I ran across an interesting thread on a brides forum talking about bridal shows.
There were the usual comments about pushy sales people and being overwhelmed. The pushy part you can fix, the overwhelmed may actually work in your favor if you know how to use it.
Neither of those were really a surprise. What was a surprise was how many brides walked away from bridal shows depressed.
Yes, brides are depressed by bridal shows!
They are depressed because very little of what they see is something they can afford. That makes sense, budgets are still tight out there. Now that you have that knowledge, how do you use it?
You start by offering choices.
As creative professionals, we usually use the opportunity of bridal shows to go over the top. We create the biggest and most beautiful. We do the best of the best in hopes of not just selling it but to showcase our skills. We also do those things we don’t get to do everyday. I know I did. My booth always had that one wildcard cake that I designed just for me. It was always an attention getter but with one exception, I never sold any of those designs.
So here is the deal. Keep doing those over the top options, but also include in your booth ideas to do a similar thing on a budget.
I know, you come to me for solid examples, so here goes:
Cake designers: Do that giant outrageous cake and put it front and center, then do a small 2 tier version and surround it with simply frosted cupcakes.
Floral designers: Do that amazing centerpiece that catches everyone’s attention and use all the very expensive blooms you love but then also have one in your booth slightly small in less expensive flower choices.
DJs: Do just the opposite, set things up as you would for your base price package but have the lights and other amazing options set up and ready to show. Hard to explain. Have the booth set up with all your lighting rigs in place but not turned on. Quote the base price followed by , “but for just a tiny bit extra, you could add this” and then you flip the switch on part of the lighting. They will walk away remembering your base price, but also the impression of your full package.
Are you getting the picture? It’s about offering choices. Believe me, they want your over the top designs, they just know they can’t afford it. Give them options.
This is already a little long, but I have to tell you a little story. Your patience will be rewarded.
I was working a lounge area that a local bridal networking group had set up at one of the mega-bridal shows. Basically I was there to do the meet & great thing. Chat up the brides and vendors.
I met one sweet little bride that looked so sad. I asked her what was up. It seemed that she had her heart set on a deep blue for her wedding but was rapidly finding out that color wasn’t among her flower choices, so she was changing to red. 🙁
Because I was free to float, I started dragging her butt around the show pointing out every blue option and idea I ran across. By the time I was done she was back to blue, had some brand new ideas and had found a rental company.
Planners, did that set off any bells in your head? It should have.
If you are going to invest your time and treasure in doing a bridal show, you have to know what you are doing. if you haven’t already read Bridal Show Success, you need to.