So you go to bridal shows to get the discounts, talk to the vendors, see a fashion show. . . . etc. My question to you is what would you really like to see at a show? This Question is geared to both Vendors and Brides. Be honest and realistic please. As a show producer I would love to hear every ones feed back. Thank you in advance for your time.
wedding themes, bridal gowns and all accessories
I recently did a bridal show. I've been resisting him for awhile, but the producer really wanted an officiant there so all categories could be represented and he's an absolute sweetheart. The venue was not the best. I think a wide open show space with straight broad aisles would have worked much better. We were in odd-shaped smaller rooms and it got quite claustrophobic after awhile with bizarre traffic patterns. The table I had designed to be approached straight-on had traffic coming at it from a perpendicular angle.
I can tell you I very much appreciated the producer having a dedicated time for vendors before they trotted out the dresses, rather than having a concurrent fashion show the entire time. He also had a directory with all the vendors listed on it. Brides who visited every booth for a stamp were eligible for drawing for a major prize.
It was a crush of people rushing to see everything in the time allotted, so I never really felt I got the time to chat with people who did have a question. I did get plenty of literature in people's hands though, so time will tell what the follow up will be like. I did book one wedding at the show, which was quite nice. Other than that, I've not had any after-show inquiries. I'm reluctant to utilize the database the producer sent the vendors after the show because in my case, many of the brides may very well be getting married in their own church and not be in need of an independent officiant.
I have sent out emails to individuals who won my drawing for free or discounted marriage preparation classes and have yet to hear from a single one. I imagine they are still sifting through the mounds and mounds of material they accumulated by the end of the day.
As a vendor I would look for a show that a) tried to include as many categories of vendors as possible, b) limited the number of vendors per category, c) had a sliding scale for booth space not just in terms of size, but also category....
In my case, I will have to book at least four weddings from the show to just break even, while a caterer or venue can probably more than make it up in a single booking. That's another reason why I resisted bridal shows in the past. If this producer hadn't drastically reduced his booth prices I could never have done it. His previous prices would have had me needing to book more than ten weddings to break even. Big difference between vendors who make a thousand dollars off a wedding and one who makes a hundred. Sensitivity to that reality is much needed in my opinion....
and d) provides vendors with a scrubbed database of registered brides very shortly after the event.
Good luck with your shows!
Rev. Ann Fuller
I do not know how other vendors would feel about this, but I did overhear several brides moaning that the different categories were not shown together. i.e. a section for bakeries, another for florists, another for travel agencies, etc. I personally wouldn't mind having a booth sandwiched between two other officiants, but I understand where some vendors might not like the idea.