Superbowl Sunday found me sliding into the stilettos for a day at the behemoth that is Gaylord Opryland Hotel for the Perfect Wedding Guides Winter Bridal Show 2012.
In theory, this show had everything going against it. It was Superbowl Sunday. The hotel itself is a PIA to navigate. It was the third show of the season. The exhibit hall is massive and a bit cold and the fire marshal insisted on aisles big enough to drive a semi down. Load in couldn’t start until 5 hours before the show because they had to get the Cattleman’s Association out first.
Wipe all that out of your mind because the show promoters ended up with a Superbowl sized win on their hands!
From the time they opened the doors until I left (30 minutes before the show closed) those giant aisle were packed; the booths were busy and the brides were engaged.
If I had any doubt in my mind that the bridal industry has turned the corner this wiped it out. Brides were booking appointments left and right. They weren’t just there to look, they were there to book.
The great thing about attending a show the way I do is that I get to talk to everyone: producers, vendors and brides. The ones that don’t already know who I am, I just say I am a blogger and they spill their guts. hehe.
The strangest thing I heard was from a vendor, “The minute I hear you are coming, my stomach just knots.” Umm wow. They know I will tell it like it is when I review the show.
First, the hits.
The booth is elegant and sophisticated, just like his target market. The overhead lighting drew your eye to the booth long before you got there. The colors are muted which helps the photographs pop. The booth was well staffed.
His collateral nailed it. He did a rack card on wonderful heavy stock with a slightly irredescent finish on the back. The images on the front are the same images as in the booth and in his print ad. The back has his perspective on life, love and photography and draws you into his world. The card ends with the subtle but urgent: “RESERVE EARLY” No discounts, no giveaways. Brilliant.
Now that he has drawn you in, his other hand out invites you over for drinks in a hand written note. I love it!
Tomorrow I’ll do some more booth reviews including one that breaks all the rules, but seemed to work. Stay tuned.