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How To Gain More Leads At A Bridal Show

How To Gain More Leads At A Bridal Show

After doing several Bridal Shows, we have learned many ways for vendors to be more successful at a Bridal Show.  Success is more than simply setting up a table and hoping people stop by.  Your success depends on you and how you interact with the attendees of the show.  Below is a list of 10 ways you can be more successful and capture more leads and clients at your next Bridal Show.

  1. Have a booth that makes a statement and stands out
    One of the best ways to make your booth stand out from the rest at a Bridal Show is to go VERTICAL.  Taller displays will immediately stand out as soon as an attendee walks into the room.Pick colors that stand out and represent your brand.  Some shows require you to use linens that they provide, while others do not.  Check with the show coordinator before planning your booth.  Once Upon A Time Events does not provide linens and places no restrictions on the use of colors or linens.Use table risers to create a multi-dimensional display for a more appealing look.  By placing items on your table at different levels, you can make better use of the space provided and create a more interesting display.  We have even seen some vendors use “bed risers” under the table legs to elevate their entire table.
  2. Immediately qualify people when they approach your booth to make sure you are available and that they need your services
    Many vendors will spend 15 minutes or more speaking to an attendee only to find out they don’t need their services or you are not available for them.  This could cost you precious leads that may pass your table because they see you are already engaged.  Start the conversation by asking them 3 simple questions to qualify potential clients.  1. Have you booked a {Name of Service}?  2. When is your wedding date?  3. Where are you getting married?
  3. Set Goals
    Many vendors measure success on how many people they are able to book at a Bridal Show.  While, being able to book a bride at a show is great, some brides are not willing to commit based on a 10-15 minute conversation.  Instead of trying to book every bride that approaches your table, go for a meeting instead.  A bride that is willing to schedule a meeting with you is a solid lead that can be converted into a booking.  Use the meeting as an opportunity to get to know them better and make them comfortable with you.Offer a “Show Special.”  A freebie or discount if they book an appointment with you at the show.
  4. Be friendly and approachable, stand in front of your table
    This should go without saying, however from our experience at our Bridal Shows too many vendors miss this simple opportunity.  When you stand in front of your table, you are immediately more approachable because there is no barrier between you and your potential client.  Don’t assume that every person walking by will stop at your table.  Reach out and draw them in. Have something in your hand to present to potential clients.  This shows confidence in your brand or product.  This is what a bride wants.  She wants to know if she books you that you are not going to “drop the ball” on her wedding.  Be eager to talk with attendees.  Stay at your table for the entire show and don’t leave early.Many vendors want to explore the room to see what other vendors have to offer or to network with other vendors.  If you would like to do this, arrive early, get setup and then explore the room before the show begins.
  5. Collect your own leads by holding a contest at your booth
    Most Bridal Shows will provide you with a list of all of the show attendees with contact information.  This is great, but this list is not a list of your qualified leads (See #2).  Encourage your qualified leads to sign your list for a chance to win a prize.  This allows you to capture their Name, Email, and Wedding Date and lets you concentrate your marketing efforts only on leads that you have qualified.
  6. Give away something useful or something everyone wants
    A sure way to get people to visit your table is to give away something that everyone wants.  Be creative and concentrate on branding.  Giving away a chocolate bar is nice but is even better if you brand it with your brand.  Think about the services you provide and create something useful to a bride that ties into your services.  A wedding planner might find it useful to provide a sample wedding budget that has your logo or brand.  A caterer might provide bottled water with their brand on it.  A fitness expert could provide a simple exercise band with a logo on it.  Be fun and creative, give away something people will use and remind them of your services every time they use it.
  7. Network with other wedding professionals
    Networking is important at a Bridal Show, but it must be done correctly.  All networking should be done prior to the start of the show or after the show.  We have had many vendors get leads from other vendors because a bride asked them if they had any recommendations for a particular service.  Treat other vendors as if they were potential clients.  Most importantly, make sure you network with Wedding Planners.  Wedding planners are often tasked with finding and booking different vendors for a wedding.  Getting on a wedding planners list of vendors can be very valuable.  Learn more about Wedding Planners with this post by Jill Dorrian a local wedding planner.
  8. Arrive Early
    You want to make sure you are completely setup and ready to go when the doors open.  Many vendors incorrectly assume that they need 30 minutes to setup their table so they arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the show.  This can be challenging for several reasons.  Bridal Shows can be hectic when setting up.  You may have to wait on an elevator because everyone is getting setup at the same time.  By arriving early, you can ensure that even if you have to wait on an elevator, it does not prevent you from having enough time to setup.  If you have time after you are setup, grab a cup of coffee and go network with other vendors.
  9. Bring food and water
    We try to provide coffee and water at our shows during setup.  Once the Bridal Show begins you should stay at your table, so having water can be helpful as you will be speaking a lot.  Eat prior to the show to avoid the embarrassment of eating when someone is approaching your table.  This also ensures you won’t be hungry during the show and will be at your best.Although it can be tempting to go taste those cupcakes on the other side of the room, save those for the attendees.  If there are some left after the show, then go grab a sample.
  10. Follow up fast
    Attendees will encounter many vendors at a Bridal Show.  Follow up quickly to remind them of your booth and conversation at the Bridal Show.  Send an email or postcard thanking them for their time.  Confirm any appointments you scheduled as well.

Brides, are you looking for tips for your success at a Bridal Show?  Check out our Bridal Show Tips for Brides post.

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