On my list of things I'd like to accomplish, being in a Bridal Show was one of them. I was in bed one night watching Netflix and scrolling through Instagram when I saw that the Swoon Event was taking applications for their show in San Diego. I loved last years event, and since then had secretly been dreaming of being in it. I did not want to take any chance of talking myself out of it, so I applied right then and there. To my surprise, I was accepted a month later!! [yay, me!!]
I had so many questions and no one to answer them, so I went to the internet. I researched A LOT and applied almost everything I read. Somethings work, and others didn't, so I want to share my top five Bridal Show MUST Dos with you!!
1. Backdrop: This is your chance to go BIG and show your potential clients who you are stylistically. For me, building a palette wall was the most feasible option, and there were a lot of articles that had tips on how to build one. I was sold! Best part about it was everyone who passed by definitely looked at my booth. I saw a few other friend-ors had the same idea. #greatmindsthinkalike
2. Signage: I knew that I wanted my booth to look really clean + professional. I felt the lazer cut out of my logo was the perfect statement piece to really tie in the professional look I wanted. I searched Etsy and found NGOCreations. They were super reasonable, and did quick amazing work! I was so stoked when I received tons of compliments on the sign. [Thank you again NGOCreations!!]
3. Raffle: Holy crap am I glad I did this!!! I had my own little personal raffle offering $500 off any wedding package. This was such a great conversation starter, and I met tons of super sweet couples because of it. I also retrieved everyone's email I talked to when they entered the raffle. This made it so easy for me to follow up with them the next morning to thank them for stopping by my booth. If you want to get extra organized [because your a control freak like me], I had a note book with me the whole time and made personal notes about each couple I talked. This allowed me to be more personal in my emails, and helped remember who was who [i.e. wedding date, venue, how they met]. I ended up booking three weddings after the event, so I'd say this strategy WORKED! [Calligraphy on leaves by Nikki Hess of LavenderandSea]
4. Albums: For some reason I for sure thought people were going to be too shy and not touch the wedding albums at my booth. Boy am I glad I got two, because everyone who stopped by was grabbing them to take a look. I actually could not decide between Kiss Books or Artifacts Uprising, so I used both. Why not? Everyone likes different styles at the end of the day. One album was an engagement session, and the other was a wedding. If I had to do this again, I would have made both of them wedding albums.
5. Talk to people: At one point I remember talking to one bride, and seeing two others walk up to my booth at the same time. My excited heart wanted to burst into three people and talk to them all at once. Sadly, I can only be in so many places at once, so do your best to not let that distract you. Stay engaged with the potential client in front of you who is interested in hearing more about your services. You are here to make connections, so connect! I wanted to avoid being overwhelmed at all costs, so I asked a very close friend if she would not mind stepping in to help for a few hours. I prepped her with all the info on pricing and how to answer general questions. She was such a HUGE help. While I was talking to one client, she would greet the other, and then pass them along to me once I was done. I highly recommend doing this, but make sure that person is prepared to give info to potential clients and is really personable.
A lot of vendors have mixed feelings on bridal shows. My vote is YES and give it your all! It was the most rewarding experience ever, and I had a lot of fun meeting other friends in the industry.