$800 to do a Bridal Expo???

Business By nancylee61 Updated 6 Feb 2014 , 3:18pm by liz at sugar

nancylee61 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 8:44pm
post #1 of 27

AIs that the going rate? This includes a 1/4 page ad in their magazine. If you want a bigger ad, it is more:


I certainly can't afford that, but wondering if this is typical? Nancy

26 replies
klan30 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 8:56pm
post #2 of 27

I've paid anywhere between $300 and $1100 without any ad space in a magazine.  Depends on the area and number of brides expected at the expo.

robinsnestcakery Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 9:10pm
post #3 of 27

Yup sounds about right....

nancylee61 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 9:40pm
post #4 of 27

Wow!!! Guess I won't be doing any of them!!! 

robinsnestcakery Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 9:43pm
post #5 of 27

I am small I do 2 main shows and 2 smaller ones ($50/ table).  It books me out for the year and is very worth it.  but if you are not doing 40-50 weddings it is not worth it.....

costumeczar Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 10:00pm
post #6 of 27

I have a brochure here for one that's coming up. The prices range from $800 to $2900 depending on how big your booth will be and whether it's located on a corner or not.

nancylee61 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 10:05pm
post #7 of 27

Wow!!! I guess they are productive, or people wouldn't do them, right??

nancylee61 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 10:10pm
post #8 of 27


I would like to eventually be doing 40 or 50 cakes a year!! I live in a rural area, so I have to be willing to expand my geographic area, because there just aren't the people in this area to support a cake business. Was wondering if it was worth it, even if I could swing it,


liz at sugar Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 10:13pm
post #9 of 27

You are really paying for exposure to people in your target market.  It is up to you to "wow" them and sell them on your product.


It is so expensive because the group has already been "sifted" - all that is there is brides who are ready to buy - the venue has given you the exact market you need to be in front of (if you are selling wedding cakes).



nancylee61 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 10:15pm
post #10 of 27

Is The Knot generally worth it? They said they now require a year long contract. I hate signing long contracts like that. I find that when people try to rope you in like that, it's because they have trouble with losing members. 

DeliciousDesserts Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 10:18pm
post #11 of 27

Yes, that is a normal range.  That does not include the cost of dummy cakes & samples.  Many producers will offer a discount to caterers and bakeries providing samples.  That discount is usually $100-150.


As to ROI, that really depends.  Who is your client?  Is your client one that attends bridal shows?  The bakery down the street from me gets about 7-10 cakes from a show.  It works very well for her.  She has a different client than I do.  My average cake is about $1000.  Her average cake is $700.


I've been really wanting to do at least one to see if it works for me.  Sadly, there just isn't enough data about the brides who attend.  At least, the producers aren't sharing that information if they know it.  That makes it very risky for me.  


Will the producers of your event offer any demographics?  What is the annual income?  What is the overall budget?

nancylee61 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 10:34pm
post #12 of 27

Good questions!!! And for $800, they should answer them, I would think. I am going to contact them, and see if they can give me an average of cakes contracted through the show.


nancylee61 Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 10:56pm
post #14 of 27

I didn't think of that!! That's true. I emailed them anyway, will see if I get a response. Thanks!

Dayti Posted 4 Feb 2014 , 11:20pm
post #15 of 27

ANancy could you try and contact some of the vendors from a previous edition of the show? Maybe not cakers since they might not want to share the info, but photographers and the like might be quite helpful. You will likely get more truthful info from them than from the organisers who just want to sell you space there.

nancylee61 Posted 5 Feb 2014 , 1:48pm
post #16 of 27

AGreat suggestion, Dayti! Thank you! Nancy

costumeczar Posted 5 Feb 2014 , 8:35pm
post #17 of 27

I find that the shows don't pay me back for the aggravation and cost, so I don't do them anymore. If you do one, do it with the intention of meeting other vendors and networking. I find that networking groups will give you a better return on investment than wedding shows.


And if you ask vendors about shows you'll get wildly varying answers. The promoters aren't going to tell you that only X amount of brides showed up, so the information that you get from them will be suspect anyway.

AivaCake Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 12:01am
post #18 of 27

AHow many cake vendors will be at the show vs how many people they expect at the event? I think the reason my event went so well is because there weren't as many cake booths and I tried to go all out as best I could. I paid $550 for mine. I am on theknot, it's $50 a month for a year but the only reason I joined is because no other bakery in my town has a profile, so I pretty much own the whole category. It looks good on my website, too, to have "theknot" buttons on it.

nancylee61 Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 12:39pm
post #19 of 27

AHi Lauren, I think there are about 4 bakers there, including the bakery in my town that does about 10 weddings every summer weekend. She has the bridal market just about cornered in my town. That is why I am marketing as no box mixes, no shortening, mostly organic, and vegan. She doesn't offer any of that, although she does say she bakes from scratch, which she doesn't. She is on the Knot, too.

