Choosing the Right Bridal Show
Reviews, testimonials and word of mouth are your best friends. Seek out reviews from different sources to see what people are saying about the shows. Don't just go on price.
Multiple successful shows prove that the producer not only delivered on prices (bride count, vendor count, etc.) but that vendors actually gained business from it. Be sure to look for how many repeat customers the show has. If people come back year after year, that's a sign that it's working for them. If a show is new to the area, ask whether the producer has done shows in other markets. Don't be afraid to ask those show vendors whether they were successful.
Advertising is the primary way to attract brides to a show, and one of the producer's largest expensive. Aggressive multimedia and multi-platform advertising is a good indicator that the show producer is legitimate.
Attracting the right audience is crucial, not only to the producer's success but yours as well. The right audience is based on qualified brides. Display galleries, fashion shows, lounge areas can be nice enhancements, but booths and an atmosphere that facilitates relationships with the brides should always be the main focus. Also, be sure to be aware that the number of brides in attendance matches those on a list you receive. If you have a list that shows 300 brides signed up but you only saw 50, that is a cause for concern.
Licensing and insurance of the production company is important as it shows that the company is compliant with all the state, city, venue regulations.
Verify the business by determining that their address matches up in search engines - that the company has claimed their business on the web. Consistencies in the business is important when referenceing an address, email or phone number.
Verify with the venue that it is hosting the event. The most successful shows are often hosted at teh same venue and same time frame year after year, an indication that the venue supports and benefits from an ongoing relationship with the producer.
Associations, such as national and local affiliations, show that the company has met specific requirements and standards to be part of the group. This also speaks to the investment the company is willing to make in ongoing education and dedication to improving their bridal shows.
Questions to Ask before doing any Bridal Show
Reviews & Testimonials:
Do you have reviews to share with me?
What's your average vendor retention rate for this bridal show?
How many weddings do other vendors in my category book from your show?
Multiple Successful Shows:
How many shows have you produced?
How many years have you been in business?
Do you have photos/video from previous shows? (Look for bride traffic in the examples)
What's your average bride count for this bridal show?
What's your average vendor count at this show?
Advertising and Promotion to Attract the Right Audience:
Where/How do you advertise?
How far in advance of the show do you advertise?
What time of days are your ads running?
What extra things will be going on at the show other than vendor booths?
How are you promoting this event?
Licensing and Insurance
What insurances do you carry for the show?
Is your business registered?
What is your business address?
Verifying with the Venue:
When verifying with the venue, verify the dates as well
How many shows has the bridal show producer had at this venue?
Are you a member of any bridal show producers groups?
Other groups? (looking for ones to attest to standards, local ties)
If you have more questions about how to chose the right bridal show, please contact the Bridal Show Producers International at www.bspibridalshows.com