7 Days of Bridal Show Success: Day 2
Yesterday I wrote about the first important key to bridal show success….having enough staff present to maximize your time with the brides that visit your booth. Today, it’s all about the wow factor.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen vendors completely waste their opportunity to impress their prospects because of their lackluster booth. There is nothing memorable about having a candy bowl and a give away. Bridal shows are crowded, both by prospects and vendors. The key is to shine through and make a memorable impression. Some choose to do this through decor, other through unique food offerings, and others through their personality or interaction. Just make sure you have something that helps you stand out.
Although the word gimmick has a negative connotation, it’s kind of what I’m talking about here. According the Wikipedia, though, here’s the definition:
“In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something “stand out” from its contemporaries.”
Wikipedia goes on to say that gimmicks usually are not relevant to our product or service itself but can still be useful to help us differentiate ourselves.
This last bridal show, I used Pinterest to help me find our gimmick and decided on a Milk & Cookie Bar (I promise this had nothing to do with my obsession with cookies!). I have not sold a single Milk & Cookie Bar for a wedding but everyone who came in from the show talked about it. I still went out of my way to make our booth beautiful, to interact with as many brides as possible, and to do everything else right…but the gimmick, the Milk & Cookie Bar, helped make us memorable.
Something like this is also helpful in the follow up process. It creates a point of reference so we can say something like “we were the guys with the milk and cookies” and they’ll remember us. I could have taken it a step further and sent my really good prospects a small box of cookies with a personalized note.
As much as everyone wants their wedding to be unique, brides love trends. How many weddings have you done with burlap and mason jars? Getting ahead of a new trend or building on a popular one is another way to wow brides. Most likely, they’ve already seen these trends in magazines or online but seeing them in person is even better. I’ve seen some vendors in the past play off leading trends and stylize their entire booth to embody that trend. Taking that a step further, they could offer a trend guide with ideas and details from their show and other like events in exchange for contact information. I’ve seen vendors play off a particular color or color scheme…even to the point of changing their marketing materials (brochures, business cards, flyers, etc.) to match those colors. That kind of consistency is surely memorable.
Many brides come to shows for inspiration and end up taking a lot of pictures. Creating a photo worthy booth is a great way to be memorable. Set up your booth in a way that it’s easy to photograph. This could mean setting up a series of vignettes, making sure things aren’t to cluttered, paying attention to the background space, etc. Actually take a few pictures with your camera or phone and see how things look. You can even suggest better angles to the prospects to make their pictures better. Now, in front of your photo worthy decor, designs, food, etc., make sure there is something with your name. This could be a small sign or a piece of marketing literature. That is just a good way to help them remember who you are. Also, make sure you have your Twitter and Instagram handles easily available just in case they choose to tag you in the picture.
So that’s it for today. What ideas do you have to stand out from the crowd? I’d love to hear about them.
Featured Image by zoetnet