Besides from the professional respect brides give The Knot, do you get business from it?

Thank you, Nancy

AivaCake Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 12:58pm
post #20 of 27

ANancy, So far, no, but I just joined the knot a month ago. I spoke with a photographer who has won "best of weddings" 3 years in a row who also said she doesn't get much business from it, or that if she does, they don't outright say that's where they found her. You can create a free profile on there and if 10 or more brides (from today and past) review you, you are eligible for "best of". You don't have to be a paid partner. THAT alone will bring respect to your name.

For the other bakery, I wonder if there's a false advertisement something or other that could happen forcing her to stop saying she bakes from scratch. Most big bakeries don't bake scratch. One I knew in particular would always bake the cakes they had paid in full in advance a month early and keep them in the walk in freezer. It made it so they could bake last minute orders so they would never have to turn down an order. I use that info to my advantage when talking with brides. How do your prices compare with theirs? At my show, I was there next to "THE" big bakery in town, but their reputation has been falling...fast! So I came in with my super delicious cups of cake and awesome displays and trumped over that bakery with 50+ years on me. When a bride is googling, the biggest bakery or the oldest, will always win. But when you have the chance to compare cakes side by side, taste and decoration will ALWAYS win them over, unless they are dirt cheap and the bride is much more concerned with price, rather than quality.

nancylee61 Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 1:16pm
post #21 of 27

AThanks for all that awesome information!

The local bakery - sigh. We are in a tourist area, and the highest-end reception venue uses her cakes as a part of their package. I just brought them samples, because the main bakery doesn't offer the options I offer. Now, the woman has great decorating skills. Her buttercream looks as smooth as fondant. So people give her excellent reviews. She is also more expensive than I am. But her customer service is not good. She rushed my daughter's 16th bday cake, the top tier slid off, and when I was putting it back together, the filling was still warm. Worse, when I went to talk to her the next week, she refused to come out and talk to me, and I was very polite.

She does get reviewed for being hard to reach for brides, but doing the job anyway. So I am concentrating on excellent customer service, and the other options I mentioned, including an excellent suggestion from a fellow baker to offer nut and allergen free. So I am concentrating on what I believe in, and can do to carve out my own niche: all natural, mostly organic with vegan and allergy free options. It is what I do, so I hope it's enough.

Thanks again, Nancy

cupadeecakes Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 2:07pm
post #22 of 27

To the OP, bridal shows in my area cost a smidge more than $800 (more like a $1000) but what I ask myself is How many cakes would I need to book to recoup that money?  At $1000, that could be one wedding cake, but probably more like 2.  Any cakes I get after that point are profit.  And any show I participate in I make sure I am given a list of brides that attended the show.  If my first impression doesn't WOW them, I can follow up with a phone call or e-mail.  I have done well at bridal shows, but they are a lot of work.


As for The Knot, I have found they do nothing for you unless you are in one of their "markets" (aka major metropolitan areas).  And you don't have to look hard to find story after story about how they continue charging you after you have ended your agreement with them.  I had my credit card cut off so they would stop charging it, and they would still call month after month telling me there was a problem with my payment. 

nancylee61 Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 2:11pm
post #23 of 27

Thank you, Jenniffer. I am really glad I didn't sign up with them!!! Looking for other ways to get my new business out there.



AivaCake Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 2:48pm
post #25 of 27


Original message sent by liz at sugar

I might be confused, but it sounds like you think baking from scratch includes baking your cakes right before selling.  I bake everything from scratch, and still freeze cakes . . . why do you feel that those are mutually exclusive activities?  Just curious - not trying to pick a fight.


No no, I freeze my cakes too. For a Saturday wedding, I bake Wednesday and get them in the freezer by that evening. It just helps with trimming and carving and seems to be more stable, so I'm not opposed to freezing at all. What I was saying is that this particular bakery will bake their non-scratch cakes as early as they can and keep them frozen until needed. They even have "spares" for super super last minute orders. That's not very fresh to me, IMO. They've even had a few brides have their entire cake refunded because they left the parchment paper inside the cake that they put on before wrapping and freezing! Whoops! So I'm sure this isn't a foreign concept for other big big bakeries. Hell, we dog on walmart all the time for flash freezing their cakes and shipping them to be decorated. I don't see much difference in the two!

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