A New Type Of Bridal Show? Question

Business By SugaredUp Updated 17 Mar 2009 , 10:01pm by SugaredUp

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SugaredUp Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 6:22pm
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Hey, Everyone!

I signed up for this bridal show in early April. I've never done a bridal show before, but I have had a booth before, and so I am a little practiced. However, this is supposedly some new concept in bridal shows, so I was hoping to get some good CC advice!

I guess there will be 80 prescreened brides-to-be there, and you get 5 minutes with each. You get two booths on opposite ends of the room, and they will be used simultaneously. The tables are only 30" cafe style tables. This is the part that is throwing me off. It doesn't seem like a large enough area to really put out everything I would like to put out. I plan to have a cake dummy on each table, some business cards, samples (underneath, I guess, in tubs), a display-only decorated cookie on one, and a mini cake on the other.

Obviously, I will need room to sit and talk to the guests, so I don't want to overdo it. Should I forgo signage? The hotel will supposedly be providing white tablecloths, supposedly floor length (I want to hide what is stored beneath). Should I count on that, or come prepared and bring my own table cloth? It is allowed. Anything else I need or haven't thought of? I'm also going to have a sheet to pass out with FAQs and some type of "Why you should book your cake with us" type of deal.


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indydebi Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 9:09pm
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Geesh, it sounds like that Speed-Dating thing! icon_eek.gif

I'm trying to figure how this will work and how whoever put this together somehow didn't factor in the food people and what they would need to sell their service/product. I'm betting the florists are going nuts with only a 30" table, too.

Why 2 booths at opposite ends of the room? How do they expect you to be at both at the same time? Why such a tiny table? Do they think vendors only have biz cards and brochures? Did the person putting this together have ANY wedding vendor background at all or any experience with shows?

What if you get a bride who already has her cake taken care of? What are you going to talk about for 5 minutes?

I'm not sure I'd like this kind of thing at all. Sounds too much like a project that some marketing major thought would be "fun". If I'm paying for a space, I want it to work for me .... not be a "fun" project for some college senior's thesis paper.

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SugaredUp Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 2:49am
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icon_cry.gif Okay, I guess I didn't really want to hear that Indydebi! LOL

Well... me being naive, I thought - oh it's affordable, I should try it! Then I started thinking about all these issues and the organizer kept assuring me that it would work, so I paid, and now I'm left wondering what the heck. Honestly, I thought it was just me. I thought the CC'ers would have all the answers!

Yes, even in their literature, it was referenced as a speed dating type of feel. The issue with the two tables is annoying for sure. I had to call a friend of mine who is going to run the second table, and I'll have to kind of tell her what she'll need to know. If they ask an off the wall question, she'll have to direct them to contact me personally later on.

So Indydebi, should I forgo signage? Also, what should I wear? My friends and I are on the young side, so I was thinking of wearing my company t-shirt, which is black with white printing, black pants and getting a couple of those half aprons - the really cute 50's style ones... I'm not a chef, so no chef's coat here. Good idea, or lame?

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SugaredUp Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 2:51am
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Oh - the thing I'm worried about mostly is that it would be almost all black.. But I don't want to wear jeans, either. Hmmmm....

I guess if they already have a baker, I can kind of ask them what they liked about that place and get them talking and take mental notes! haha

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indydebi Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 2:58am
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Can you hang a small sign on the front of the table? Your uniform sounds cute, really! Very different and stand out.

At a show about a month ago, I was the speaker at the show so my daughter had to cover the booth for about 20-30 minutes. My family HATES that because (and they're right) "mom ... you're the only one who can talk to brides like you do. we're just not as good as schmoozin' 'em as you are!"

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SugaredUp Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 3:08am
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Yes, I'm a little worried about it, honestly. No one gets as excited about our cakes as we do and I'm sure that brides catch on to that excitement. However ... this friend is very outgoing and smart and pretty much everyone loves her. So she is definitely THE one I would want to run the 2nd table.

I like the small sign idea. And by hanging, it won't take up table space! I just remember reading on a different thread how there was a new bakery at some show that a CC'er went to and how they were dressed in jeans and had no signs, and it came across unprofessionally, so I want to make sure I don't do that!

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playingwithsugar Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 3:18am
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What you need is called an "elevator pitch." It summarizes your products/services in 60 seconds. There are many articles and tutorials on how to write one of these - do a google using that term, and find a few which will help.

Since you will not be able to rely on full-sized displays, now is the time to make up a portfolio of previous work.

And make up lots of samples for your potential customers to try. Just because there are 80 brides, doesn't mean their mother isn't coming with them.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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ANicole Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 3:34am
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Thanks, Theresa. I'm trying to figure that out right now. How much to make? I was thinking it would be safe to count on 160. What do you think? I was thinking of baking up full sheets and cutting them into cubes 1.5 x 2 inches. Too big? Too little? Also, I originally was thinking of giving them 4 different flavors to try, but now I'm not sure how that would work. If I gave them each 4 flavors x 160 people, I need like 12 1/2 sheet cakes. Am I figuring this right? I bake from scratch, and there is no way I can afford to bake 12 sheet cakes... well, I guess there is a way, but I really don't want to. The cost would add up quickly. So, should I cut back the flavors, or should I let each person pick 2, or does that seem cheap?!!

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ANicole Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 3:41am
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Sorry, I was logged in as my other username!

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indydebi Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 3:42am
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This is a bridal show ... not a sampling appointment.

I give 1x1x1" cubes. (sheet cake ... cut in 1" strips .... cut the strips in half (torted) ..... cut in 1" cubes ..... put in cups with a blop of icing on top). Some people share even this little bite size piece. It's enough for a taste. normally I have one flavor, but I had a 1/2-n-1/2 sheet cake in the freezer that I used, so I had some white and some chocolate. I just gave people one ... I didn't ask which one they wanted.

A fellow vendor told me she was seeing a lot of cupcakes in the trash can at the last show .... so either it tasted bad or it was just too much cake for a 'taste' at a show.

The show said they had 90 registered brides. I took between 150-175 samples and had some leftover.

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playingwithsugar Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 3:43am
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See, now here's where less is more. A good friend who is a master decorator only makes 1 flavor cake, her vanilla bean yellow cake, with her best icing. I would go no more than 2 flavors, and considering the count you mentioned, I would do 200 serves each, minimum.

Her tastes are 1x1 inch, which I think is on the small side. I would go 1.5x1.5 inches, 1 inch tall, 1/4 inch icing on top. Don't waste your time icing the sides of the serves.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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SugaredUp Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 4:30am
post #12 of 13

Ok, good! I can do less, so that is awesome.

I really appreciate the feedback!!!!

I definitely think I should do the white cake. Maybe another one and that would be it then....


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SugaredUp Posted 17 Mar 2009 , 10:01pm
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Oh - I thought of something PERFECT to solve my no space problem. Instead of doing regular sized dummies, I'm going to do mine as little cakes. Not mini cakes.. Just smaller. It shouldn't be too much extra work or anything, because my cakes are going to be on the simple side, except one of them, which I'm using a clay gun for, so hopefully it won't be too labor intensive!

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