First Bridal Expo

Business By tcscakesnstuff Updated 13 Jan 2015 , 7:32pm by jenmat

tcscakesnstuff Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 12:07pm
post #1 of 4

So this coming weekend is mine and my husband's first bridal expo. I have decided on 3 mini cupcake flavors and 2 cake dummies with one being a square so I can do different designs on each side. What else do I need?

 

Thanks in advance.

3 replies
leah_s Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 2:59pm
post #2 of 4

I've probably done a hundred wedding shows (not exagerating) so here's my experience:

 

1.  don't do mini cupcakes.  bake a sheet cake, frost it, cut it into 1" squares and plop those into a lidded souffle cup.  Put your name and contact info label on the top.  Brides will take the cups and throw them into their bag.  They'll eat the sample at home when they're calmed down after the show and score!- your contact info is right there.

 

2.  3 flavors is fine.

 

3.  2 cake dummies is NOT enough.  Also, it will be nearly impossible to see all four sides of the dummy anyway.  Better to build a TOWERING (I prefer round) cake with a different design on each tier, separated perhaps by silk roses.  Make is tall and eyecatching.  Swirls on one tier, dots or another, something really fancy on  one tier, etc.  Throw some sparkly stuff into the flower topper.  BLING SELLS.

 

4.  wear comfortable shoes.

 

5.  take lots of business cards

 

6.  feed the OTHER VENDORS.  Seriously, this is what you're there for - to meet and make referral alliances with the other vendors.  Brides are gravy.

 

7.  dont' expect to book brides at the show.  Frankly, you don't want to take that much time with one bride when you should be greeting and talking to 50.  Make appointments for tastings.

 

8.  Don't wait until the last minute to set up.  Go early.

 

9.  Plan your table layout on paper before you go.  You might change it once you're in the room, but have a plan.

 

10.  Offer a Special for booking within 3 months of the show.  I had the most success with "2 dozen free cupcakes with order of at least $300"  The cupcakes had to be a flavor already chosen for the cake.  In other words, I just used extra batter that prob would have gotten frozen, and 2 doz cupcakes is nothing to me to make extra.  Brides loved it however, because it took care of any kids in attendance.

costumeczar Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 10:25pm
post #3 of 4

Take some kind of carpet with padding under it to stand on in addition to comfortable shoes. I go home crippled from shows because I can't stand up that long to begin with without my back feeling it, but decent padding under the feet helps a lot.

jenmat Posted 13 Jan 2015 , 7:32pm
post #4 of 4

Quote:

Originally Posted by leah_s 
 

I've probably done a hundred wedding shows (not exagerating) so here's my experience:

 

1.  don't do mini cupcakes.  bake a sheet cake, frost it, cut it into 1" squares and plop those into a lidded souffle cup.  Put your name and contact info label on the top.  Brides will take the cups and throw them into their bag.  They'll eat the sample at home when they're calmed down after the show and score!- your contact info is right there.

 

2.  3 flavors is fine.

 

3.  2 cake dummies is NOT enough.  Also, it will be nearly impossible to see all four sides of the dummy anyway.  Better to build a TOWERING (I prefer round) cake with a different design on each tier, separated perhaps by silk roses.  Make is tall and eyecatching.  Swirls on one tier, dots or another, something really fancy on  one tier, etc.  Throw some sparkly stuff into the flower topper.  BLING SELLS.

 

4.  wear comfortable shoes.

 

5.  take lots of business cards

 

6.  feed the OTHER VENDORS.  Seriously, this is what you're there for - to meet and make referral alliances with the other vendors.  Brides are gravy.

 

7.  dont' expect to book brides at the show.  Frankly, you don't want to take that much time with one bride when you should be greeting and talking to 50.  Make appointments for tastings.

 

8.  Don't wait until the last minute to set up.  Go early.

 

9.  Plan your table layout on paper before you go.  You might change it once you're in the room, but have a plan.

 

10.  Offer a Special for booking within 3 months of the show.  I had the most success with "2 dozen free cupcakes with order of at least $300"  The cupcakes had to be a flavor already chosen for the cake.  In other words, I just used extra batter that prob would have gotten frozen, and 2 doz cupcakes is nothing to me to make extra.  Brides loved it however, because it took care of any kids in attendance.

All this. And I have a show this weekend too.

I made 11 dummies. But I'm OCD and LOVE making dummies because I get to play and interpret the current styles into MY style.

I use the lidded cups too. PITA beforehand, but oh so nice when you get to talk top people instead of reloading or trying to make sure they don't dry out. Plus feeding vendors is way easier. 

I also do a show special, but it expires Feb 15th.

Plan to make time available for tastings in the next few weeks. I have the next 4 Saturdays available for appointments

Take your calendar and have all your booked dates blocked off. 

I have a master cheat sheet that says the price of my dummies as is and if it is in buttercream-(my show cakes are fondant because they hold up better). I also have a sign in front of each dummy that says how much each serves. 

Have a sign up sheet so they can ask to be contacted for a tasting. Then email everyone by the Tuesday after the show. Individual emails including their name and wedding date are better than a mass email. 

Make sure you send them home with a basic price list or information other than a business card. Business cards are great, but brides like all the information to look over later. Make sure your website is UP TO DATE before the show. I have so many brides tell me they will look me up when they get home. And many do. 

Set up early so you can walk around and chit chat with the other vendors, admire their booth, take their info and ask questions. If you are rushed you won't be able to build those important relationships. Shows are like reunions for vendors!

 

Good luck and have fun! I love shows!

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