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Wedding convention ideas?

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james parkerWedding convention ideas?
by on Jul 28, 2011 at 9:24:28 am

Okay so i pay 100 dollars get two chairs and a table at a wedding convention. I have two weddings... shot so far... two... i may have three by then but i havent confirmed not sure.

So i have little to show. I also have 1 competitor that will surely be there who has plenty to show. I am just starting out. I have 5 weddings booked throughout 2011. I have been drawing in customers with a facebook page and vendor listings on wedding sites.

The cost isnt what worries me. Im concerned i wont have much to offer. Two weddings. i can show highlight reels for. I can print out a pricing guide with contact info. but what else do i do? Do i offer anything? freebies? food? drink? idk? I have never been. Also should i even go? Is it worth it? are two weddings enough to display?

Thanks to you all of you who answer questions in this section!
I really appreciate it.
James Parker

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Mark SuszkoRe: Wedding convention ideas?
by on Jul 28, 2011 at 6:59:51 pm

Throw together some montages to music. Also, go interview some married couples in 2-shots, and ask them questions about their day, what they remember and what went wrong or right. Edit a short humorous piece around that. take a photog's wedding stills and montage that with animated moves. Play these on loops. Bring your shooting rig and set it up to dress up the table, dress as you would for the gig, so they can visualize you doing their gig.

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Steve MartinRe: Wedding convention ideas?
by on Jul 29, 2011 at 10:10:14 pm


Not having a lot of samples is an uphill battle - no doubt. But it's not insurmountable. In the end, you have understand your customers and what matters to them. They want their day to be "perfect." And they want a video to help them (and their future kids) to remember and relive it.

So Mark's advise is spot on. Dress the part and put your best foot forward with the samples you have. Be creative do your best. Sure, some will dismiss you because you don't have a track record. But if not now, when?

In the past, may folks just getting started would simply cut their price to attract bargain shoppers. But budget minded clients will have budget minded events. At budget venues. Often with budget minded friends. Which begets budget minded referrals.
So when marketing (at a trade show or otherwise) don't think of the attendees as just sales prospects and potential revenue. Just as important, think of them as future demo material.

I feel like I'm going back about a hundred years from when I shot weddings, but marketing is still marketing and I still use the techniques that learned back in the day. When you lack enough demo material for a certain feature, (say multicam coverage or a special editing feature) offer it at a discount - but only to the right prospect. But there's a catch - you have to get something valuable in return.

This is an example that used nearly 20 years ago with great success. In the early 90's I bought a slo-motion S-VHS deck that cost me a ton (JVC 525 - about $8k of so). This was long before non-linear editing made this as easy as a mouse click. So I offered highlight videos with beautiful slo-mo effects and gave the editing technique a cute name and charged several hundred bucks for it.

To promote it, I picked out a few attractive weddings (both the people and the venues were attractive) and offered it to them for free if they would agree to an on-camera interview about our service after the event.

They got a great deal, I got a great demo and an on-camera testimonial to boot. Within a a few months, I didn't have to give it away ever again and over the years that $7k investment made me many times the initial investment. Not just in revenue form the add-on sales - but it helped me get more higher caliber clients.

Similarly, at the show when you come across a bride that might represent good demo material and seems interested in your service, make the pitch... "Oh, so your having your reception at the xyz club. I'm looking to shoo there - the yada yadas are really beautiful there..." and see if they bite.

Obviously, you need to adapt and adjust for your strengths and your market, but that's what we all have to do to stay in business! Just don't cheapen yourself by just lowering the price without getting something valuable in return.

Just a thought... Good luck!

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!

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grinner hesterRe: Wedding convention ideas?
by on Jul 30, 2011 at 1:03:38 am

Same as production, really. Gotta make a reel to market one. Go shoot some more weddings and events and make a demo that justifies buying convention space.
That said, brother, it's just a hundred dollar bill this time around. Surely you can sell one wedding shoot verbally and multiply your investment by 20 or 30.

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