Suzanne Bridal show
Question: “I don’t understand why I’m not booking anything from bridal shows!

“I’m a wedding planner. I get lots of couples entering my contest to win a free iPad (almost 200 at the last show!) so I’m collecting my own leads.  We have a giant photo of a bulldog in a wedding gown at our booth, so they always remember me when I do a follow up call as the ‘bulldog bride’ planner.

“But I just can’t get them to meet with me.  What am I doing wrong?”

Answer: You need to QUALIFY those leads at the bridal show.

Your “bulldog bride” strategy is brilliant for getting people to talk to and remember you.  And it’s awesome that you have so many people coming over to enter your contest.

But not every bride or groom who enters your contest is a red hot lead.  In fact, if none of them will even set a meeting with you, it says that probably none of them are.

The facts:

Only 19% of couples hire a wedding planner.  Let’s use that as a base to figure that out of 50 brides at the bridal show, only 9 of them are in the market for a planner.

You need a way to identify and attract those 9 couples.  Those are the real leads.

What question can you ask that would tell you immediately whether or not the bride in front of you is one of those 9?

It could be:

  • Are you thinking about hiring a wedding planner?  Why or why not?
  • Where is your venue?  (If it’s non-traditional, you may be in.  If it’s a traditional ballroom with a “wedding and event coordinator” on staff, probably not.)
  • Are you planning to do any elements of the wedding yourself?

You know your market much better than I do, so you can come up with the best questions to ask that when answered will immediately identify your ideal couples.

For us it was, “What have you seen and heard at weddings that you didn’t like?”

If they responded that they hated “cheesy” dances like the Chicken Dance and they complained about overbearing, obnoxious DJs, we knew we were on the same page.

If you don’t qualify them, you’re wasting time trying to book people who aren’t in the market for what you do.

Qualifying your couples isn’t just important at a bridal show; you need to do it with your website, marketing materials and when you get them on the phone.  Fast.

Don’t waste your time or theirs.

How do you get couples to meet with you?

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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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2 thoughts on “Why Can’t I Get Bridal Show Couples to Meet With Me?”

  1. Don says:

    John, in the hypothetical example given, fifty brides is a tiny show. So the investment would surely be little. But for a planner, where better to be than face to face with people planning a wedding and simultaneously getting a huge dose of how much is involved?

  2. John says:

    “Only 19% of couples hire a wedding planner. Let’s use that as a base to figure that out of 50 brides at the bridal show, only 9 of them are in the market for a planner.
    You need a way to identify and attract those 9 couples. “

    Maybe then the question should be; IS that investment of your time & money spent worth the opportunity to get whatever your realistic market share might be of NINE brides?

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