Bridal Show

Business By Kitagrl Updated 15 Apr 2010 , 1:36pm by Kitagrl

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 3:21pm
post #1 of 29

Well went to the bridal show Sunday afternoon and it was not very big at all! And not very well organized. For the $500 I paid for my table and additional $300 or so in stuff I bought for the show...I think I received an $800 learning experience. *sigh*

My husband is a pastor so I am limited in the shows I attend and I chose this one because it was in the afternoon between church services. I think the best part was just that I networked with the limo place next to me...who told me the show was terribly done and I should go to a better one. haha.

Only about 35 brides total!!!! And nobody really seemed ready to book a cake...they all just wanted to line up to taste it and then walk off to do other things. Only had maybe one MOB come a second time and ask questions and study the cakes.

Oh well. Live and learn. I'm just trying not to think about how far behind the $800 put me this year and I'm still trying to catch up and don't really have any brides to show for it. Hoping a few will call me later on in the year.

28 replies
sambugjoebear Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 5:39pm
post #2 of 29

Was that bridal show relatively new to the area? I was involved with a bridal show last year and it was the hotel's very first one- it pretty much turned out as well as yours (luckily my table fee was only 10% of what yours was though!). It was 3 hours long, and I think 30 brides showed up. Definately a lot of networking happening during the dead times.

Hopefully some of those brides will decide to call you- good luck!

pattycakesnj Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 5:59pm
post #3 of 29

Sorry you had such a bad and expensive experience. I haven't done a bridal show yet and that is one of the main reasons, too much cost for little return.

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 6:01pm
post #4 of 29

I know alot on CC get most of their brides from their bridal shows so I was hoping to get more brides...but I guess you have to find the right show!

leah_s Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 6:10pm
post #5 of 29

I did two bridal shows in January and will do four in February. Obviously I do a lot of them. The reason you do wedding shows, in order are:

1. To network with other vendors, making contacts with others for referrals.
2. To get the show's sign up list for later marketing efforts.



14. To meet brides.

Brides generally don't book products at the shows. Not any more. They comparison shop like crazy in this economy.

The goal is to have as many vendors refer you as possible. That way when the bride talks with the florist, caterer and venue and they all say, "Oh you should talk to Kitagirl about a cake" suddenly you're the only caker in town.

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 6:14pm
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I did two bridal shows in January and will do four in February. Obviously I do a lot of them. The reason you do wedding shows, in order are:

1. To network with other vendors, making contacts with others for referrals.
2. To get the show's sign up list for later marketing efforts.



14. To meet brides.

Brides generally don't book products at the shows. Not any more. They comparison shop like crazy in this economy.

The goal is to have as many vendors refer you as possible. That way when the bride talks with the florist, caterer and venue and they all say, "Oh you should talk to Kitagirl about a cake" suddenly you're the only caker in town.




Oh okay! So maybe not all is lost. I did network with other vendors (all 10 of them???) and will be trading links and discount packages with one of them. We seemed to get along well at the show and they loved my cake.

I also ordered "Thank You...it was great meeting you" post cards with my business on it and a nice message to mail to the brides from the signup list....will send those when they arrive. Should I send any kind of discount deal on those???

pattycakesnj Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 6:15pm
post #7 of 29

Good point Leah, I never thought of it that way, thought the goal was to get as many brides signed up as possible.

tracycakes Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 7:02pm
post #8 of 29

I did my first bridal show in January and I do feel like it was a success. I talked to a lot of vendors and I know one florist was referring brides to me at the fair. I didn't try to book any brides, just talked to them, answered questions and gave out cake samples. I have booked probably 8 brides from it so far and still getting calls from brides every week. There are a few other smaller ones but this is the big one and we probably ended up spending about $1000 total.

I will probably go to the fall one also but it isn't quite as big or quite as hectic.

leah_s Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 9:41pm
post #9 of 29

The goal of the *show organizer* is to get as many brides signed up as possible. That's the contact list you're paying for in the form of your booth fee. After that it's a referral game.

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 9:52pm
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

The goal of the *show organizer* is to get as many brides signed up as possible. That's the contact list you're paying for in the form of your booth fee. After that it's a referral game.




Thanks! So really though....if half of that is vendor networking...that can be done on my own outside of a show...right?

Is there anywhere online one can get a list of prospective brides outside of a show?

leah_s Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 10:40pm
post #11 of 29

Sure. You can buy lists from Our Wedding Day, Eventdetective, The Knot. That's $$, though.

Mel32 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 1:55am
post #12 of 29

I have just done a Bridal Expo and out of it I got 30 Confirmed bookings and I am now in the process of going through the list that was emailed to us from the Show Organiser, the list was supplied to us in the price that we paid for the site. This was my first expo and I am still over whelmed at the response that I have been given. I also on the day went around to all the other vendors and handed my business cards to them and in return they gave me their cards....As Kitgrl said it is all about Networking!!!!

Kitagrl Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 2:29am
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel32

I have just done a Bridal Expo and out of it I got 30 Confirmed bookings and I am now in the process of going through the list that was emailed to us from the Show Organiser, the list was supplied to us in the price that we paid for the site. This was my first expo and I am still over whelmed at the response that I have been given. I also on the day went around to all the other vendors and handed my business cards to them and in return they gave me their cards....As Kitgrl said it is all about Networking!!!!




Wow congrats! You had as many bookings as I had visit the entire show! haha.

Bozilla_Cakes Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 8:07pm
post #14 of 29

I have that fear Kitagrl....I am going to my first bridal show next week (smaller local one, not a huge expo) and I am worried that the money I'm gong to spend will be wasted! The organizer said there will be about 150 brides, so hopefully they all show.

I will definitely use the experience to network tho. I have gotten great ideas from the various forum pages on here on samples and literature. At the show, I will only have a spot to put an 8" table, so I am really worried to bring a dummy cake because there isn't much room. And if someone bumps its, it could just be a mess. So would it be smart for me to just have my books, pictures, and samples? I will have business cards, samples (cake and cake balls as i sell a lot of those), a postcard size info sheet with contact info and cake info, and a sign up sheet so I can contact them later.

I feel limited because of the space, so am I missing anything?

leah_s Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 2:34am
post #15 of 29

Surely you mean an 8' table, yes? If so, that's a ton of space.

Kitagrl Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 2:37am
post #16 of 29

I had a 6' table and I fit three dummies (three different heights, using stands and some satin drapes) and my photo album, flyers, signs, and the raffle basket and prizes. Then he gave me a table "next door" that had been from a no-show vendor so I was able to use that to serve cake tastings. But even if he had not, I would have had room on my 6' table because I didn't use the whole second table.

heavenlys Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 2:55am
post #17 of 29

I went to a small local bridal show last year that was their 1st year. Horribly planned and advertised. I invested $100 to be in the show.

We had 3 brides. Yes I said 3!! I networked like crazy and booked all three brides for weddings. Later booked weddings with girls that were vendors. Had people who were golfing that day ( at a golf course) book birthday cakes with me for the next week.

Oh and I sold my extra sample cupcakes!! Could have sold more too!! They were lining up to buy them!

Every event is what you make of it.

Going to same bridal show this weekend. They have moved date to earlier and have advertised more. Looking forward to see if we can have more than 10 brides this year! icon_biggrin.gif

Kitagrl Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 2:59am
post #18 of 29

Hey way to go!!!

I just addressed around 35 "thank you" postcards today that I made up on Vista Print, adding a personal note that if they bring the card to me they get 10% off their wedding cake so hopefully I'll snag a few.

costumeczar Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 3:19am
post #19 of 29

That stinks...I've been to shows that were so bad only THREE people came. I swear to God, only THREE. It was at a county recreation center, and I only did it because I felt sorry for them, never again. I did get to talk to the DJ who was next to me for a looooong time and I got to know him better for referrals, so that was the only bright spot.

Kitagrl Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 3:28am
post #20 of 29

I'm kind of scared to do any more...I had 35 brides but I paid $500 for my table and then probably an additional $300 in supplies, dummies, a new cake album, cake tastings, flyers, postcards, etc. I'm still trying to pay off that credit card bill haha.

costumeczar Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 3:38am
post #21 of 29

Well, you won't have to pay for the advertising stuff again, you can use what you didn't give away at that show.

Bozilla_Cakes Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 1:59pm
post #22 of 29

The table is 8' not 8"...I need to proofread! Ok, I will do a dummy cake. I have done them before so I have the dummies already. I am bringing my portfolio with me in a form of a book and it will have large pics and very easy to see my work.

Does anyone have advice on what style the dummy should be? Should I do something very intricate or keep it more simple? I have had a complete brain fart the last few days and have had no new ideas for cake designs...

officialamysue Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 2:08pm
post #23 of 29

dumb question... dummy is that like a fake cake on styrofoam or something?? im a newbicon_smile.gificon_cry.gif

Auntie_RaRa Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 2:17pm
post #24 of 29

I find it helpful to have various styles. So, I will do a cake or two a "simple, nothing fancy" (how often do we hear that from brides..lol), but something with color and mixed tiers and/or trendy. Then I have a fantasy cake so to speak. I do this to show a range I have in cake styles.

For small booth space, I use lots of items to give cakes height so I can put materials on table. I do a show in the fall and it's on the end, so I bring a couple of tables and turn the space into a U shape. I have around 8 - 10 cakes for that, depending on my marketing gameplan for the show.

Bozilla_Cakes Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 2:24pm
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by officialamysue

dumb question... dummy is that like a fake cake on styrofoam or something?? im a newbicon_smile.gificon_cry.gif




Yes, I use styrofoam...I buy it at this bake shop in town for 3-4 bucks a pop. Not a bad deal - recently purchased a 10", 12", and 14" square for $11. I use them to work on new techniques that I havent done so I can put them on my website.

dalis4joe Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 3:21am
post #26 of 29

ok... Kita... I am doing my first one this sunday.. Cape May NJ.... I am so so scared... how many flavors u brought for the brides to sample? how many dummy cakes should I bring?

Kitagrl Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 12:38pm
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalis4joe

ok... Kita... I am doing my first one this sunday.. Cape May NJ.... I am so so scared... how many flavors u brought for the brides to sample? how many dummy cakes should I bring?




Hope it goes well!

I brought three dummies, just depends on how much table space you have.

I brought three flavors to taste too...

dalis4joe Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 1:26pm
post #28 of 29

we will have an 8' table... so far we have 5 dummys and I was thinking of 3 flavors also... my signature vanilla bean... red velvet.... and the other one we are debating chocolate or strawberry or maybe something like white chocolate mocha.... what do u think would be good for the 3rd option?

BTW... I just found out your husabnd is a pastor... that is awesome... DH was approached by our pastor... he will be doing all the announcements... opening prayers and thursday mens bible study starting next month... I am soo happy for him....
icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 1:36pm
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalis4joe

we will have an 8' table... so far we have 5 dummys and I was thinking of 3 flavors also... my signature vanilla bean... red velvet.... and the other one we are debating chocolate or strawberry or maybe something like white chocolate mocha.... what do u think would be good for the 3rd option?

BTW... I just found out your husabnd is a pastor... that is awesome... DH was approached by our pastor... he will be doing all the announcements... opening prayers and thursday mens bible study starting next month... I am soo happy for him....
icon_smile.gif




That's great! (both items haha) I love chocolate so I'm partial to that, but its up to you!

Hope your bridal show goes really well!

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