Bridal Show

How do you maximize your leads from a bridal show?

Trying to book the wedding at the show is a mistake.

Attempting to book on the spot means you miss the opportunity to connect with the other couples walking by.

There simply isn’t enough time to spend with each individual couple when you want to maximize your leads.

The best strategy for booking weddings from the show is to set as many appointments as possible.

Meetings equal booked weddings; the more meetings you schedule, the more weddings you book. If you know that you book half the couples you meet with, you can double your bookings simply by doubling the number of appointments you set.

The challenge is getting those couples to show up for their appointments.

One photographer, Dave, was frustrated. He made setting appointments his goal for each show. Within 48 hours he confirmed the appointment by email and text. If he didn’t get a response, he’d call them.

The results:

  • 25% of couples don’t respond and blow off the appointment.
  • 25% respond that the time isn’t good and never reschedule. Some even hung up on him when he called to set a new time.
  • 50% of meetings show.

Why, oh, why does this happen?

First of all, don’t take it personally. Most people prefer to avoid conflict and rejection. It seems easier for them to allow you to schedule an appointment, even when they aren’t interested, because it’s less painful than saying no. It sucks, but some people are just passive aggressive like that.

And some of these couples really do forget! Especially if you don’t do a good job following up with them.

Repeatedly.

As much as we appreciate an honest response of, “I’m not interested,” unfortunately, we can’t force couples to stop wasting our time. But there IS something we can do…

3 Actions to Increase Your Meetings

1) Offer an incentive to meet with you.

Make it worth the couple’s while to actually show up for the meeting. Give them a small gift, such as a $20 gift certificate to pay for their gas.

At the show, you can say something like this:

“To thank you for taking the time to meet with me, I’m happy to pay $20 to cover your gas to get there.”

They show up to the appointment and they get the $20 gift card, whether they book you or not. Remind them of the gift when you call to confirm the appointment.

Simply offering a small incentive increases the likelihood that the couple will show for their scheduled meeting.

2) Fill out an appointment card with the date and time right at the show.

Print business cards with a space to write down the date and time of your appointment on the back. Fill it outand give it to couples at the show. This makes your meeting “official” and reminds them to call and cancel or reschedule if they can’t make it.

3) Text to confirm appointments 24 hours in advance.

Get permission to text them a meeting confirmation when you meet at the show. It’s a convenient way for you to remind them.

When you text to confirm your appointment time, let them know that they can cancel by text. It’s a pressure-free way for them to cancel, which means less time wasted for you.

Dave is seeing great results from switching to this approach:

“At the show I give them a reminder card with the date and time of the meeting.  After the wedding show I email them almost immediately to remind them of the date and time.

“Then one day before I email them to remind them again.  If I do not hear back, I text them another reminder.  In the text I added that if they wish to change or cancel the meeting simply to let me know.

“Simply putting out there without hesitation they can cancel with a text seems to have helped them respond and not cancel.  Kind of disarms them I think.  My response seems to have improved significantly.”

If bridal shows haven’t been working for you, quit doing the same thing that’s only going to give you the same (non-existent) results.

Go into a bridal show with a strategy designed to give you the results you want: meetings that turn into booked weddings. Use these strategies to reduce your no show appointments and boost your wedding bookings.

What do you think about bridal show follow up?

photo credit: IMG_8533 via photopin (license)

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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One thought on “How to Increase Your Bridal Show Bookings by 25%”

  1. If you have a team working your table, on-the-spot consultations can work wonders for your business. If you can arrange it ahead of time, have some small rounds and chairs set up at the end of or near your standard vendor table.

    Strike while it’s hot. If a bride is ready to sit down and have her consultation with you, do it! As long as you have members of your team manning the vendor table, it is possible to book brides on the spot.

    It’s also an opportunity to collect info from them before you receive the lead list, so you can start your follow-up before they receive an influx of emails and mailings from all of the other vendors at the show.

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