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How do you set up for bridal shows

Sandra Henderson , Sep 14, 2005; 07:36 p.m.

I have a bridal show coming up in January and this is my first time having a table at one, so does anyone here have pictures of how they've set up their tables or can explain what they've done? I'm just wanting to get some ideas to work with to figure my setup for next year. Thanks everyone.

Responses

Steve Levine , Sep 14, 2005; 10:12 p.m.

I strongly suggest you attend another show as a "guest" between now & January. This way you can see what other shooters do. You don't want to look ill prepared, or mediocre compared to the competition. Some go all out and have expensive trade show type sets built. Others, go the simple route.

Most important is to look professional. Dress neatly, and present your work carefully. You don't have to spend a fortune "decorating", if your work "speaks" to the brides. I have seen people get bookings with a few nicely presented big prints, and a handfull of proof books.

Mostly what sells at bridal shows is "you". The couples get to meet you face to face. Being cordial, and seeming capable of doing the job, are the only skills needed here. Second rate work, with a big smile beats great work, being shown by someone miserable.

Jon Jacobson - Grand Rapids MI , Sep 15, 2005; 09:56 a.m.

Steve is right-on here. My experience in attending these shows (not actually displaying) is that the photographers that interacted were the busiest.

One booth had a girl (not the photographer or owner) sitting and chatting on her cell phone. Nobody was visiting this booth.

Another booth had her husband covering while she was shooting a wedding that day. He couldn't answer questions to save his life.

Having worked and attended various trade shows, I've seen more display booths than I care to recall. The best are the ones that had a boatload of money sunk into it. But we're talking huge shows. Even at these shows, or smaller shows such as a bridal show, simple & clean & to-the-point works wonders.

But additionally, what Steve says, be personable. Be approachable. Attend a show between now and then. Don't just learn from others' mistakes, but take note of those that are bringing in traffic. Don't hire somebody to "man the booth" in your absense. And lastly, be inspired, but don't copy!

David Coleman , Sep 16, 2005; 09:38 a.m.

I could write a book on this but I'll try to give you some meat to work with and keep it short.

* Take your own lighting. These can be porta flood type lights but light up your display prints with as many as your power allocation allows.

*If you have like a std 3Mx3M trade show booth, take 9M of fabric to cover the walls. I like calico which is off white and cheap or get something black. You will probably need material that is 2.4M high so if you want black, getting a gallon of dye may be the best answer because few fabrics tend to come that wide. Whatever you do, Change the colour of the stand walls. TIP: run the leads for your lighting first off then cover them with the fabric so they aren't seen. I use an industrial stapler and tack it along the top edge so it hangs and pulss out the creases.

* Make up a music CD with some upbeat fun tunes. Some romantic is OK but my suggestion is go easy on the slop. It is overdone with weddings and people soon get sick of it. Take a boom box and crank the bass right up but have the music soft enough so you can talk to people and it dosent annoty other exhibitors. People are attracted to the beat which will carry and the bright lights.

* Get a large banner made with your slogan and a killer picture or two on it. Large format inkjet prints are ideal for this. My suggestion is something at least 2Mx3M. Get some curtain rods and use them to hoist the print above your stand as High as you can get it. Secure it to the stand with electrical saddle clamps and tek screws. You can losely clamp the rods and then when you have it all positioned, slide the rods up and then tighten the clamps. Train a few spotlights on the banner and aim it toward the entrance of the show or where the main traffic is coming from. It will pull a lot of people to your stand no matter how bad a position you are in.

* Do a competition with an entry form with all the relevant contact details you need including email addys. Offer a prize such as a bonus parent album, engagement portrait etc. You can easily get more bookings from working your database after the show than the actual bookings you get at the show. If possible, get someone to stand in front of your stand giving out the entry forms and directing them to your stand to fill them in.

* Have a slide show on a monitor running on your stand. Do fades and romantic shots as well as more modern pics. You may like to run the music for the slide show through the beforementioned boom box for effect.

* Take your diary and book people in to come see you. If you don't have many ( any ) bookings, make some up and write them in pencil so you look busy. If someone wants that time tell them those people have rebooked and fill in the genuine appointment in pen.

*I do Not reccomend giving out price lists. Make up something with an offer and explain your packages but don't print prices. Give them out verbally by all means but don't help the clients price shop.

* Don't take any more than 1 or 2 albums for clients to look through. You are there to arouse interest in your work not to lay all your cards on the table in one go. If you can make a firm wedding booking do so but my suggestion is not to try to do it. Get them to come to you where you can do your presentation and build rapport with potential clients in a controlled and condusive enviroment to selling them your services then.

* make up some simple B/W flyers with an offer and your details, website etc and give out as many as you can.

I have done probably 40-50 Bridal fairs and have learned these things over time and know they work. Hope you find the same. :0)

Bill Clark - Minnetonka Minnesota , Sep 20, 2005; 06:48 p.m.

I've worked hundreds of trade shows. For weddings I whet the potential clients appetite by showing them what my heart, mind, & soul, when it locks in step with a wedding party, produces a story as unfolded and recorded with my little cameras.

I work very hard at what I do. I'm constantly trying to get inside of my clients so as I can best represent a most beautiful day in their lives with my camera and other stuff.

This shows at bridal shows. I have a gift from God to be able to communicate and connect with others. The other stuff, such as albums, pictures, handouts only add to the exurbance I bring to the event.

If you can tell by the "tone" of this ditty, I love the wedding business. My clients can tell this. I get pumped up at every wedding.

This must mean something as I've got weddings booked through June 2007.

Life is Grand.

Are you on board my train?

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