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Bridal show help

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Doug LewisBridal show help
by on Sep 12, 2005 at 4:59:49 pm

I did a search but did not find any info. Maybe I did something wrong. Anyway, here is my situation. I have been doing wedding videos for about 17 years. It has always been part-time, extra money. A few years ago I moved to three chip cameras, computer editing and started an LLC, basically made it a "real" business. My goal for 2006 is to start the process of taking my small part-time business up to full time employment. Since most of my experience is in weddings, that is the area I am looking to expand. I am planning on having a booth at 2 different bridal shows, in January.

My question is, what things do I need to hand out? Flyers and printed info only, or in addition demo DVDs? What can I expect from the attendees? Mostly questions or actual bookings? Just looking for advice. Thanks.

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Jeff CarpenterRe: Bridal show help
by on Sep 12, 2005 at 5:34:36 pm

In my experience, the people who attend the shows remember VERY little of what they see. They're just overwhelmed with information. Because of this, you have two goals:

1) Put something, anything, into their hands. Some kind of half-sheet flyer is good. I'd go for glossy, color printing. It's more expensive, but the way people are going to call you is when they're shifting through tons of papers later that weekend and they come across yours.

2) Be as friendly as possible. Hopefully you can make enough of an impression that they'll remember you for the next 18 hours and think about how nice you were when they find your flyer later that night.

Of course, you have to have a demo running at the show just so people know your videos look nice. They won't actually JUDGE the video, it just answers the question "Should I take a flyer from this guy?" That's ALL the demo has to accomplish.

As for giving out demos...I don't really like demos and try to schedule meetings 1 on 1, so I've never worried about them too much. But if you're just going to send out demos later to anyone who calls you anyway, you might want to consider giving them out at the show. I'd get the mini-CDs and put a Windows-Media and Quicktime file on it. That might be a good idea although I've never done it myself.

Don't count on any bookings. You'll probably see several hundred people for about 15 to 25 seconds and probably about a dozen will stop and talk for 5 minutes. Those dozen are your best leads, but any of the other hundreds may call you later too, so don't worry too much if people aren't spending too much time at your booth.

And finally, check the shows to see if they have a system for prizes. Sometimes they do show-wide raffles and you can offer something like a "free photo montage" or "$200 of any package." Have a sign up about it and people will come over to drop off their info about it. This gives you a LOT more chances to put flyers in peoples hands.

And the great thing is, whoever wins would have to actually hire you to claim that prize. So you win, no matter what happens. In fact, you could print "free photo montage" on ALL the flyers you hand out. Something like that, anyway, that's only a little more work for you but would generate a lot more interest from brides when they're compairing flyers the next day.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Bridal show help
by on Sep 12, 2005 at 9:45:40 pm

Agree with 99 percent of the above.

Stay with full-size CD's or DVD's, some slot-loading machines have problems loading or ejecting the smaller ones, you don;t want to break a client's amchine as your introduction... I would make it only a DVD, by the way: that can be played by almost any modern computer as well as every home DvD player, but a CD-Rom assumes technical acumen your viewer may not have. Not trying to be sexist, but maybe more "ageist", Bride's mom's are not in my experience very technically savvy, and they are major decision makers regarding wedding stuff, so don't give them a technical puzzle to work out, loading drivers or players or whatnot, they'll just say 'skip this hassles" and move on to the next applicant. That's my own opinion, and it's not a universal statement about all bride's moms I'm making, but IMO it's the way to bet.

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jerniganbrandonRe: Bridal show help
by on Sep 13, 2005 at 1:06:47 am

When you set up a booth... Do you provide it or does who ever is putting it on provide the actual booth? Also... Should one try to jazz it up and make it attractive as possible to attract people?

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Jeff CarpenterRe: Bridal show help
by on Sep 13, 2005 at 4:29:47 am

When you set up a booth... Do you provide it or does who ever is putting it on provide the actual booth? Also... Should one try to jazz it up and make it attractive as possible to attract people?

Depends on the show, I guess. The one I've been to gave you a folding table and that's it. You'd want to ask ahead of time what you get, exactly, so you can at least bring a table cloth to cover it up. Other decorations are nice, but you don't need too much in the video business. Having a nice-looking, large, flat-panel TV can really draw attention. There are usually places that rent large TVs and it might be worth the cost to get something really nice to show your demo on. Don't get an HD set if your work isn't HD, will only amplify the flaws in your video. But something narrow and large to catch people's eyes is good.

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velmaRe: Bridal show help
by on Sep 13, 2005 at 12:24:12 pm

You'll want to make your booth attractive and even elegant-looking. Drape your TV stand in a white cloth and your table(if the show operator doesn't provide one.) I usually put some roses out in a crystal vase...not necessary, but helps to make it "weddingish." This is what I have out on the table:

--List to sign up for more info
--vase with roses
--2 or 3 printed DVDs in cases
--crystal dish with business cards
--box(covered in bridal gift wrap) and slips for give-away

And, of course, the demo, which is the MOST important thing. Make it short, no longer than 10 minutes. No one is going to stand there and watch it for very long. It should be just short clips and your VERY best stuff. A lot of close-ups of brides and bride prep. They do not want to see reception dancing or even the ceremony, except maybe for one close shot of the vows.

Make sure the TV is up on a stand at eye level. THat's important.

Audio is not important. I put music under my entire demo. You'll never even hear the audio because it will be so noisy in there.

Have someone there to help you. If a bride/mom stops to talk to you and ties you up asking questions,you need someone else there to keep handing out the flyers/cards/demos/whatever.

Dress very nice, maybe even a suit. And stay on your feet! Be outgoing, but not pushy. Be ready when they walk by. Have a calendar handy so you can readily check to see if you're available.

I have some photos of my booth at some shows, but I don't think you can upload photos to posts here at the Cow.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Get there and get set up early. Then after you're set up and before the brides arrive, take some cards and go around to the other vendors and schmooze with them. You need to network, network, network with these other wedding vendors so you'll get referrals from them.

good luck,

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