Why Exhibiting at Bridal Expos makes sense
You’ve put a great deal of time, effort and financial resource into your business and your sole aim is to ensure that it succeeds. While the wedding industry is fairly resistant to the ups and downs of the financial markets, your greatest challenge is to stand out amongst the enormity of this industry. Here’s what you need to know…
The wedding industry is a worldwide multi-million dollar machine and if you want stand out amongst the crowd, then you need an ace up your sleeve to beat your competitors. Marketing is key and one of the most successful strategies that will set you apart is to be seen and heard at bridal expos.
You may argue that digital media is the only way to market your brand. And yes, there is no doubt that brides research the latest bridal trends in flowers, dresses, ceremony ideas, stationery on Pinterest and Instagram etc, but the research is saying that it’s all about the marketing package as a WHOLE. Brands can get lost in a digital space where there is so much other “noise” on the same page. We’ve even heard marketing gurus recently refer to digital advertising as a “Where’s Wally” game - spot your brand if you can - and without a magnifying glass!
It’s imperative that you have an interactive website and that your social media posts lead traffic to that website. In addition, you have to create face-to-face interaction with your potential customers who are planning the most important day of their lives. The easiest and most effective way to do that is to exhibit at a bridal expo. And there are also so many new and talented suppliers out there, many of whom are exhibiting, that even if you have “made it” in the industry, you still have to expose your brand and generate new leads or you will simply lose out.
So what advice can we give you, the exhibitor?
In such a competitive industry, plonking a table and chairs down and sticking a poster up on the wall is just not going to cut it. We’re sure you’ve heard of the saying: A picture speaks a thousand words; you need to think about your stand at an expo in exactly the same way because you only have a couple of seconds to capture the attention of someone who has never experienced you or your brand before; and that someone is looking for the right service provider to make their dream a reality.
- Ensuring that your stand correctly portrays your brand takes time and effort so start planning in advance.
- Don’t leave things to the last minute and arrive at the expo for build-up and have to keep rushing out to get more props.
- Have a plan and a supportive team and be prepared; if you suddenly realise that you are going to have to work through the night to come up with something half decent to compete with the other exhibitors, chances are you won’t.
The Wedding Expo currently hosts three annual exhibitions so this immediately offers the chance to interact with up to 20 000 potential clients. Generating leads is a key factor at all expos and The Wedding Expo offers Necta - a brilliant lead generating tool available to all our clients. (click for more info).
Unlike other industries that can rely on repeat sales, the bridal industry is constantly marketing to new customers, so it’s important that you have a long-term marketing strategy that is continuously effective. Exhibiting at one expo and hoping it will produce results for years to come is a bit like asking someone to remember where Wally and the wizard were!
Exhibitions have their own excellent marketing strategies that you can really use to your benefit, and having done 40 shows to date, there is no doubt that The Wedding Expo carries the most success and experience in South Africa. Their advertising and marketing campaigns are directed at the very market that you are wanting to connect with and at The Wedding Expo you link into competitions, show activations, social media campaigns, digital newsletters and media stories, as well as potential editorial in top bridal publications, like Wedding Inspirations magazine, which are distributed nationally.
And the networking opportunities are fantastic; you can share ideas and advice, team up with other professionals who you’d like to work with. Maybe even consider a partnership or collaboration?
So what are you waiting for?