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Bridal Shows

Sid Vanderpool - Music Magic

Bridal Shows. Bridal Shows. Everywhere you look there seems to be another Bridal Show. With so many Bridal Shows available, the question naturally arises, "are Bridal Shows a worthwhile way to promote my DJ business?" The answer is really quite simple: yes and no.


Bridal Shows generally attract a very targeted group of brides interested in expanding their knowledge as to wedding related services and products that can help them make planning easier. This targeted group of Bridal Show participants naturally contains numerous prospective clients that may be interested in your services, many of whom you may not meet in any other way.

Bridal Shows provide a Disc Jockey Service with a convenient way to personally meet numerous potential clients during a short period of time. Personal contact is one of the most beneficial advantages of Bridal Shows, and is likely the one ingredient that will lead to more clients. This is a benefit that most other forms of advertising, despite the technology, still lack - personal contact.

For most Disc Jockey Services, a local Bridal Show would be the best place to start for several reasons. First, experience has shown that DJs, particularly those who specialize in weddings, are more successful acquiring local clients than acquiring clients at out of town shows. Despite the fact that weddings are a multi-billion dollar national market, many individuals continue to trust local DJs with their music needs. Second, because national Bridal Shows are so expensive, a local Bridal Show will most likely provide you the best contacts and save you the large expenses associated with participating in a large national show held out of your area.

...and No
"What are your expectations?" That is one of the first questions that a DJ should consider before investing in a Bridal Show. Although effective, participating in a single Bridal Show will likely not bring you thousands of clients. With that understood, it is much easier to realistically look at the potential of Bridal Shows for growing your business.

Just like your business, a Bridal Show is what you make of it. An attractive booth, handout materials, and professional Exhibitors are all essential components of an effective Bridal Show presentation. Without just one of these elements, your presentation may lack the power to bring your company real business.

Bridal Shows are busy places; however, despite the traffic, it will likely not flow directly into your site unless you direct it there. You must have something to draw people in, whether it be a sign that raises a question or a free drawing for a tangible gift. Simply "being there" is usually not enough to draw real traffic and bring in prospective clients.

Although effective, Bridal Shows can also be a very expensive investment. A DJ's marketing and advertising budget must be carefully weighed to determine if a Bridal Show will provide better leads than other forms of advertising.

Experience of Music Magic at Bridal Shows
Since its founding, Music Magic has participated in several Bridal Shows including the area's first mall bridal show. These Bridal Shows have had a steady effect on the growth of overall Bridal accounts.

One of the difficulties that Music Magic has faced with Bridal Shows is measuring the exact effect they have had upon the company's growth. Though there is little doubt that the shows are helpful, the exact impact is difficult to measure. (This problem is not solely limited to Bridal Shows, rather exact measurability is a problem with almost all forms of advertising). To attempt to ascertain the effect of Bridal Shows, Music Magic has included a question which asks the prospective client to identify how they heard of Music Magic. However, despite these efforts, exact results are often difficult to gauge.

Also keep in mind, the opportunity of simply rubbing shoulders with other businesses and vendors who work within the same arena are just as influential in advertising your business as gaining additional clients.

Questions questions....

If you're exhibiting at a bridal fair or expo and you're making your game plan, ask yourself:

What do I expect to accomplish as a result of exhibiting?
Do I have a clearly defined and written set of goals that include the number of brides I expect and the number of sales that will be a result of the show?

When a Bride comes up to my exhibit booth, what do I want their first impression of me to be?
How will I make this happen?

What powerful questions will I ask a Bride to immediately qualify them and generate interest in what I do?
Do I have these questions written down and rehearsed? Are they questions that make a Bride answer with information that leads to an appointment or booking?

What information do I want to get from asking this question?
Can I tell how qualified my Bride is as a result of the question? Does it take more than one question to find out the information I need?

What power statements can I make that will establish credibility and motivate the Bride to act?
Do I have these statements written down and rehearsed? Is each one a statement about what I do in terms of what my Bride needs? Is it a statement that is memorable?

Am I doing anything memorable? Is my exhibit memorable? Am I saying anything memorable?
What can I do that will be remembered and talked about after the show?

