Since I just completed the inspection...last thing I needed to be a legal home baker, I've been researching some of the bridal shows....the only one I have an entry price on at this time costs $675.00 for a booth.
Is it worth it for the advertising? What is others' response from Bridal Shows....espcially in North Carolina?
That is really going to depend on a few things.
1) What is the avg attendance (This is a big one)
2) Is it the only bridal show in the area
3) How many other vendors (bakeries) will be there
These are questions I would start with to see if it is feasible for you to invest in it.
Our local mall is having a bridal show and the booths ONLY cost $200!!!!! So far they have about 40 vendors and they are hoping for at least 80 brides.
I can't tell you about NC or any other state for that matter. I live in SoCal and I do as many as possible. I enjoy them and for me, its worth the money. Its where I put most of my advertising dollars and it helps people to know me one on one versus the print ad that when they call they don't have a clue who their dealing with.
In my opinion its a personal decision, weigh it out. Its a lot of work. There was a thread about it not that long ago.
I know this is old but I had to add, Run Don't do it. Unless you like being a sample lady don't do it. Huge waist of revenue. Find other places to advertise. The bigger the worse it is to actually talk with the brides. Non-brides come for free samples. NO! NO! NO!
Where I live, the bridal shows range from $500 - $1,000. The amount of brides range from 300 - 2000+. I've not made it to the large one yet. That's my goal. But I like doing the show. I give my samples to just the brides. The brides are usually wearing a huge pin that says "bride". It helps control the amount of samples going out.
From the couple shows I've done, I've made the money back plus more. I think it's a great way to meet people and get your name out there.
I had 0 wedding cakes before the bridal show, now I am so busy I need a bigger kitchen...Go for it...if your Legal!!!
We've been debating this as well. The cost for us to enter is the same $675. But then we figured making a few different flavors for tastings and that would add to the cost. Our dilemma is the closest show is about 30 miles away and according to the event organizer there are only about 40-50 brides are from our delivery area. Our show is here in Feb so we still have some time to decide.
i have not done a show but a photographer friend of mine said that he likes the larger shows because they give you the mailing list that has all of the brides that attended. i guess that's good if you send out mailings..i don't. check into it and ask about other things that come with your entry fee.
if you do, let us know how it goes!! good luck!!!
I opened my bakery last sept. and we had a bridal show in feb. I debated whether or not I should do it, its cost was 650.00 and that was a lot of money for me especially since I had not been opened very long. some very good friends of mine decided that I needed to do this show to get my name out there since I am the "baby" in the industry so I did. I did about 10 different cakes and did some samples (which no other bakery did and there were only 3 others) I offered a promotional price on wedding packages if they booked with me at the show (and I booked 4 right then and there making back the cost of the show) and then after the fact I booked another 5 weddings that said they saw me there. ONe of the biggest feedbacks I got was the fact that I had samples. I know a lot of people can't afford to do samples for these events because there are so man people who show up, but what I did was those little mini cupcakes and they were great. So to make a long comment short - it was more then worth it for me and I am signed up to do the next show. Hope everything works out for you.
i have not done a show but a photographer friend of mine said that he likes the larger shows because they give you the mailing list that has all of the brides that attended. i guess that's good if you send out mailings..i don't.
Oh you really should create something to email to brides! I belonged to a wedding vendor group and the group had a couple of open houses at a local wedding chapel. Very informal. (I mean, there were only about 10 of us in this group, so it wasn't big by ANY means!)
Ironically, both times, I had prior committments and couldn't go but they gave all of us the list of attendees with their emails and what they were looking for.
I sent an email to all who were looking for wedding cakes and/or catering, apologizing because I was unable to meet them personally but hoped they found my information helpful as they planned their big event.
At the next meeting, many were questioning whether these open houses were worth it. I said, "Heck I never attended any of them and I got 4 bookings from them!"
All of my marketing materials are in email form (I never actually "mail" anything) which makes it a no-cost advertising tool for me.
I just did two bridal shows. They charge $2.50 per bride, with approx. 100 brides at each show. These are put on in local communities by the local Welcome Wagon.. they are more for vendors looking to do weddings in their own town.
They only allow one "cake/bakery" person per show. I didn't give out cake samples but I did give out very small "wedding cake cookie samples"
You did have to supply something for each bride in their gift bag that they give out.. so I gave a heart cookie decorated to look like a wedding dress to each bride and tied my business card to it.
I only did them in the last three weeks, and I've already had 5 brides book.
I did receive a copy of all the brides to follow up with, but haven't done that yet.
So I have already made my money back, and hopefully will get some more bookings after I follow up with the brides. Alot of the wedding dates were for summer of 2008 so I'm hoping for more.
I'm not sure if you have any smaller shows like that?
I just did one in September, it cost me about $1500 once it was all said and done. I got 25 weddings booked for next year and I still get emails and calls almost daily. I say it is totally worth it. I have another show in January that is twice as big, over 200 vendors. I think I will be bringing about 5000 mini cupcakes. I brought 1200 to this last one and they were gone in just over an hour!
you've definitely given me something to consider! thanks!!!
I did my first bridal show last Febuary it cost $1250 plus cost of samples I only booked 2 cakes out of it. The photographer in the booth next to me did not make a single booking. I think the problem was that I am located in a resort community, a high percentage of the vendors where from other locations as were the brides, the show was held in 2 historic mansions and I think the brides just came for a day out. When I got the contact sheet out of about 300+ brides only 20+ where getting married in my area.
I have been asked to do the show again because they wanted cake vendors so they would have samples and no one will sign up, I did suggest that as the only vendor expected to hand out samples, and as one who makes alot less than the caterer venue photographer etc per wedding then prehaps they should cut us a deal......
Just to share - I was thinking about doing the big Atlanta show in January. I talked to the lady in charge today and these are the details. Attendance is between 750-1000 with about one-third of that being brides. Booth cost is $795. She said it was expected by attendees that all cake vendors would have samples available to try. Anyone who signs up as a vendor is listed on their website for a year, so continuing business is a big possibility. (They have 38 cake vendors listed on their site.)
I think I will attend the show in January and just see what it's like before I commit.
wolfsonmom, is your event with Elite? They are the company doing the show down here in Savannah we are considering. The Feb show is the only one for the year here. Looks like Atlanta has at least 6 shows next year. Gives your a chance to shop before you sign up.
Hi Sheri - yes it is Elite Events. If you do the Savannah show let us know how it goes!