As a wedding vendor for more than two decades, I ALWAYS exhibited in bridal shows… ALWAYS… in good years, bad years, and everything in-between.
A consistent presence with peers, and ongoing visibility to prospects, was a steady, solid approach to bookings.
When wedding businesses voice reasons for choosing not to exhibit, it usually triggers a head-shake from me.
Some of the reasons/excuses I hear often, are:
- Not doing the show because I’m getting so much business as a preferred vendor.
- Not doing the show because my (business) friends don’t.
- No doing the show because I have plenty of business.
Andy’s Answers to these Objections:
Preferred Vendor Status: When things are going well, being a preferred vendor is a great thing. Unfortunately, one can never predict when that relationship may change.
A new Director of Catering is hired, and suddenly the calls dry up. One of your employees makes one critical mistake, at one wedding, and your company gets dropped like hot rock.
Meeting brides, in-person, at wedding shows, and following up on leads, throughout the year, mitigates ongoing risks. Should something go awry, you are still well positioned to book wedding business, directly.
My friends don’t exhibit: Whether your favorite peers do or don’t exhibit, is not a great reason, either to exhibit, or stay out. Your company should choose to exhibit for your own reasons, consistent with your marketing plans and goals. Want to hang out with your friend? Cool!! Go out for a post-show cocktail! 🙂
I’ve got plenty of business: It’s important to really consider that thought.
- How many open Saturdays have you had during the last year or two?
- How many weddings are you servicing, Sunday through Friday?
- Are you getting the best bookings, available? – And by best, I mean: price, convenience, geography… however you may measure it.
The stronger your marketing, the greater the opportunity to do more business, and strengthen the quality of clients.
I don’t get enough business from bridal shows: Bridal show producers are reluctant to criticize their exhibitors. Even when they see ways for a business to improve results, they don’t want to risk insulting anyone. Entrepreneurs can be a touchy bunch.
But when show producers look at booth attraction, vendor disposition, and the like, they can tell, almost without exception, who will have a good show. If you want solid feedback, and can handle constructive criticism, your show producer has seen it all, and is happy to offer help.
In upcoming posts, we’ll discuss some of the signs of excellence and weaknesses of bridal show presentation.
Have Good Reasons For Your Decisions
Don’t kid yourself! Have solid reasons for what you do… not justifications. Get on board… All in!
Want some great reasons to exhibit, try these.
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog