How to Get the Most Out of Bridal Shows

How do we measure success at bridal shows?

I think this is very important, especially for those photographers who say bridal shows don’t work. Sal calls bullshit on that. Bridal shows do work and will continue to work, if you go at it with the right mentality.

#1: Number of bookings at the show

First of all, simple way is booking at the show, right? That’s easy. You were at the bridal show, you booked two weddings. Success, right? Did the show pay for itself? To Sal, at a minimum, that’s success. If you book one wedding at the show, go back to that show. If you book one wedding from the show, could even be a week later, go back to that show. There’s so much more happening at the show. It’s not just about booking at the show. There’s networking that should be going on, exposure for your brand. These are all success metrics.

#2: Post-show bookings

If you book at the show and book post-show, this is even better. A typical show for Sal, he will book two or more at the show. His peers from St. Louis have watched him. They’ve seen paper, contract, people in his booth signing contracts. This is not a bullshit story. He is in his booth closing business, and he is the most expensive photographer at the show, so if he can do it, you can do it.

#3: Networking at the show

The show should also be a networking exercise for you. It’s just exposure, right? The more familiar you can get with your customer base, or they can get with your brand, the better it is for you. Over the years, Sal will see somebody at a show, and it could be a year later, two years later, they end up booking him.

You might be thinking, “Well, how the hell do you measure that? How do you plan for that? How is that worth it?” Think about what happens. Bride comes into a bridal show and she brings three of her bridesmaids. She brings her cousin, she brings her aunt, whoever. These people are being exposed to your brand. Now, a year later, when that cousin, that maid-of-honor, that bridesmaid, gets engaged, she remembers meeting and seeing you at that show, and you’re one of her first calls. Believe it or not, guys, this happens more than you would think. Sal knows because he asks, “How did you hear about us?” and they’ll say to him, “Oh, my cousin got married, but she couldn’t afford you, and I knew when I got married I was going to hire you.” These things happen.

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