Bridal Expos & Wedding Shows

hippielo28
hippielo28
Hi Fellow Boothers!

I was curious what kind of success you have had from signing up as a Vendor at Bridal Expos/Wedding Shows. I'm considering signing up for Columbus Bride Magazine's Expo that is held in January. Aside from bookings, I'd also like to do it for networking purposes, since I am so new to the industry. However, I have heard mixed reviews on Bridal Shows, with the consensus saying that they can be 'hit or miss'. I'm not sure I can take that kind of risk cause the booth fee is upwards of $2000 or so. I would feel a lot better about making that kind of investment if I were more confident that it would pay off. Can anyone tell me about their experiences at various bridal shows & any other feedback they might have. Thanks so much!!

Thanks!

Comments

  • LorneChesal
    LorneChesal
    My experience has been only as a wedding photographer, not a photo booth provider.

    As a wedding photographer, I will never spend the $$ to be in a show where there are no limits on a category of vendor. ie: photographers. The last show I was in had a total of 90 vendors, of which 22 were photographers. Since most shows in my area will take your $$ if you offer it, I don't do shows any more. There was one "boutique" show that has started up with only 3 of each vendor type in it and is very well received. Sadly, it's run by a photographer, so he won't accept me.

    So... be sure to understand how many other booths will be there. If there are a bunch, be sure to distinguish your self in some meaningful way. If you don't, the brides will only think of price and that's not likely how you will grow your business.

    Have you had paying clients yet? If so, see if some of those brides will stand in your booth and sing your praises. That can be very effective. They aren't salesman, at least overtly. Brides trust one another.

    They can be hit and miss. Absolutely true. Be memorable!
  • Mike
    Mike
    being familiar with the area (I work in Columbus) I would definitely take Lorne's advice and check to see if there is a limit on entrees by vendor types. I know of more than 20 vendors in the city with more coming each day.<div>
    </div>
  • hippielo28
    hippielo28
    @Mike, I will try not to let the feeling of defeat overwhelm me!! When I decided to get involved in the Photo Booth business, I was actually worried that I started too late, fearing that the peak of Photo Booths had passed. Thats crazy that you are from C-Bus! when you say you work in Columbus, are you a full-time boother, or do you do something else in the area. I didn't realize you were from the Buckeye State! Small world! Have you done the Columbus Bride Show before?

    @Lorne: I agree that I need to find ways to stand out among brides & other potential leads. If I were to consider what makes me stand out from the standard Photo Booth Company is that we not only provide the Enclosed & Studio Booth, but offer the Live Wall - or Framed Wall option, as I've heard it called before. With this option, we offer a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Program, meaning that clients can Reduce their cost by Reusing a Framed Wall that was used by a previous client & can Recycle it back in to our company for other clientele to use. (If they recycle it back in, they get their deposit back). It's a great option for people on a shoe-string budget because they can use their own photography equipment, or use Open Air Kiosk System, if they'd like immediate prints. With that said, however, most of the clients that have booked our 'Budget Booth', aren't attending Bridal Shows! It's usually used for graduation parties, birthday parties & a few backyard weddings. I'm still on the fence about the bridal show & I suppose I will have to wait & see how business progresses in the next couple of months!
  • Mike
    Mike
    Don't feel defeated, just realize that the space is getting competitive there. But Columbus is a big and thriving area so I wouldn't worry too much.<div>
    </div><div>I do not live in Columbus nor do I service the area regularly. I live 60 miles north and service that area. I am a software engineer full-time, boother part-time. I commute to Columbus through the week for my full-time job.</div>
  • carlrez
    carlrez
    Ouch @Mike! I have had a 60 mile commute before when I contracted for NASA...I HATED it. For you the drive may not be bad but I had to go from the Northwest suburbs through Houston to the Southeast suburbs where Johnson Space Center is located. I feel for you, bro.
  • buzzkcphoto
    buzzkcphoto
    I'd agree, most I've driven is 45 miles each way, but that was back when gas was about $1.10 a gallon. My wife took a job this past week just down the road from my work. Still a 30 mile commute each way, but we're at least car pooling together and now taking her car, which gets about twice the mileage mine does.
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