Here are some bridal show expo tips to crush it in your market. Check out our guide!
Let’s talk about bridal expos. Many of you will grab a significant portion of your business from weddings and bridal expos can be a great way of booking a ton of dates if you do them correctly. In this guide, we teach you the industry-leading tips and strategies to dominate in your marketplace.
The first step that you want to do when you are doing a bridal expo actually comes before you do the expo its-self… That is to prepare! There is a checklist of questions that will really set you up for success so that you can outshine the competition every time. Sometimes these questions can even dis-qualify the show because it is going to be a waste of your time. It is much better to figure out that you are going to waste your time before you waste it right?
How many people will be there?
Obviously, you want to go to shows where there are going to be a lot of people. The law of average states that there will always be a certain percentage of people who will say yes to you, the more traffic you get to look at your booth the better.
How much are the ticket prices?
The higher the ticket price, the more qualified the people there will be. If they are willing to invest extra to go to a premium Bridal Expo, they are going to be much more likely to invest extra in a premium photo booth for their wedding! Higher ticket prices equal people with bigger budgets.
Where do you live?
If you live in a wedding destination area where a ton of people are flying in to have their weddings, they probably aren’t going to fly out months in advance to go to a bridal expo. This isn’t applicable for all areas but should be mentioned for the places where it is.
Does this venue fit with my brand?
Again, every element of your business needs to fit in alignment with the branded experience that you want to share with your customers. That includes the venue. If you are a minimalist company, you don’t want people’s first experience with you to be filled with clutter. If you charge a lot for your booth, you probably don’t want to be in a place where people are extremely budget minded, or vice versa. There are a lot of people out there who will think that your service obviously isn’t very good if you don’t charge enough for it!
Who are the other businesses who have gone to the show in the past, and how often are they returning?
If there are a ton of big players showing up, and they are returning again and again, it is likely that they are getting a great return on their investment for being there.
What kinds of brides will be there up?
This is going to determine how you set up your display, and prepare. What is it that my audience likes? What will they be looking for?
Once you have decided that the show is worth your time, consider these important tips:
Who is my competition on this show?
Get a list of other booths that will likely be there. Do your research and find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Capitalize on their weaknesses but emphasizing that you are strong in that area. Don’t mention them by name, the customers will make the connection. Also make sure your strengths really shine as well, especially in areas where your competition is weak. It is important to make sure you show how you are better than your competitors.
Here are some questions that can help you really dig into your competition to see how you can outshine them.
How can you stand out, how can you really shine?
What does their booth look like?
How can you make yours look better?
What is their pricing?
How are their booth operators?
What kinds of backdrops do they have?
What kinds of prop options do they have?
How good are their graphic designers?
How good is their image quality?
Here are a few concepts to help you boost your sales pitch, consider these strengths that you can mention to people.
- We have the best design templates available.
- All equipment is professional
- We offer studio lighting
- Prints are with instant and dry printers so you don’t have to shake them or have them bleed like some of our competitors
- We have high-end large backdrops where you can fit plenty of people into one shot
- Because our booth is open air you can fit a ton of people at once, we once had 22 people at once!
- We can custom brand the experience to fit perfect with the theme of your wedding! (or if it is a corporate customer, you can fully brand it to fit with their company)
The secrets and tips for picking the best location at the bridal show.
The best location is always by far near the entrance. This is just what will be getting the most foot traffic, so you have more chances to get your offer in front of more people and pull them in for a picture. There is a chance that you can’t get near the entrance though, since they are sometimes booked long in advance by return vendors. If that happens, don’t worry.
A good second option is to locate your booth near a large predominant, high-end vendor. It is best if they have a similar brand identity as yours because they will be pulling in people who are your ideal customers. These large vendors will pull in a lot of traffic which you can use to your benefit!
Another good place that is slightly counter-intuitive that seems to work well is to be near the bathroom. This area obviously also gets a lot of traffic, just make sure to get them as they leave the toilet, not on their way! You don’t want them to have to hold it while you are trying to pitch them on a photo booth! That doesn’t create a very good first impression.
IMPORTANT FOR FIRST TIMERS
Make sure you get an end-cap for your booth. It will cost a little bit more usually, but it is completely worth it. You don’t want to be too crowded, especially if you are going to be pulling in prospects to take photos (which we suggest.) You really don’t want to be boxed in, an end-cap is necessary for our industry at bridal shows. Don’t make this mistake!
Remember that most of the people who go to these shows are women, so make sure that your display caters to their desires. You want it to have a feminine air. This will be different in different parts of the country and world. Basically, you want to make your booth look gorgeous though no matter where you are.
It is worth repeating to remember your brand identity from a previous section. Remember the colors, the emotions, YOUR LOGO, and all the other components. It is all very important because this will be most of the people at the expos the first impression of your company. Show them what to expect.
Here are some pro tips on how to create a great looking, low budget display that will convert foot traffic into deposits.
Go to your local mall and gather ideas from the displays there. These are often extremely low-budget displays, designed by professionals. You can take inspiration from these displays without paying the huge amounts of money that the different stores had to pay designers to create them!
Some ideas to start with are thinking of balloons, post it notes, and ropes. Get creative with a small budget to create something unique. Another great resource for gathering ideas is to watch YouTube.
Another great use of YouTube is to research your competitors. Look for footage of what their booth looks like. Don’t watch the professional video that makes it look super glamorous either, look for the real footage of what it really looks like for people who are walking by, and make sure that yours looks better! This research can also help you to avoid other mistakes, such as looking to make sure there will be enough light at the expo.
People come to trade shows to get a discount, how to do one properly to make sure you get the profit margins you need.
To start off here are a couple of pro tips:
- Create a lower-price “exclusively” for this show.
- Make it time sensitive so that they need to make the deposit before leaving the show.
Be careful with what kind of a discount that you give. Do not make it arbitrary, because you are putting yourself on the hook for a lot of work. You want to make sure that the work you are signing up for will be profitable.
So how do I do a discount and still maintain my margins you might be asking…
Offer a special package that is your super deluxe, and pack it full of as much low-cost to you, but the high perceived value to the customer as possible. So instead of giving your 800-dollar rental at 20% off, give them a 1600-dollar rental at 50% off! Which one sounds more attractive to you? So how do you double your perceived value for a low enough cost to slash the rate in half?
What kind of addons can you add that are at a low cost to you?
Here are some suggestions:
- You can add extra hours for a relatively low cost. This could be your time or the hourly rate that you pay your booth tender. – 200 dollars perceived value
- You can add a complimentary idle hour. 75-dollar perceived value
- Unlimited or Double your prints – 100 in perceived value
- “Premium” props $100
- Social Media Upgrade $100
- Upgraded Backdrop $50
- USB Drive $25
- Online Gallery of the event $50
- Slideshow of the photos $100
All of this put together will cost you under $20 if you are servicing your own event, and add $800 in perceived value. That way you don’t dip into your profits by offering steep discounts when trying to get customers at trade shows.
Your Printed Materials Matter
Your printed marketing materials are really important. You want yours to stand out because many of these brides will carry home an armload of pamphlets, what will make her fall in love with yours? What do your competitors’ pamphlets look like, how can you do it better? Can you create yours on a different paper or a different shape?
If you want to do different trade show discounts you can just throw a special discount bookmark in each one for people to show to you. Get people excited about these pamphlets. Show them why you are the only option that will satisfy their desires.
If you pull them in and take a picture with them you get bonus points, because they will want to keep that awesome photo and remember how amazing you were.
Have you properly branded your business? We can choose colors and design your logo for you. Click here to get started!
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