Am I doing anything that will differentiate me or distinguish me from the competition?
When I follow up after the show, what will separate me from my competition in the eyes of the Bride?

What are the tools I'll need to accomplish these tasks?
What literature, ad specialties, signs, show specials and people do I need to make this show a success? (Meet or exceed my goals.)

Are you going to try to sell other exhibitors? Of course, you are!

  • Let them know you are an exhibitor, too!

  • The best selling situation is CEO to CEO.
  • Use a well thought-out, rehearsed, short statement about who you are and what you do.
  • Try to establish quick rapport and confidence either through mutual friends, known customers, their competition that buys from you or your ability to explain how your service can benefit the exhibitor.

    - You have less than one minute to do this.
    - Remember, the exhibitor is there to sell not buy.

  • Don't interrupt a conversation taking place. Ever.

  • Conversation can carry on 1 to 3 minutes, not longer.
  • Get card, write information, firm up a "get-together."
  • Get moving.

Tips For A Successful Bridal Show

Make Graphics Grab the Viewer's Attention.
More important than your company name or product is a sign that states a benefit. Your sign should read like a billboard with a bold message in eight words or less. Tell the prospects what you can do for them. Surprisingly, most exhibits make the company name the largest graphic in the booth. If you want to draw prospects into your booth, design your graphics like an advertisement, and make the benefit stand out.

Don't Stack Brochures
Less is more when it comes to brochures-- the fewer brochures on display, the higher the perceived value. It's better to frequently re-stock your literature rack than to have a pile that indicates you don't place much value on the brochure. The best brochures are one-page fact sheets. They are easier to carry home and less likely to be thrown out because they're less bulky to carry.

Color Captures Attention
Don't be hesitant about using red, yellow or orange. All of these colors help emphasize the message and, more importantly, draw the viewer's eye to your booth. Black lettering on a yellow or orange background is 60 percent more likely to be read than if on a white background. Bright colors indicate an important message. Stay away from earth tones or blue. They may be comfortable, but they're dull when communicating a message.

New Services Draw Prospects
The word new stops the viewer. The prospect is challenged by the word new and looks to see what is new. Always create a separate sign with the word new on it. Don't make it part of the existing sign. It should stand out as its own message. This is sure to bring attention to your exhibit and service.

Create Zones for Selling
Have you ever walked into a store and felt you couldn't browse around? Some attendees feel the same way about exhibits. Allow plenty of open space for visitors to browse. Create a sign, "You're welcome to browse and enjoy our exhibit." Never place a table across the front of an exhibit-- it acts as a blockade and keeps visitors from entering the booth.

Eliminate the Pitch Posture
Avoid appearing like the palace guard. Don't cross your hands or place your hands in your pockets. Hold a small piece of paper in your hands-- it will give you better posture and make you look more approachable. With smaller exhibits, don't stand in the center of the exhibit, stand off to the side, near the front corner of the exhibit. To create a more inviting appearance, don't directly face the aisle and stare at attendees. Instead, stand at a 45-degree angle so you're viewing the aisle with your peripheral vision.

Increase the Value of Giveaways
Key chains, pens and other giveaways randomly stacked on a counter create the grab-and-run behavior with attendees. The best way to use giveaways is to carry a few with you, and after each conversation present the item as a token of your appreciation. Giveaways piled on a counter or in a large bowl are perceived by attendees to be cheap trinkets with low value.

Round Tables are Better Than Square Counters
Square and rectangular shapes create the impression that visitors should stand on one side and the sellers on the opposite. They serve as barriers and reduce the quality of interaction. Round shapes eliminate the perception of positioning and create a more friendly side-by-side conversation with the visitor. With round, counter-height tables, visitors feel more comfortable talking to sales representatives.

Lighting Greatly Enhances Visual Impact
The viewer's eye is attracted to the brightest spot. Adding a few extra spotlights to your exhibit can increase the visual pulling power by 50 percent or more. Some older and smaller exhibit halls have poor lighting. The addition of lights to your exhibit allows your exhibit to be noticed more quickly and easily.

Sid Vanderpool is the owner of The Wedding Helper Magazine
and producer of one of the largest bridal shows in Southern Idaho



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