Bridal Show Preparation is more than just packing a couple of plastic crates with miscellaneous ‘show gear’. But Step One is goals and projections.
If you haven’t thought out the math, that is the first place to start. Ask yourself these questions… and if you don’t have the precise answers, on the tip of your tongue, trace them back, and figure it out.
- What is your average sales per wedding, from a bridal show?
- What number (or percentage) of bookings/sales are scheduled on a Saturday? How many are Sunday through Thursday?
- How much unsold capacity do you have on Saturdays?… More specifically… For the first six months, post-fall Bridal Show, how much unsold inventory do you have?
- What are your hard costs associated with participating in the bridal show?
- Booth Rental
- Staff (pre, during, & post show)
- Transportation & Set Up Labor
- Staffing minimums: Have you allocated at least three of your team members to sell and service prospects in a single-booth? It’s important to be able to take breaks, rotate, and relieve each other.
- What is your show break-even point? – Defined as: How many dollars in sales do you need to make to cover the costs of those sales and recoup your marketing investment in the show? It is at that tipping point that your per-event marketing expense begins to plummet with each additional sale.
- Historically, how many people to you need to meet, and speak with, at the show, to set each appointment?
- For each ten appointments you set, how many will be completed? What can you do to get as close as possible to ten out of ten?
- What percentage of appointments become final sales?
- As you have calculated your return for appointments, similarly, what are your historic conversions to appointments and sales for telephone follow-up, emails, and regular mail?
Spreading out all these calculations in front of you, there should be three levels of goals to meet or exceed.
- Break-Even Point of Sales
- A Projected ‘Reasonable’ Level of Sales that will return a comfortable profit.
- A ‘Wildly Successful’ Level of Sales that significantly exceeds your goals and expectations.
Sales Level Psychology: Your planning and strategy you get you to the break event point. When the show producers attracts, 800-1200 brides, more or less, depending on season, you should get your share of appointments and sales.
Going from break-event point to your final sales total is NOT a pass-fail situation. If you attain a reasonable return for the day, but did not break world records, you have not failed. You simply have room for improvement.
Break it down… by the hour, by the day… during open-floor selling periods. Allow for different traffic flow during fashion shows… immediately after shows. Maybe your business can capitalize on a few prospects in your booth while the vast majority of people are attending the fashion show.
Now… breathe… review this outline… add to it. Adjust the trajectory for your business.
One other thing: Don’t obsess with the competition. Some categories will see more competitors than others. Just make certain your business is distinct, and presents itself with clarity and purpose. You will earn your share and of new clients…. your share, and more.
That’s your #1 goal.
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog