Bridal shows 101.

Brides go there to get information, NOT to buy. Perhaps 3% of attendees are in a “buyer” mode.

Collect leads, as many as you can. We do NOT use iPads or laptops to collect info, we use pen and paper slips…. BECAUSE you can have 5-10 people filling out slips at the same time. We collect on average 200-250 leads in our booth this way.

You have to have an incentive to register, we do a drawing for a FREE photobooth. Costs me ~$250 in labor, easy peasy.

Never stop following up.

Bridal shows are worthless if you do not have a systemized sales process.

What do you track your leads with? (If nothing else, use a spreadsheet). You need to maintain a LIST of leads. And regularly prune that list, deleting leads who say NO, or whose date has passed.

Regularly follow up with your list. Send out emails. Mail physical letters. CALL any phone numbers you have.

We run regular sales and promotions, and in between those we send out useful content and planning advice.

The bulk of our money from a January bridal show comes from May through October.

Next week, at the January bridal shows, the majority of brides will have 2019 wedding dates. They JUST got engaged. They are collecting information, and not ready to buy.

I can guarantee you, that I will be the ONLY company that is still following up with them 3 weeks after the show. Most people only send 3 emails, get no response, and wrongly assume “they must have booked someone else, someone cheaper, guess they weren’t my client”.

When in fact, they aren’t ready to buy… and when they ARE ready to buy (12-8 months before their wedding date), they buy from me, because I kept following up, stayed top of mind, and offered them a “1 year away” early bird discount in July 2018 for their July 2019 wedding.

Bridal shows are great, but they are just 10% of the overall sales and marketing strategy. They exist solely to feed leads into a finely tuned selling machine.

So don’t go into a bridal show thinking you’re going to get sales from the show… you won’t. You’ll get leads. You get sales from the blood sweat and tears of selling to your list day in and day out all year long.