By Paul Pannone
Wedding marketing and where to put company resources are confusing to most business owners. With so many choices, many decision-makers keep money on the sideline until they find tried and true methods that return an adequate return on dollars invested. Among the best investments better bridal shows offer the best of all worlds. Interaction with consumers and follow-up data give opportunity to recover costs of exhibiting and grow business revenue if done properly and consistently.
According to surveys, over 75% of brides attend bridal shows in search of ideas for their wedding. An astounding number of brides attend the Great Bridal Expo®, the only national bridal show. CEO Bill Heaton reports a great 2011 campaign and growth in many cities of the tour. Heaton cites consistency in producing the show and the ability to refine the show to keep pace with current market conditions for success.
“It’s as simple as listening to the bride and giving her what she wants,” according to Heaton. A vast part of the GBE success is directly tied to Heaton’s communication skills. In January bad weather forced the rescheduling of a show cancelled in late 2010. Heaton and his team were able to quickly and successful re-book the show to satisfy brides and exhibiting vendors. According to Heaton it’s been over fifteen years since anything like this happened. “It’s been a very strange weather pattern so for us this year. We started with bad weather in southern California, then again in Dallas—both of which sold out and were very good shows for our vendors. We were happy with the results in New York,” said Heaton after the event.
Heaton told eWedNewz he was unaware such a high percentage of brides attend bridal shows. “As surprising as it sounds I guess it makes sense. We’ve been getting enormous response from vendors that exhibited with us and for various reasons left during the recession. Some tell us they’ve come to realize the value of seeing a bride face-to-face and booking appointments right then and there is a great investment of marketing dollars. It’s a unique feature to participating in bridal show events; the kind you cannot get from print or Internet marketing,” according to Heaton.
Wedding Analyst Expert Christine Boulton wrote an e-Book on Bridal Show Success outlining a vendor point of view on how to maximize and leverage the full potential of wedding shows. Boulton covers everything from booth displays to after show marketing and follow-up. “Bridal shows can still be a tremendous way to market your business if you pick the right one and use every tool in your arsenal to get it right,” says Boulton.
eWN is watching improvements devised at GBE, expected to offer even greater value to its exhibitors. Both Heaton and Boulton agree there is good and bad in any business and that hold true in wedding shows. eWedNewz is actively investigating some of the better shows and those that are scams. Modern-day Hucksters and snake oil salesmen that give bridal shows a bad name are on our radar. There is more information pending that will release here in the weeks ahead .
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