Bridal Show Booth

I was four years old the first time I was stung.  I was running barefoot through the grass and…yowsers!…stepped on a bee.

For days I was terrified to go outside, convinced that I’d be stung again.

But my mother promised that I wouldn’t get stung as long as I wore shoes.  Finally reassured, I pulled on my flip flops and ran outside to play…and within minutes stepped on another bee.

My mother’s advice didn’t work.

I did exactly what she told me to do and I still got stung.  She lied!

But looking back as a grown up, she hadn’t lied at all.  She told me to wear “shoes” to protect my feet and I thought flip flops were good enough.  They weren’t.

My mother’s strategy was actually GOOD, but it didn’t work for me because I didn’t understand it fully.

Why am I telling you a story that seems more appropriate for a therapy session?

It’s because so many times wedding pros are jumping to the same false conclusion with their bridal show marketing.

They sign up for a bridal show and don’t get results, then immediately leap to the conclusion that it “doesn’t work.”

“Bridal shows don’t work…”

“They’re a waste of money…”

“You can’t get good leads from bridal shows…”

None of these statements are true; it’s just that you’re missing something that’s keeping you from the results you want.  Just like little Stephanie and the bee.

Let’s explore what’s keeping you from getting results.

4 Reasons Why Good Marketing Goes Bad

1.  You’re missing a critical piece of information.

There are several critical elements that have to happen if you want to get results from a bridal show.

  •     Goal Setting – How many meetings and bookings do you want?
  •     Booth Preparation – How will you attract your ideal couples with your booth?
  •     An Irresistible Offer – What can you offer to engage them?
  •     Lead Capture – How will you collect their contact information?
  •     Follow Up Strategy – What will you do to turn those leads into booked weddings?

If you were to buy advertising at a bridal show without understanding how it works and why each of these elements is important, you might skip a critical piece.  If couples can’t determine what you do quickly from looking at your booth, you won’t attract them, you won’t get leads, and you won’t get any results.

In this case it may seem like, “bridal shows don’t work,” when in reality, you just don’t know how to work them to get results.

2.  You make a mistake.

Let’s say you remember each of the necessary elements for bridal show success, but you make a mistake, like one of the bonehead mistakes we made at the Wedding MBA this year.  You have an offer, but it’s too complicated for couples to quickly understand, so no one takes you up on it.

A simple mistake can turn a good marketing strategy into a dud.

3.  You lack experience.

If you show up at a bridal show and have no idea how to qualify a potential bride, you can end up wasting an hour chatting with someone who will never book you, while dozens of good leads stroll on by.  Or if your booth is so drab that no one notices, you’ll be completely ignored.

Inexperience can turn a bridal show into a waste of time for any wedding professional.

4.  You follow the right steps in the wrong order.

You might have a great offer that couples love, but if you try to set the meeting without communicating your offer first, no one goes for it.  Or if you set your goals after the show instead of before, you won’t hit them.

Doing things in the right order is as important as doing the right things.

The Truth About Bridal Shows

Here’s something about bridal shows that the whiners and complainers won’t tell you…

If your target couples attend the bridal show and you don’t book any of them, it’s because you missed something, not because bridal shows “don’t work.”

When it comes to bridal shows, or any other type of marketing, don’t assume that it “doesn’t work” just because YOU couldn’t get it to work.

What do you think about bridal show marketing?

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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3 thoughts on “Why Bridal Show Marketing Doesn’t Work For You”

  1. It is essential to check that the bridal show organiser foes not book to many suppliers of the same service.
    If that happens the customers get confused by all the offers and do not make decision ,

    We have spoken to many couples and this is a complaint that to much of a choice of ,in our case, photographers, results in them getting mixed up when they are at home as to who offers what.
    So unless you have a really unique product to offer you will get lost in the mass.

    We will not attend a show with more thar 3 togs including us.

  2. Great post. I am producing a bridal show (Philadelphia Bridal Ball) and will share this with the vendors.

  3. I traded messages with another photographer on a pro site who wanted to shoot weddings without marketing to brides at bridal shows. He was intimidated with the entire marketing process in general and bridal shows in particular. Shows are where the brides are! We just need to know how to do it right. Thanks for always providing GREAT advice!

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