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CENTRAL ILLINOIS + MIDWEST PHOTOGRAPHY EDUCATION : BRIDAL SHOW’S

Hey Everyone, with the local bridal show coming up soon I thought

I’d finally dig in to my emails I’ve been receiving and dive right in to some of the

pressing issues that you guys may be interested in as far as furthering yourself and

your business for the 2018 wedding season.

Okay, so I’ve mainly received emails wanting to know more about how to

be successful at a bridal show and what it takes to stand out against

your competitors, Well here are some of my top tips and tricks to help you

become more successful at bridal show’s !

Be Unique

Bridal shows are usually pretty large! Which means you probably aren’t the only photographer, videographer, planner or vendor of your kind there. Try and find ways to be unique and stand out in the minds of brides who are seeing multiple of the same types of vendors throughout a small period of time.

Have a Way to Collect Info

 At bridal show’s today you may be qualified to receive a list of brides actively planning their wedding and their contact information. This list allows you to follow up with them from the show and remind them of your services.

Let’s be honest – these brides are meeting nearly a hundred vendors in one place. They’re hearing a lot of number and facts and are collecting a lot of information. You can’t rely on them to remember your company’s name among the rest once they leave the show.

That’s why it’s so important to make the first move and contact them. Remind them who you are, what services you provide, and any basic details they may need to know. These initial communications work best when you have personal information and details you talked about with them. If you are going off of a list we provide you, the email will read as generic and impersonal.

If you’ve collected your own leads, you can take notes about conversations you had, whether or not their wedding date is available for you, who attended the show with them, etc.

Bring an Employee!

This is one of my biggest tips!

Bridal shows are buzz buzz buzz. If it was just me all day I know so many brides would have slipped through.

There is often a lot of brides who won’t wait around at your booth forever just to get a chance to chat. Having someone with you helps give you some more time before you can speak with them and cover more people.

I also highly suggest finding someone who knows you, your work and your business because they are there to help you market that and book more clients. So they need to know what they are talking about.

Show What You Want to Shoot!

I love REAL and RAW emotional moments. I am not too fond of staged or posed looking images and definitely no stiff images.

It is always said in the photo world that you should show what you want to shoot, and a bridal show is no different. This can also be applied to other vendors.

For example, if you are a planner who loves Kate Spade themed weddings, then show those or do a mock up design to show. This is what draws in those new brides that are perfect for your style.

Don’t Worry About Competition or MIA Brides-To-Be

Ok, to be honest I could have found a better way to word that subtitle. The thing is you will probably have a few people glance at your table and just walk away, not even giving you a chance.

That’s actually a GOOD THING! They probably noticed you were a photographer and either already have one, or already know who they want or maybe your style just isn’t for them. We as photographers or vendors owe them a thank you for not wasting our time and realizing that we may not be a perfect fit and that’s ok.

Also, try not to let envy or competition get the best of you. I actually recommend walking over to your fellow vendor and wishing them luck before the event! It’s great to make those connections and I promise you it will be so much better in the long run.

To Show Pricing or Not to Show Pricing?

This can go either way I think. Last year’s bridal show I passed out pricing the day of and it was a great success. 

This year I am wanting to be  more in tune with my ideal brides and have decided to try the other side by not handing out pricing. I have to say I kind of prefer not passing out pricing! The brides-to-be had the opportunity to meet me and decide if they loved me and my style before ever even seeing pricing.

This way I had brides personally pick ME out and say I want to book you without even seeing a single price! I have to say, that right there is any vendor’s ideal client. The one who wants you, appreciates YOU and in return you mutually work better together!

Be yourself!

For me this means a lot of things. One, it means being true to my style, I understand it’s a professional event and you want to come off that way, but you still can while dressing to your everyday style.

This also means not starting every convo with potential brides with reasons why they should hire me. This also means not ONLY talking to brides that don’t have wedding photographers.

A lot of people may disagree with me on this one, but if someone comes to my booth to visit and already has someone, I’ll make small talk! Like I have said before, my modo is to be a good person first and good business woman second!

I have my friend or employee there to help so what is the harm in wishing this newly engaged couple luck, even if I wont be the one to capture it? You have to put yourself in the shoes of the client and think of how you would want to be treated!

Thats it for now , thanks for reading (:

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