet across by 2 feet in height. I could hang it from the back curtain behind my booth that seperated me from those behind me in the next aisle.
Ask the show sponsor (contact) how the booths are set up and the size of the table. Most use a standard 6 foot banquet type table with an ugly white table cloth.
Don't forget to ask about electrical. Sometimes they charge you for that.

Don
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Old December 20th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #9
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After having done local, not regional, wedding shows for a number of years I personally feel they are a waste of time and money. However, it is a very useful way to get very important first exposure.

The value of a wedding show, in my opinion, is in the connections one makes with other vendors, which means a lot of time and energy spent on the visual impact of your exhibit space, that exposure may well be worth the expense. Make no mistake, most wedding shows are for profit ventures by the organizers and you, as the vendor, are at the mercy of every person. Still, the wedding show is a place where you can get good exposure, so it may be worth the cost. I've yet to participate in a show that has cost at least (if I have the currency conversion right) some 400 pounds. That is a cheap show.

In perspective, the first items a bride will secure will be the ceremony site, the reception site, the photographer, and the cake vendor. All other elements will fall into a decending heirarchy with video very close to the bottom. A videographer needs a wide exposure, often wider than the promoter of the show is wiling to give, particularly if any printed publications have geographical limits. Look at any geographical area. Find out the number of weddings within a year. Expect less than 5% will be in the market for video. Video needs a much bigger geographical area to secure contracts. That will change in time.

You must have impact in the design of your booth. An attractive background, three dimensional space elements that invite potential customers in as well as allow you the opportunity to engage in private discussion. You will only be there for a few hours. Good examples of your work on display on at least two video monitors. A built in mechanism to answer the basic questions (mine is a custom made video that asks and answers those basic questions so I don't have to do it). You need to spend quality time with those clients that are really interested in your product. Most won't have a clue. In any case, expect to deliver a salespitch mantra for the better part of the day. Some brides will return for a second look. Some of those will turn into a contract. Having an assistant will help. You can then focus upon signing a contract.

A trade show of any kind is all about impact, small talk, and response. You want the response, but you will have no idea when it comes back to you.

Good luck.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 05:29 AM   #10
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Thanks so much for all the hints & tips so far. It looks like I’d be wrong in saying you get a lot of bookings from a wedding show? This one lasts over the whole weekend and is very big and I thought by having a stall I could make a killing in terms of booking… would I be assuming be wrong?

Also how many business cards would you need?... i.e. would you be talking 100s or 1000s?
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Old December 21st, 2006, 06:00 AM   #11
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i'm not saying all wedding shows would be like this but these are my personal experience from the only two i have done (and will ever do):

1. really tiny wedding fayre, with less than 20 vendors, and about 80 visitors. (£100 stand). Got one booking.

2. biggest wedding fayre in my county, with about 70 exhibitors, and 1500 visitors. (£300 stand). Got two bookings so far and a few more potential enquiries.

We had an extremely visual stand with TV+DVD, free demo DVDs, free chocolate, great pitch, great knowledge, two people, FX1 camcorder on tripod, colour leaflets, colour brochures, etc etc. Such a waste of a day, watching people mope around with bags of unwanted leaflets, looking for the free cake, and chocolate fountains! :)
There only seemed to be about 5% GENUINELY interested brides-to-be!
Personally, I'd rather sit back and let cheap web-advertising get me business.
I mean, yes I made profit, but for the expense of the day and the leaflets and the DVDs etc etc, and the standing on your feet all day saying the same lines over and over and over, it's not a great deal of fun. Just ask the vendors who do every single wedding fayre all year around. They only do it coz they have to.

The best aspect, (like Waldemar says) is the networking with other exhibitors. I met another videographer who has since passed on double bookings to me.

By the way, in the UK anyway, it's now forbidden for show organisers to give you the list of attendees, a fact I was most dissapointed about!!

p.s. Andrew, for the large wedding fayre, i seem to remember I took about 300 leaflets, and came back with just a handful.

p.p.s. Andrew, where is your wedding fayre? The large one i was talking about was Epsom Downs if u've heard of that?
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Old December 21st, 2006, 06:22 AM   #12
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Shows are like people. Funny and unpredictable. Don't assume anything about a show but go in with expectations of lots of prospective clients coming to see you -to get your information and perhaps a couple will book you. I know guys that get plenty of business from shows-it's a long term payback. You need to get your name out into the world of weddings and this is one way to do it.
As for business cards-bring a thousand-keep what you don't give out but for a 2 day show hopefully you'll go home with few left. Cards are the absolute cheapest form of print advertising. Give them to EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE you meet. Not just at the show but everywhere you go.
Oh yeah, wear comfortable shoes!

Don
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Old December 21st, 2006, 09:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Goodman
...are wedding shows good?... right for me at this time? Currently I am only part time.
Where I live the cost of having a booth at a wedding show is too high for me to justify the expense. I know another videographer who's been to several shows and says he's lucky to book one wedding per show, so think about how that affects your bottom line before you sign up. By the way, he said the thing which has made the biggest difference for him is having a woman working the booth with him - with that he gets bookings, without it he doesn't.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 10:01 AM   #14
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keep your booth tidy
stand in front of it
get a brochure into every body's hand
follow up on the attendee list for your available dates.
Nobody actually gives a toss about your video (few stop and look), so keep your demo short and repeating. One TV is fine.
Make sure your sign says VIDEOGRAPHY, they always seem to think you're a photographer
dress nice
practice good personal hygiene
talk up a storm if you can
Dont bother with your camera, nobody cares. sell the art not the technology.
have fun with the other vendors around you
make contact with all the other videographers, photographers etc at the show, they're great for referrals and who knows, you or they may need a shooter some day.
Have a time-limited show special package
Have a prize draw if they don't give you a list of attendees (that way you get a list of contacts) DON'T give a way a free wedding!
have your cards and brochures printed professionaly (nothing says low-end like photocopied price lists)
suck up to the moms
be confident!

wee Andy
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 06:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wason
sell the art not the technology.
Great advice.

Also, I think that a retractable banner stand would be invaluable to have at a show. Even two (one for each side). They aren't that expensive, and surely grab your attention.
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