I have to say i was VERY scared to do a bridal show but in Jan of this year we signed up for one. Now the city i live in is about 30-45 min outside of a LARGE city (KC) and in KC they have the really expensive shows with a TON of vendors (including cake people) and their lowest cost is $1,000/booth. We definitely werent doing those shows...no point. So we looked around our city which is considerably smaller than KC and a college town lol. Anyways they have 3 bridal shows here a year and the most expensive was $300/booth... and the leas $150. Needless to say we signed up. Now we try to ask all of our customers how they heard about us... with that being said...The first one we did we only put fliers in the bags and did not attend. We got zero business from that. Waste of about $150 (flier cost plus $50 to put in bags).
The 2nd show we attended, cost us $300/booth and being our first show was alot of work and even more cost for signs, displays, etc. But, it was a HUGE success. We ran out of cake samples halfway thru and we brought ALOT! We booked 11 wedding cakes and got a ton of referrals from those brides.....plus met alot of local vendors.
After that show we decided since we already had all the displays,etc why not do another show. So we signed up for the next one (another $300) and this one was not nearly as successful. We did book i think 3 or 4 cakes and def got our name out there for other orders but i think overall this bridal show was just not as good. Plus we were in an akward spot you could hardly see lol....
Now we are actually going to be in the cheaper $150 show in a month....so we will see how that goes *fingers crossed*
I can honestly say our BIGGEST advertising has been referrals.... over google (and we are high on the search engine-FINALLY), ads, etc... referrals referrals referrals. Friends on facebook, meeting other vendors, take them some cupcakes, etc...they love it!