7 Secrets to a Better Bridal Show

Bridal Show

Tips for Wedding Show Photography Booths

Wondering about how to do effective photography marketing at bridal shows?  We built our business on bridal shows, so we know how to get the most out of them. It’s all in the planning. Here are 7 bridal show tips to have the best bridal show experience this year. By spending time getting ready for the bridal show, you are going to have better results. Here's how:

1.Try to avoid being next to a cake booth (you cannot compete with free cake, and then you've got sticky fingers pawing your albums. Other booths to try to stay away from are the chain tuxedo rental places. They often bring a ‘team' of 5-10 people that literally snatch people away as they are coming down an aisle, and your booth gets completely passed over-not good at all. Same thing with a newbie DJ blasting music-people avoid that like the plague, and if your booth is next door, you’ll be passed up too as people rush past to get away from the noise.

2. A lot of people avoid being next to other photography booths, but what's the point of that? If a bride is looking for a photographer, she can compare the two more easily, and she is in the mindset to talk about photography, so why not take advantage?

3. Handouts are key-you want something gorgeous and memorable, not a photocopied price sheet. Take the time to create something really stellar, and you’ll stand out. You'll want to have about 100 on hand.

4. Strike While the Iron is Hot-Have your calendar ready and suggest brides book consultations with you then and there. You can also offer mini consults right there in the booth. This is a great way to create a connection with a potential client. We would always have a couple of blank contracts on hand, so you can book right on the spot. If you want brides to to sign you as their photographer at the bridal show, you have to plan for it. This does happen on occasion if you are prepared.

5. Follow Up: you should offer some sort of a giveaway at the booth in order to capture leads and book brides. Have them fill out a card with name, (email, phone, address-only ask for what you are going to use) date & location, and then on the back of the card jot down notes after talking with them. We’d offer the complimentary engagement session for couples filling out the card, and these sessions can lead to bookings or simply more work for your portfolio.

6. Use the downtime during the fashion shows to network with other vendors. You can network with other photographers as well –don't try to pretend to be a bride, just be warm and friendly. The networking aspect of bridal shows is a huge advantage that is often overlooked by newbies. But remember, all those vendors have brides that need photographers, and the vendors themselves are always looking for photographers to provide them with quality images of their latest work. Set up your photography booth early so you can walk around and see the other bridal booths before the doors open.

7. High attendance does not necessarily equal success – Whether a bridal show has been packed or filled with no more than a dozen brides and the vendors has had little effect on how many bookings we’ve gotten as a result. Strangely, we’ve gotten some great bookings from bridal shows that were almost completely dead. One was so bad that the bridal show promoter sent the teenage fashion models out to the booths pretending to be brides just to make the vendors feel like there were more people there. Of the brides we did talk with, 2 or 3 of them booked with us. Because the show was not packed, the real brides were able to actually enjoy it at a leisurely pace, taking their time to really get to know the vendors they were interested in.

What questions do you have for a veteran bridal show photographer? Ask your bridal show tips and questions in the comments below.

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