So i am thinking about attending a bridal show (as a cake vendor) and was just wanting some input. Ive made many wedding cakes but have never been to a bridal show period...so i am not sure what to expect, what i need to provide, cost of supplies, and if its worth the work (do u really gain customers from a bridal show)...and basically any input you can give me!
thanks fellow cc bakers!
When I was doing wedding cakes, I'd do a dozen wedding shows a year. The thing is, brides need to see you over and over and over. Then you're the only name she can think of.
For the show, you'll need dummy cakes in several sizes and samples. I HIGHLYrecommend placing the cake samples in lidded souffle cups. You can prepare them the night before and they do not dry out. Also, they're grab and go. Put your contact info on a sticker affixed to the cup. Also have tons of biz cards. Brochures are generally a waste. your goal is to drive brides to your website.
Arrange your booth so that the table is at the back. You will stand (never sit) in front of your table, speak to the brides as they walk by and attempt to engage them in conversation. "When's your wedding?" "Oh that's a very popular month! Don't wait too long to book your vendors."
Finally, your *primary* reason for doing a wedding show is NOT to book brides. it's to network with other vendors. Make extra samples just for the vendors. Have biz cards to give them. Make the rounds. Shake hands. Compliment their booth display. Smile. Offer to refer back and forth.
That's what a wedding show is all about. Brides are gravy.
thanks Leah! We decided not to do the bridal show in Nov but are in for one in Jan! lol so im back to freakin out! Can I ask, how do you make/deocrate dummy cakes? I have styrofoam dummy cake forms, but what do you use to decorate? Wouldnt buttercream smudge....can you use spackle?
I have styrofoam dummy cake forms, but what do you use to decorate? Wouldnt buttercream smudge....can you use spackle?
Here are some prior CC threads about making dummy cakes:
Your first bridal show will definitely be the scariest. You should call the promoter of the November show and get a guest vendor pass. Usually they will let potential vendors in for free. They would rather let you in for free than to skew their numbers when you register as a fake bride. Take a camera and take pictures of booths you like.
There's lot of similarities on how Leah and I run out booth. I make my booth a space that potential customers have to enter. If gives me a better chance to interact and it gives the brides a better look at my cake dummies.
If you search my blog for "bridal show" I have done a couple of blog posts specifically geared towards first timers.
I agree with cupadeecakes. You should attend the bridal in Nov. to see what it is like. I have done 3 shows (1 show twice, and another show once). Go with an eye of a vendor (what you like and don't like about displays) and an eye of a bride (what you like and don't like about the way vendors acted, things they said, what they wore...)
The show I have done twice is small, very small. I liked that I could chat with the brides (sell myself based of personality) but there was such a low volume of people I don't think if was worth it. Cost of this show: $100 for the booth, $35 for samples, + dummy cakes.
The show I have done once was very large (800 brides). I made mini cupcakes, put them in large jello shot ups with the lids on. Unlike Leah, I don't leave them in the cups for brides to grab and go. I like brides trying the cake right then - it prompts them to talk to me which helps them remember me.
I think it is really important to offer cake flavors that will stand out - especially if there are several bakeries passing out samples. At the large show I just did there were 5 bakeries. Everyone but me passed out white cake with buttercream and chocolate cake with buttercream. No one stood out.
I offered chocolate cake with mint buttercream sprinkled with the baking Andes mints. Champagne cake with strawberry buttercream. Pumpkin cake with buttercream sprinkled with cinnamon.
So many brides came up to my booth saying "we heard people talking about your cake flavors so we made sure to come by". I have had really good success of the show.
Cost: Booth was $850, samples $115 (includes $85 on cups and lids) + dummies (I made 2 new dummy cakes for this show).