Tag Archives: bridal show exhibitor

Tips for Following-up After the Winter Bridal Show

And that’s a wrap! In just two days, 2,500 brides, grooms, friends and family joined us this past weekend at Cashman Center, making the 2015 Winter Bridal Spectacular Show one of our most successful shows yet.

In our last blog, we provided some great tips to help you gain more clients before and during the show. Now, we are going to share a few post-show practices to help you create a successful follow-up campaign.

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Follow-Up Immediately

It’s imperative to maintain the momentum you’ve built during the show and contact your leads while you are still fresh in their mind. Whether it’s an email or phone call, a quick response is a great way to help your company stand out from competitors who may take weeks to follow-up with couples.

Set Priorities

After you had the opportunity to speak with various couples during show, you should have a good idea of which ones were your best leads. Segment your leads into hot, medium and cold and focus most of your efforts on the hot leads. Then once you have been able to connect with them, you can move on to the medium and cold leads.

Be Original

Just as you put time and effort into creating a unique and professional quality booth to set you apart at the show, you want to put the same effort into creating a great follow-up piece. Consider mailing a small gift with a personal letter congratulating the couple and request an in-person meeting to further discuss ideas for their big day. If you can’t send a direct mail piece, send a creative email personalized for each couple that also requests an in-person meeting.

Reach Brides_Crowd at Show

Have Multiple Touch Points

Repetition, repetition, repetition! The more a couple hears and sees your name, the more they will remember you. In your follow-up plan, be sure to include multiple touch points with the couple. You can begin with a phone, then send an email or text, and perhaps a direct mail piece or packet with more information. Keep in mind that emails may go to spam or brides may not even read them, so it’s important that you don’t rely entirely on this method.

Don’t Forget the Call-to-Action

However you choose to follow-up, be sure to include a bold and compelling message (such as a limited-time offer) and a strong call-to-action and deadline. You can even offer couples an incentive to meet with you in-person, such as a $20 gift card. This will increase the response rate immensely.

Track Your Progress

Be sure you have a way to track all of your leads so no one is accidentally forgotten. In your marketing database or in a spreadsheet, keep track of how many times you have reached out to a couple and how you communicated with them. Trying a different form of communication may yield better results.

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Remember, persistence is key! If you don’t hear back right away, don’t give up. Depending on what planning stage the couple is in, you can send a special offer a few months down the road, invite them to an upcoming open house, or even the next Bridal Spectacular Show!

Bridal Show Etiquette Part 3 – ‘Stay inside the lines’

trade-show-boothAs a bridal show exhibitor, you are buying two main ingredients:

  • Audience: The brides, family, and friends who attend the show.
  • Real Estate: A defined space within which you exhibit, and sell from.

In addition, there is distribution through gift bags, provided to the brides. Some businesses participate in the fashion show. And, let’s not forget the show guide and Spectacular Bride magazine.

All of these tools matter, but have different value and protocol.

Protocol is a gentle word for ‘rules and behavior.’

X-Factor

Let’s be frank… just you and me… some wedding businesses play nicer with their competitors than others. Some have mutual respect; others mutual disdain.

The atmosphere can be edgy, even among non-competitive wedding businesses. What to do?

Sometimes it has nothing to do with competition. It’s just human chemistry (I may have coined a new phrase).

THE RULES: Play By Them

Most of them are in writing(see your paperwork from Bridal Spectacular), some are ‘unwritten’, and yet others are just common sense.

  • There is plenty of ‘advance time and easy access’ for loading into the show space. However, the best policy is to come fully staffed (plus a one or two extra people) to assist on load in and set-up. The earlier you arrive, the better.
  • Booth Location: Double-check the Bridal Spectacular floor plan to be certain of your booth location. Communicate the location information to all your exhibit-staff and set-up crew, in advance, so no time is lost.
  • Booth Size: 10′ x 10′ is a common booth size. Don’t take it for granted. Check your paperwork. There’s no penalty for verifying what you decided eight months ago, for whatever reason.
  • Now about the vertical space… and separation between booths – These can vary from show to show and location to location. Verify the pipe and drape height for both the back and sides.
  • Don’t Block The View: You don’t automatically have the right to construct a vertical pipe and drape wall, adjacent to another exhibitor. It makes perfect sense to create a tent-like environment for certain types of business… lighting, for example. HOWEVER, a fully contained space will obstruct the view of an adjacent exhibitor. Did you get permission to add to your booth? If not, you will be improvising.
  • Avoid Aisle Creep: Aisles are not for exhibitors. Aisles for brides and grooms or for your staff to get to the snack bar. Your exhibit crew that saying within the confines of your booth is standard-operating-procedure. The goal should be to draw people into your booth space by creating an inviting environment without obstacles at its front. More than being ‘against the show rules’, when exhibitors drift into the aisles, clipboards or iPads in hand, brides often perceive it as ‘too aggressive’. This is bad for the entire show, and particularly bad for the offending exhibitor, even if the aisle blocking is accidental.
    • Be aware of your staff, and where they are.
    • Be aware of other exhibitors, and their respect of boundaries.
    • It’s good to create a collaborative relationship with exhibitors in your vicinity (“Hey, could you keep an occasional eye on my crew, and I’ll do the same for you.”)
    • No one wants to be a tattle-tale, but if absolutely, talk to a member of show staff to point out the problem.
  • Noise Factor: There are generally two kinds of noise. Human conversation and electronic generated sound; usually music. Don’t make it difficult for prospective clients to talk over your excessive volume. In particular, if you are using music or sound effects, be careful about where speakers are place, and respect your neighbors. Be conservative, consult the rules, and comply with ALL instructions from show producer staff.

Common Sense is the #1 Rule

Other exhibitors are your neighbors. Brides, their friends and families are your guests. Being set up on time, looking presentable, staying energetic and friendly, plus being cooperative and respectful to all who surround you makes for a great atmosphere and successful show for one-and-all!

Andy Ebon

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog