The second week of January is an ideal time for second guessing. Many bridal show producers are on a final push to fill their remaining booth space. Potential exhibitors may still be ‘on the fence’ about jumping in before the clock strikes midnight.
A Public Service Message?
Last evening, I read a blog post, penned by a Pennsylvania Wedding Planner, titled: Why your perfect wedding vendor might NOT be at the bridal show(s) you’re attending…
The post is politely written, praising many bridal shows, while simultaneously explaining why brides and grooms in their area likely won’t see them exhibiting.
The business owner-writer goes into great detail about the expenses involved of exhibiting, the difficulties of interacting with brides, and any number of issues which may limit the success of their business at a wedding show.
Justifying Our Own Point Of View
Whether we have success or failure in any marketing effort, we tend to project that outcome on our peers, regardless of their business context.
Listening to people’s opinions can be helpful, provided one understands their context and reasoning… and making sure you are clear on how it compares to your wants and needs.
Profit Potential Varies
The price for exhibiting in a given show (except for some add-on options) is the same for all businesses. However, the fees exhibitors charge their clients (and profit margins) varies widely. A venue might break-even on a single sale. A stationer might break-even on 7 sales. And so on. When one is examining bridal show potential with another business, simple differences, such as these, make for apple and orange comparisons.
Ask A Bride How Much She Cares About Your Costs
… or your profitability, for that matter. You are far more likely to hear the words, “Can you match their price?” then “I want to make sure your earning a reasonable profit, working with me?
That is reality, but it misses the point.
Bridal Shows are not primarily for selling
They are for meeting brides and grooms, face to face, and setting appointments to have a thorough discussion about their needs, your services, and how the line up. AND THEN, ASK FOR THE ORDER. For some businesses, making sales at the show is just fine. For most wedding businesses, selling at the show is NOT the most effective of time.
- There aren’t enough brides.
- There are too many brides.
- There are too many competitors, exhibiting in my category.
- There aren’t enough businesses, exhibiting in my category.
- I don’t make enough sales at the show.
- The weather was bad during the last show.
- … add your excuse here…
Assess the situation, TODAY!
Ask yourself just a couple of questions:
- Do I have unsold availability, particularly in the next 6-9 months?
- Am I getting enough face time and appointments with brides?
- Do I know the competitive situation for exhibitors in my category at upcoming shows? (Assume nothing – If you say, “My category is always packed,” you don’t really know. Ask the show producer what’s happening THIS season.
- Disc jockeys. Florists. Limos, Bridal Gowns, Caterers, Live Music, Restaurants – Are they sold to-the-max this season, or is there an opportunity.
You can’t win the Lottery, if you don’t enter!
(Snarky remark comes next) Position your mind and business for success. If you can’t rack up some appointments and sales at a winter bridal show, maybe it’s time to close up shop and go to work for Federal Express.
(Motivational thought comes now) Gather yourself, remember what’s exceptional about your product or service, refresh your staff on bridal show strategy, and get fired up!
Your competition doesn’t exist
For a day or two, ignore every direct and indirect competitor in your market, in the show, in the aisle. Focus on brides who haven’t purchased in your category, yet, AND MAKE APPOINTMENTS.
No excuses! Wishing you nothing but success!!
The Wedding Marketing Authority
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