We’ve produced MANY wedding shows and get to see first hand what works AND WHAT DOESN’T for Exhibitors.
If you’re thinking about getting involved in a Wedding Show, these are the 6 Tips that you need to follow for Wedding Show Success!
1. IS THIS THE RIGHT SHOW/MARKETING OPPORTUNITY?
Before you get involved in a Wedding Show as an Exhibitor you want to think about whether or not this show reaches YOUR market and what your Return on Investment (ROI) is going to be if you participate.
Wedding shows can be very costly to participate in and if you are just starting out and don’t have a huge Advertising & Marketing budget (as most don’t), you really need to think about where is the best place to spend those dollars in order to maximize your return i.e. get business.
For some Planners participating in a wedding show is not the right avenue to reach their target market i.e. If your Bride is not the type to attend a wedding show than this is NOT the place for you to be focusing your efforts.
However, if you decide that participating in a particular wedding show is going to benefit you, here is what you need to keep in mind to make the most of your experience.
2. HAVE A BOOTH THAT STANDS OUT AND LETS PEOPLE KNOW WHAT YOU DO
The first thing to think about is having a booth that stands out and lets people know WHAT you do.
This is SO important and sometimes SO overlooked. If you don’t have ANY signage or signage that is not big enough (tall vertical banners are great for signage) people will not know what services you are offering and walk right by. We’ve seen it happen many, many times.
You also want to have a booth that represents your business and style. It should be beautifully decorated and/or be something that is creative and/or unique and will make you stand apart from EVERYONE ELSE.
Depending on the size of show that you are participating in you may be amongst hundreds of other Exhibitors, some of which will be your competition so it’s important to stand out.
At the same time you don’t want to have a booth space that is cluttered and ends up being so overwhelming that it makes the Brides walk right on by. They hire a Planner to REDUCE the stress and make planning a wedding EAS(IER).
Your booth display should be CALMING AND SERENE and a place that is easy for you to have a conversation with a Bride or couple.
3. HAVE SOMETHING THAT WILL DRAW COUPLES INTO YOUR BOOTH SPACE
One of the main reasons that Brides & Grooms attend wedding shows is to collect the Freebies and enter Contests.
Yes, they are there to get info too but they LOVE the Freebies and the chance to WIN something.
Have a draw for something that couples will want and that will encourage them to come into your space AND give you the opportunity to engage with them. You can pair up with other companies to offer a giveaway. Great examples are a romantic dinner for the Bride & Groom or a hotel night stay.
A draw will also allow you to collect the Bride & Groom’s contact info (name, email and wedding date) so that you can follow up with them after the show.
In addition to this have some freebies WITH YOUR BUSINESS INFO on them. For example, we give away really nice pens with a fun saying and our website address on it. Who doesn’t need a REALLY NICE pen?
Other freebies that we’ve seen work well are beauty products for the Bride, like lip balm or gloss, a compact, sewing kit, etc.
If it’s something that the Bride will continue using she’s going to be reminded of your company every time she uses it.
Another way to draw couples into your booth space is to offer an irresistible “Show Special” such as a discount off your services OR better yet a value add to your services.
You can also offer an extra value add if they sign up for your special offer on the day of the show. Time sensitive offers entice people to act quickly. At the same time some people don’t like sales pressure so having a Show Special that couples can take advantage of after the show within a certain time frame is good to have.
4. MAKE SURE YOU ARE WELCOMING AND ENGAGE THE BRIDE & GROOM
This may seem obvious but we can’t tell you how many times Exhibitors would say to us, “People are not coming up to my booth…” and it was because they didn’t LOOK approachable.
If a Bride and Groom are walking by your booth, or when they approach your booth make sure you have a genuine, warm smile on your face.
And please, please don’t be sitting at your booth. This is such a turn off and not going to encourage Brides & Grooms to come and talk to you. If you need, have an extra set of hands at your booth that can give you a quick break to go to the washroom or to grab a snack.
As couples approach, read their body language and determine what your strategy is going to be.
Is this someone who is heading straight for your draw and just wants to enter to win something?
Is this someone is who is checking out your portfolio or coming to you with a question about your services?
There are going to be lots of people attending the show and you want to maximize your time so you want to QUALIFY potential leads. Basically you want to assess if this couple is a potential client and how much time you’re going to spend with them.
If they are just there to enter your draw, offer them a warm smile and a hello; however, if they seem like a potential client you’ll want to spend a few minutes with them.
When you engage them, ask open ended questions to find out about their wedding plans. “Have you decided on your wedding date yet?”, “Do you have some venues in mind?” etc.
You can also give them some valuable wedding advice to take away with them.
You don’t want to give them a sales pitch, you just want to engage them in conversation about their wedding. YOU’RE TRYING TO MAKE A CONNECTION. The Bride & Groom that are looking for a Coordinator or Planner are going to go back to the one that they felt MOST COMFORTABLE WITH and of course had the “right” price.
Here’s a great tip from Mindy Abbeduto of Minderella Designs & Events, about how she engages with couples and remembers them for her follow up after the show. “I myself like to remember a name to a face, so when talking to them, I gave them a compliment, “I just love your green dress!!”…and on the back of their slip (I took their filled out door prize ballot and told them I’d put it in the draw for them), jotted down, ‘Green dress. Fall wedding. Needs help with unique DIY decor ideas. Possible floral design.’. Boom! When I pulled her slip to follow up, I remembered exactly who I was calling. Potential clients appreciate that!”
5. FOLLOW UP RIGHT AFTER THE SHOW
Once the show is over you want to follow up with your potential leads as soon as possible.
You want to capitalize on the excitement from the show and try to book consultations with as many couples as you can. Better yet, if you’re able to set up these consultations during the show that’s fantastic. Your after show follow up then becomes confirming that consultation.
Don’t forget the opportunity to network with other Exhibitors.
Take advantage of the setup and strike times as well as some of the down time.
This is a great time to meet new vendors. Exchange business cards and then follow up with them after the show after you’ve followed up with your potential new clients. You never know when an opportunity to work together might come up.
OTHER TIPS TO REMEMBER
- Don’t forget to wear your name tag so couples can immediately see your name.
- Bring snacks and water to eat and drink throughout the day. You’re going to be talking a lot (hopefully).
- Stay till the very end of the show. It never looks good when Exhibitors start to pack up before the official end. Couples are still checking things out and some may come in at the very end. This is actually a great time to chat with potential leads as it’s not as busy OR loud and allows you some “quality” time with couples.
- To improve for the next time you participate in a show write down a list of what went well and what you want to improve for next time.
Good Luck! Let us know how your wedding show experience went.
– Sarah & Genève
#BIPTip #BecomeanINCREDIBLEWeddingPlanner #weddingshow #success
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