Are Wedding Shows Worth The Expense?

Business By acookieobsession Updated 2 Jul 2008 , 3:21pm by SweetConfectionsChef

acookieobsession Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:36pm
post #1 of 23

I have the opportunity to participate in a wedding show here in September. I am kind of on the fence about how much return I will see on the $450 it costs to enter. Not to mention the expense and time involved in creating the dummies and the samples.

The literature on the site says they have about 800 brides there though.... Also I looked at the previouscake people and a lot of people from right around me participate.

Any insight from your previous cake show experiences (good and bad) would be greatly appreciated.

Julia

22 replies
emrldsky Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:13pm
post #2 of 23

I've never been to a bridal show as a vendor, just as a bride, and I have to say, I booked my baker from the show. icon_smile.gif

She had TINY samples (1/2 inch squares, I believe, with a teeny bit of butter cream) and I booked her based on her price and the taste of her chocolate cake (and her personality). icon_wink.gif HTH!

acookieobsession Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 12:27am
post #3 of 23

Thanks emrldsky! That would be great. I just hate the thought of doing all of those dummies and not getting any business from it!

I suppose I would get a lot of practice though, huh?

Anyone else?

Julia

Jenn123 Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 12:53am
post #4 of 23

The only advertising I do is Bridal show and yellow pages. Both are EXCELLENT sources of new customers. You could make up the expense with one good order!

-K8memphis Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 12:55am
post #5 of 23

Y'know some vendors do great and a lot of vendors just get ripped off.

My experience working for someone else who did shows was that they got ripped off but it was an ego thing for them. Marking their territory--scoping out the competition. Ripped off in that they did not at all garner enough business to warrant the expense. Not by a long shot.

You gotta test the waters.

I mean some folks get most of their bookings that way too.

acookieobsession Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 1:01am
post #6 of 23

Hmmm...Testing the waters at $425 is kind of what I was trying to find out here. icon_smile.gif

I think it would be interesting and my dh is sucha great sales person..he would go with me. BUT....I have worked so hard for the money so far. Plus I jsut signed with the Knot...so that is expensive too...BUT again...I got 3 weddings from that since June 1...so that is a good expense

I would like to hear how some go about the whole deal.> Tell me your wedding show stories. Kind of like your birth stories but hopefully less painful.

Julia

debster Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 1:14am
post #7 of 23

If you don't mind me asking just how much does the Knot charge? Is it a yearly thing or monthly? Thanks

mommy2djb Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 1:16am
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Quote:

Tell me your wedding show stories. Kind of like your birth stories but hopefully less painful.





icon_lol.gif

acookieobsession Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 1:20am
post #9 of 23

My Knot is $120 a month, but I think it varies by location.

Cakebelle Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 1:28am
post #10 of 23

Thanks Julia for asking this I've been meaning to do so myself! You're quite lucky that it's $425.00, the people that I was contacted by for a bridal show here in New York, asked me to pay $1200.00 for 8 hrs.!!!! icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gif I don't think so! I'll just go by word of mouth for now, thank you very much!

mommy2djb Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 1:41am
post #11 of 23

bridal shows in my area are around $700

acookieobsession Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 1:42am
post #12 of 23

Yikes! That is steep! i would definately have to sit that one out. I thought that was a lot for 5 hours!

Julia

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 3:32am
post #13 of 23

I love doing the bridal shows! Not only do I make my $$$ back with 1 or 2 cake orders but I meet a lot of people and get tons of exposure. The last show I did with samples, labor, cake dummies (had 5), and show costs ran me about $1500. Since the show I found out I am pregnant and have sold my shop but I'm still referring brides who are contacting me. The show was in January. Also, it's amazing what the networking can do for your business! Definately worth the money!

indydebi Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 4:41am
post #14 of 23

$450 is really good. I'm looking at two of the bigger shows coming up in Jan and they are $1500 an $2000. Everyone I talk to says they are SO worth it.

I did a small show in my hometown last Feb. It cost me $300 and I got around $5000 in bookings.

I really believe it so depends on you and your presentation. Someone mentioned "personality" sold the cake ..... it's basic Sales Rule Number One: you sell yourself first, THEN you sell your biz/product.

I put pics of my cakes on a powerpoint and set it up to loop over and over. Had the laptop right up front ... this gave bride B something to watch and look at while I talked to Bride A. My cake samples were about 1/2" square in white tartar sauce cups with lids. I could be talking to Bride A, while Bride B was watching the powerpoint, and at the same time, without even looking, reach down and pick up a cake sample and fork to hand to Bride C, without even breaking eye contact or stopping mid-sentence with Bride A.

I turned the table they gave me sideways to create a more open and inviting booth ... welcoming them INTO the booth to look at the cakes.

HEre's some pics of my booth ... (Scroll down to RIchmond (IND) Bridal Show pics): http:[email protected]/page3/

ccr03 Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 5:10am
post #15 of 23

I did a wedding show back in February and while I shared the booth with my sister, I have definitely paid back my money with one order - and that one order got me 3 other orders within one month. If I would have done it by myself, I'd be head 3-4 times - and it was a small show. It was definitely worth it for me.

acookieobsession Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 12:09pm
post #16 of 23

Ok, I see that it would be a good idea. Let's talk about timing... the first show here is Sept 25th on Thursday evening and the next is Jan 10 on Saturday afternoon. Which do you think is a better time. I am leaning towards Saturday because I think more people would come, but then agian i hate to wait that long because my guess is a lot of May-June brides will be booked by then. I am signing for May and Oct now with regular bookings.

