While the fall wedding season is upon us, many brides are gearing up for their springtime events so it’s important that we “fish where the fish are.”
This past weekend, we attended the Star Telegram Bridal Show in Fort Worth, Texas. The Star Telegramis our main newspaper and sponsors the show. They had an estimated 1,000 Registered Brides plus another 2,000 people at the show making the total guest attendance in the neighborhood of 3,000 people! That is a lot of handouts. Also keep in mind that many of those people have never heard of our club so this was our chance to introduce them to us for the first time.
As the Director of Catering at a club that hosts more than one-hundred wedding ceremony and receptions each year, it is not hard to see why I get excited at the opportunity to visit with so many brides in such a short amount of time all in the same place. My mentors always tell me when it comes to sales you need to, “Fish where the Fish are” and trust me, there were plenty of fish.
We currently participate in five major bridal shows (major meaning at least 500 Brides) each year and this is where we spend the most of our catering sales budget based on the fact that they produce the most return on investment.
Of course you also have to consider how much money you want to spend to set up and decorate your booth space. You also will need to create “Bridal Show Specials” and other forms of marketing materials you want to pass out to all the brides as they visit your booth. The other thing to consider is the time you use involved with the show itself.
I usually go early the afternoon prior to the show for an hour to actually set the booth up and make sure it is presentable and that I did not forget anything. Then I arrive about half and hour early the day of the show to prepare and get ready for all the brides. Once the show is over it takes about another hour to break everything down and return it to the club. In addition, I will take at least one server with me in case two brides would like to visit at the same time. I simply do not want to have choose one to visit with and make the other wait to talk. Remember, I am trying to sell them on both the club and the service we provide. All in all, we have about sixteen hours of labor invested in this project.
Bridal shows are also great time for you to see your competitors and what types of deals they are currently offering. I always try to get a copy of their marketing materials so I can compare my offerings with theirs and see where my prices are compared to others.
I understand that many sales mangers shy away from Bridal Shows and the like because of the time and energy they require, but if you manage a club that offers wedding receptions to your members and guests, I would highly recommend you attend as many bridal shows as possible. As the Director of Catering I look at it like this: on a great sales day at the club I might have four bridal consultations. At the Bridal Show I get to interact with more than one hundred twenty five brides individually and also get all of there information to follow up with them later that week. It makes sense to me.
Until next time, Just Keep Selling!
Tell Us What You Think!
You must be logged in to post a comment.