Bridal shows are almost a must if you want to reach brides. With each bridal show you attend, you invest an enormous amount of money and time to sell yourself and your business. It’s important to make sure you’re getting a meaningful return on that big investment. Christine Dyer of bridaltweet.com has some great ideas for you.
Before the show:
- Set goals and organize yourself well in advance of the show. Make sure you have a clear plan of why you are there and what you’re there to accomplish. Make a list and keep it with you throughout the show to remind yourself.
- Invite prospects – Utilize the lists of brides from various sources (like Premier Bride – pbdetroit.com) and invite people to see you at the show. Consider handing out special gifts to those you’ve invited as a way to get them in the door. Don’t underestimate the power of social networking – many of those contacts you have will likely tell their friends. Most people don’t attend shows alone!
- Train Your Team – Choose your team wisely! Bring people with you who are social and enthusiastic to sell what you’re offering. There’s nothing worse than that person sitting behind the table waiting for the bride to come up to them. Your specially trained team should know how to approach people and have a short speech memorized on what to tell each person. You only have a few minutes – make it worth your while.
At the Show:
- Go Above and Beyond – create your brand at your table. Make it appealing and make it completely obvious what you’re selling. If you’re selling cakes, that’s what should be front and center. Not a bouquet of flowers or anything else. Stay on task and don’t deviate from your plan.
- Hand Out Giveaways – even simple items draw people in. Premier Bride uses nail files with the logo and website printed right on them. They’re a useful item that will stay with the bride for a period of time after the show.
- Be Inviting – encourage passers by to stop and talk with you. Always stand in front or beside your table, never behind it. Always have a smile on your face and be genuine, authentic and approachable.
- Collect Information – if the show allows it, encourage brides to leave their names and emails with you. To make it more enticing, offering some kind of drawing in exchange for this information. You’ll build your mailing list while they have a chance to win!
- Leverage Twitter – While you’re at the show, tweet out where you are and how long you’ll be there. Monitor other people’s tweets as well and respond accordingly. If an someone popular tweets that they are there, meet them and tell them you saw their tweet. This is an easy way to connect with people who can help your business.
After the Bridal Show:
- Contact those you’ve met – As you collect business cards and meet people at the show, be sure to contact them 1-5 days after the event. Cultivate those contacts as you never know what might help in the future.
- Assess Your Success – Revisit the goals you created way back at the beginning of this process. Did you do what you set out to do? Was it a success? Don’t forget to utilize all the contacts you made whether they be brides, media contacts, fellow professionals or anyone else. You might even want to take notes on what worked and what didn’t – plus your thoughts on what you’d do different next time.