Author Archives: Debra Hansen

What Happens When Wedding Pros Stop Marketing?

What happens when you stop marketing?

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Your company has reached the point where you no longer feel the need to advertise. You have stopped all print, quit doing bridal shows, maybe you’re not even active in social networking any more. You still have a website and that’s all you really need, post a blog here and there and sit back and work the events your venues send you. All’s good right?

Right, you have plenty of business for now. However in the wedding business we are constantly dealing with a completely new group of brides year after year. Referrals will come in for a while but as newer companies market themselves the brides hear about them and not you. In just a few years your excellent branding you may have built up can fade away. It is totally possible that new brides may have never heard of you.

Not advertising this season can mean a year from now you won’t have as many weddings as you have now.

Anyone might want to take a break from time to time, but be careful how long you keep out of the limelight.

Sometimes, the idea of not marketing can be contagious. When you mimic the decision of fellow professionals, are you doing what is best for your company? The people who work at venues come and go, preferred vendor lists can change at the drop of a hat. It’s never wise to put all you eggs in one basket.

To insure that your brand keeps on growing the way you want, stay active! Keep your name and company in the forefront of other vendors and the brides by participating in quality bridal shows, keep a print presence in wedding magazines and on wedding websites. If you pull back too much and are out of site and out of mind beyond your small referring group of friends, you will no longer exist to new brides and newer pros.

Perhaps you feel you can get all the business you want from the venues that refer you, however if all professionals feel that way and only venues do the advertising and exhibiting at shows, shows will cease to exist as they need the variety to fulfil the brides expectations when they attend shows.

You might call it the “circle of life” for weddings. If we all don’t work together to make the wedding planning experience what the brides want and need, the face of the industry will soon change in a way that none of us will like.

Think about the things you did that got you to where you are today…..if you stop doing them will there be a negative impact on your business down the road?

stopadvertisingimagesIt’s not too late to book a marketing package with Bridal Spectacular Events, reaching brides through bridal shows, print and web.

What Type of Bridal Show Follow Up Are You Doing?

After one of our recent bridal shows in Las Vegas, we surveyed the vendors as to how they planned to follow up with the brides they had met.

The options on the survey were:

  • No follow up planned
  • Call them
  • E-mail
  • Mail them

This is what the vendors said they were planning to do for follow-up

Bridal Show Follow up100% said they were going to e-mail the bride

37% said they would call the bride

no one said they would mail the bride!!

 

E-mailing the bride is definitely one of the ways you should follow up.  Just make sure you  design an effective campaign and time it right and don’t over due it. Brides will opt out or unsubscribe if you contant them too many times.  With the amount of spam mail everyone receives, you can’t be sure she will receive the e-mail or will respond to it.

Calling the bride is not always well received.  Today’s brides would prefer a text if you have their cell phone number over receiving a phone call from a stranger.

SEND MAIL!!!   There was a time when our mail boxes were overflowing and junk mail went into the trash.  But check your mailbox, how much mail are you receiving these days?  What do you receive in the mail and what catches your eye?    A bride is looking at everything WEDDING,  if you send her something in the mail  that is in the category that she still needs, she will notice it.  Target the brides you want, on the wedding days you are available, and send a well designed print piece.

Join the Bridal Spectacular in Las Vegas for our next bridal show, The Bridal Spectacular, no one brings in more quality brides than we do.

 

Big Bridal Shows vs Boutique Bridal Shows- Cattle Calls? Really?

It’s funny that producers of boutique or small bridal shows like to refer to large bridal shows as ‘Cattle Calls’ .  As a producer of both large and small bridal shows, we work to make sure all our bridal shows are what the bride is looking for and make sure we deliver the quantity and quality of brides the vendor needs to meet.

610-cattle-callMany small shows fall short of serving what the bride is really looking for which is a variety of vendors to choose from in every category.   Surveys show that brides who attend small shows often leave disappointed because they don’t feel they were able to find everything they need.  When we hold our boutique event, we still strive to make sure there are enough vendors for the brides to interview multiple vendors and compare information.

From the vendor aspect, while small show producers claim you will have a better opportunity to talk to each bride at a small show, not every bride is going to book your  service or product.  If it’s a 300 bride show and 25% of the brides are interested in your service you may have 50 leads.  At a large show of 1,200 brides, if 25% of the brides are interested in your service, then 300 brides could be qualified leads.   Finding time to talk to the brides that are qualified as a lead at a large show is a technique the vendor must master.  Talking to every bride at a small show does not guarantee the brides are qualified and need your service.

Our large shows held over 2 days, are laid out in an organized fashion so the brides can shop in comfort, see a fashion show, see decor trends and  collect information.  For over 22 years, we have been chosen as  the  best bridal show in town by both vendors and brides.   Smaller shows are held in only 4 or 5 hours which does not always make for a time frame that allows the bride to shop, go home and come back to make important decisions.  Giving them coupons to force an at show decision may help close the deal, but will not sway every bride.

Whether its our large two day show or our boutique event, we work to get our list available in a week or less.  It’s much easier to produce a lead list in less than a week when there are only 300 brides.  When you have over 1,000 brides and want to make sure duplicates are weeded out, it will take longer.

Some show producers, also like to say they have a more qualified bride, yet many of those shows are free or cheap.  How does that make for a more qualified bride?  For 22 years we have used tried and true methods including not giving away a ton of free tickets, to make sure we bring in the most qualified group of brides possible, not just ‘lookie lous’ walking through a hotel who need something to do.  Only brides are allowed to register and they only get to register once, and if they do manage to register more than once, we weed out the duplicates.

For more than 22 years we have designed ALL our shows to keep the bride and vendors in mind.  But first and foremost if we did not give the brides what they want, they would not come to our shows in such large numbers.  We continue to understand that providing the wedding professional with a large group of qualified prospects is crucial and that is our first priority.

Since we produce both types of shows, we find it totally unneccessary and un-professional to call any type of show names.  They all serve a vital purpose in bringing brides and vendors together.

cattle call

n. Informal

An audition in which a large number of often inexperienced actors or performers try out.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

A bridal show:   An event in which a large number of inexperienced brides come to find out how to plan their wedding.  “Is this a bad thing?”

Our next big show is right around the corner and so is our boutique event.  Find dates at BridalSpectacular.com