If you own a boutique, entertain at weddings, or provide any type of wedding services, then bridal expos are a great fit for you! Most bridal shows bring in hundreds of brides, friends, and family members who are ready to plan their wedding in its entirety, which means they are ready to book your services. Bridal expos are cost-effective and tend to be the best way to reach your targeted wedding customer base.
The first important step to your successful bridal expo is your booth! Vendors will rent a booth which is typically 10×10 but varies depending on the particular expo. The price for booths can range from $150.00 to thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the booth, the market, and the bridal fair. Booths are decorated in a fashion consistent with the vendor’s services provided. When planning your booth, remember to consider electricity—some events may charge for it, and it is less expensive if booked in advanced. Along with being expensive, it is almost next to impossible to get it hooked up the day of the event, so you don’t want to wait until the last minute to decide how you’re going to set up your display. The design of your booth is key to attracting as many customers as possible.
Designing Tips for the Perfect Booth:
- Create a warm and friendly atmosphere that makes attendees feel comfortable
- Corner booths tend to be the best, as they provide two directions to catch brides
- Have a focal item that attracts brides to your booth
- Refrain from clutter; people are more comfortable in an open atmosphere
- Utilize your logo and logo colors as much as possible
Next, you will want to be prepared for the competition that you will face at an expo. Everyone there is just like you—they have a product or service they are trying to sell. You are meeting with and selling to hundreds of brides in just a few hours while trying to stand out the most and gain the attention of each bride that walks by. Be creative, and use bold and flashy colors. You can even look at your competitors and see what they may be doing that you are not. Working alongside competition does not have to be a negative experience, as you can work together and bounce ideas off one another to share the experience. One important question to ask yourself is: What can you do to stand out and apart from the rest?
Also, you want to gain credibility with other professionals who have been in the industry for years. You will be surrounded by dozens—if not hundreds—of other knowledgeable individuals at the expo, so why not take advantage of it and network? Knowing others in the industry will make life easier when it comes to running your business. Learn what to do, what not to do, share ideas, give and take advice, listen to stories, or even just building relationships with others who understand the industry will help your business in the long-run. Having connections is important to becoming a credible wedding resource; plus, they can help your marketing as well! If your work or ideas are likable, they may send brides or other potential clients your way. Free marketing is always good for an up-and-coming business!
Finally, you should be prepared for what your brides will take home with them. A typical routine begins with the bride arriving and receiving a bag with the show’s logo on it to collect items from each vendor. Some shows give vendors the option to sponsor a bag on their own, and others include many different vendors’ information on them. Usually, when the bride gets home, she will go through the bag and examine the items she collected that day. This is also a very important step in the bridal fair, and you will want to stand out from the rest to avoid having your marketing materials thrown aside (or thrown away…remember, they’re looking at a lot of things). To achieve the best results and to receive the most attention, create multiple pieces: a brochure or flyer, coupon, and a small giveaway item with your logo. By doing this, you have now put your info in front of the bride three times during her bag exploring. An example for a disc jockey may be a brochure with company info on the front and then a list of wedding songs on the back. The bride will be likely to save the list of wedding songs and, by default, your company info on the other side! Remember to always, always, always place your name, logo, and contact on each and every item.
As a vendor in the wedding industry, it’s important to do your research on the bridal shows where you’re registering. Make sure the show is properly set up to maximize traffic for vendors and usefulness for attendees. Bridal fairs being the best way to reach potential customers, it is imperative wedding vendors get as much as they can from the bridal fair experience.