Making Wedding Shows Work for You

Making Wedding Shows Work for You

I don't know any wedding professional who doesn't have strong feelings one way or another toward wedding shows (also called bridal shows in antiquated, non-gender-neutral times). Some find them to be an invaluable marketing tool, while others have given up on them altogether, convinced they're a complete waste of time.

Those of us who have been around a while, though, seem to share the mindset that, while the majority of wedding shows aren't the right fit for our business, there are some that can help bring exactly the right clients to us, in a comfortable atmosphere that allows us to really connect. That's why, in my opinion, blowing off wedding shows altogether is kind of like throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

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Problem Vendors, Part 3: Wedding Show Shadiness (Bro, That's Not Your Booth)

Problem Vendors, Part 3: Wedding Show Shadiness (Bro, That's Not Your Booth)

I've been in the wedding business a long time - 18 years as of this writing - and have seen the wedding show concept change a lot over the years. (I prefer the gender-neutral "wedding show" over the more-common "bridal show," but that's what I'm referring to here.) It used to be that huge, convention center and arena shows, with dozens and dozens of exhibitors and hundreds, if not thousands, of engaged couples in attendance, were the norm. Later, more specialized, boutique-style shows with higher ticket prices and a greater emphasis on providing a unique, upscale experience became a thing. More and more venues have since embraced the marketing tool of hosting open houses, with catering samples and participation from a select group of their favorite wedding vendors. All three of these wedding show styles continue to exist, and most wedding vendors that I know participate in at least one of these functions each year as part of their marketing plan.

Now, I know a lot has been discussed in the wedding industry debating the effectiveness of these shows. This post isn't about that. It's about some questionable behavior about the vendors who do participate in the shows. More specifically, it's about the vendors who participate in them without paying. I've personally observed two categories of vendor shadiness at wedding shows.

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The "How-To" Post to End All How-To Posts

The "How-To" Post to End All How-To Posts

I came into the office this past Sunday with the goal of tackling (well, at least organizing) my massive to-do list, and was excited that I actually thought to use this very blog to help me with that.  I remembered posting my advice on doing a brain dump, so I did a quick search and used that post to get myself all sorted out.  What a great feeling!

So, in an effort to cultivate some of my advice posts into a resource for others, here are 10 more how-to posts from WeddingIQ that someone may find useful:

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What's Your Backup Plan?

What's Your Backup Plan?

Recently, a cosponsor of the monthly networking event I host had to back out at the last minute — her reason was that her car was in the shop, and apparently renting a car wasn’t possible for her. I felt bad for her, because I’m sure that wasn’t the kind of impression she had in mind when she asked to sponsor the event. It got me thinking, though…how many other wedding business owners have no backup plan for when things go wrong?  And what effect will that have on their business?

Because, of course, they do go wrong.  Cars break down, equipment fails, illnesses strike when we least expect.

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Is That Wedding Show Worth It? Seven Ways to Figure It Out

Is That Wedding Show Worth It? Seven Ways to Figure It Out

Fall and winter wedding shows are right around the corner, and I’ve been receiving all kinds of solicitations to sign up.  With so many options, and every one promising to be “THE BEST BRIDAL SHOW EVER!” how can you even tell them apart?

Here are a few pointers for assessing whether a wedding show might be a worthwhile investment of time and money:

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