Bridal Show season is in full effect. If you’ve been wise enough to take part in one or more credible bridal shows, it’s likely you’ve made lots of appointments… maybe even a few sales at the show.
It’s common for bridal show representative to make-the-rounds in the last couple of hours of the show.
There are typically two points of conversation.
- “How has the show been for you?”
- “Just wanted to let you know, we included the paperwork to renew for next show(s) in the packed placed on your table, this morning. If you renew, today, you’ll receive a discount (some %). You can stop by our booth to ask any question or drop off the paperwork.”
Question #1 is a trick question, for most people. Bridal show success is not measured by the number of brides that came through the door. Winter shows usually draw bigger crowds than summer or fall shows (in most markets).
Too many attendees can even be a negative. It puts everyone in a state of overwhelm. One wants quality time with brides and their entourage.
While some exhibitors (particularly inexperienced ones) invest bridal show time to make sales, most wedding companies know that primary goal is to schedule appointments with prospective clients. If you make some sales that nice, but if you take too much time attempting sales, that focus will distract from making appointments.
For most exhibitors, the right answer to Question #1 is:
“It’s too early to say whether the show has been good. I won’t know for 30-60 days after I’ve worked through the appointments I scheduled.”
There’s another element in play. Not all brides that come to a show are on the same buying timeline. Some became engaged last week, some three months ago, and so on. If a business is not in the bride’s immediate buying priorities, it’s difficult to schedule an appointment at the show, let alone make a sale.
The better move is to ask when one might be in contact, down the line. Or, working back from the wedding date, use the various planning calendar timelines to schedule emails, postcards, and phone calls.
Not all brides will follow the ‘standard timeline priorities’, but many will. Brides have many decisions to make and can’t/don’t make them all at once. Acknowledge that reality, and do your best to use that information to your advantage.
Question #2: Renewing for the next Bridal Show, today!
You’re tired… It feels like the last week has been entirely focused in the bridal show. Your feet hurt and maybe a bit edgy from all your bride interactions.
You are just finishing the bridal show and the show producer already has their hand out for more money, for the next show.
Get over it!
It’s entirely likely that your business used some kind of urgency-based-promotion to entice the bride to make an appointment or a purchase. The Bridal Show Producer is doing the same thing.
Unless this is your first show, or something has gone dramatically wrong, during this show (and I don’t mean weather), then renewing for the next show should be a foregone conclusion.
By making a commitment, today, you benefit from a discount, lock down your booth assignment, and minimize unnecessary decision making time.
In my experience as an exhibitor, I usually contracted for multiple shows. Whatever the situation, I asked the Bridal Show Producer NOT to swing by my booth and ask these perfunctory questions. The only exception was to remind me, IF I has said I would drop off a signed agreement for the next show, and had failed to do so. And please…. never ask me if the show was successful (for the reasons stated above). To me, asking me if the show was successful was, at best, like a tele-marketer reader a script. At worst, it was insult to my intelligence.
To me, the funny aspect for all business people is (and the bride)…
“We like to buy… We don’t like being sold to.”
Do your best to put these simple decisions and actions in perspective. These interactions are not complicated. Just try to see matters through the other person’s perspective, whether you are a show producer or exhibitor.
It really makes the relationship much less bumpy.
Hope your bridal show participation is successful. And, don’t forget to do the follow up… The business that does the best follow-up is THE BIG WINNER.
Wedding Marketing Expert