Do you know if they put all of the cake people together, then all of the photograhpers together? OR is it more random. If you had a choice what group would you prefer to be near cake people of other vendors?

Thanks

Julia

peacockplace Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 1:31pm
post #17 of 23

At shows here they tend to spread people out. That way they can get people to walk around the whole event. Otherwise a lot of people would just visit the food booths and leave. icon_lol.gif

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 2:07pm
post #18 of 23

Myself? I'd do both shows. You'll catch a lot of brides in the September show for winter/spring weddings and some out further but you'll catch last minute (with a month or two)/ weddings that you might not otherwise have known about. You'll get brides for the entire year with a January show. Lots of couples get engaged over the holidays. You'll probably also get brides on a Thursday that have to work on weekends and visa-versa. YOU are absolutely the best advertising for your business and you can easily sell yourself at a bridal show! I found if I talk to people generally and answer their questions instead of a hard core sales pitch to every person walking into/by the booth the brides appreciate it. I often here when they call me "I was so impressed that you answered my questions without trying to get to me to sign a contract that moment." See, they think I'm doing it for them but I am really trying to talk with every person I can, and I can't do that if I'm pitching everyone. Once you do a show you'll be hooked....especially when you come to realize they really will call you if you leave a good impression! thumbs_up.gif

acookieobsession Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 1:37am
post #19 of 23

Oh well sweetconf. I guess that will work in my favor as I am a better talker that hardsell. I am more down to earth than your average hardseller.

indydebi Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 1:58am
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetConfectionsChef

I found if I talk to people generally and answer their questions instead of a hard core sales pitch to every person walking into/by the booth the brides appreciate it.




Absolutely! I found I had about 30-60 seconds to talk with a bride, then off to the next one. This is NOT the place to try to schedule appointments. Bride are just information gathering that day.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 1:46pm
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by acookieobsession

Oh well sweetconf. I guess that will work in my favor as I am a better talker that hardsell. I am more down to earth than your average hardseller.




I'm sure you'll do a fantastic job! I really think you're gonna be amazed at how fun (minus the set up and tear down) a bridal show really is! It always refreshes me....all those excited brides/couples trying to plan the event of their life! Last time I ordered large size postcards from Vistaprint and made them my business cards. I had decided at the next show I would put 3 pictures of my favorite cakes and all of my contact info on them and use really bright (hot pink, green, orange, black) colors to make them stand out. I also had my wedding flyers (flavors, icings, teir info ect) printed on hot pink paper tied with a orange ribbon. Anything to stand out! Please please report back what you decide to do and if you do the show(s) how they went!

acookieobsession Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 2:10pm
post #22 of 23

OH I love those ideas Sweet Confec. i love to put ribbons on stuff and that is just a cute idea. I think the more tailored things look, the more excited they will be.

I wonder how many cakes I should make? I get a 10 x 10 space. I have seen people do 10 to 3 cakes. I thought I should do at least 1 buttercream, 1 fondant, 1 round, 1 square, and one mixed. plus I thought to make a cupcake tower.

I shoudl have a date book available too right? Just in case. Plus the handouts of the "MENU" type thing. The I have of course my cards and samples.

If they say they expect 700 people...would you make 1000 samples? I know people do either sm cake pieces or mini cupcakes....and votes for their personal preference? And one flavor or several?

Now I am excited....

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 3:21pm
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by acookieobsession

OH I love those ideas Sweet Confec. i love to put ribbons on stuff and that is just a cute idea. I think the more tailored things look, the more excited they will be.

I wonder how many cakes I should make? I get a 10 x 10 space. I have seen people do 10 to 3 cakes. I thought I should do at least 1 buttercream, 1 fondant, 1 round, 1 square, and one mixed. plus I thought to make a cupcake tower.

I shoudl have a date book available too right? Just in case. Plus the handouts of the "MENU" type thing. The I have of course my cards and samples.

If they say they expect 700 people...would you make 1000 samples? I know people do either sm cake pieces or mini cupcakes....and votes for their personal preference? And one flavor or several?

Now I am excited....




I'm glad you're excited!!! icon_smile.gif Last time I had 5 cakes, a 196 serving traditional, 154 serv RI w/ribbon & cool topper, 140 serv RI w/fondant accents including fondant bow, 130 serv RI traditional yet newer design, and 72 serv fondant w/gumpaste flowers. I just tried to do different designs (telling them the RI would be BC on their cake) and different serving sizes so brides could see how big the cakes actually were. I did the mini cupcakes in souffle cups...so easy! We cranked out hundereds in a few hours. There were a lot left over so I gave them to the vendors the last hour or so of the show....gotta love networking! icon_wink.gif I did take my date book just in case and did book I think 3 appointments all of which turned into orders. I also took some pics off my walls of cakes I had blown up into 8X10 size framed in a simple 10x13 black frame which I stood up on the tables. I also took my portfolio THAT I KEPT RIGHT BY ME IN THE BACK OF THE BOOTH....I've heard stories of people actually stealing them! icon_evil.gif Let me know if I can help you in any way!!! Have fun! thumbs_up.gif

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