Stand and deliver

Exhibit at bridal shows like a pro with a little help from RAL Display. Read on to find out more…

Exhibiting at a bridal show can be great for your business: you get the chance to meet brides who are looking for your products and services, which could result in lots of sales. However, these fairs can be very overwhelming and stressful if you turn up unprepared. Here, RAL Display discuss its top 10 tips for successful exhibiting.

Create an eye-catching stand

No-one will visit your stand if it's just you and a bare table. You need to have a stand that's so eye-catching, it will immediately grab people's attentions, and make them come over to you. There are several ways you can do this. You may decide to have a display stand where you can showcase posters and pictures - if this is the case, then make sure your booth is tall, so it stands out from across the room. Alternatively, you may use a TV screen to better show your products/services. You could even bring your products along with you: if you're a caterer, you could bring some taster food for visitors to try, or if you're a florist, you could create an impressive floral display. If you're a wedding dress designer, then why not bring along your best design to drape on a mannequin? When attending a bridal event, it's all about bringing prospective leads to your stand!.

Ask about sponsorship opportunities

If you have a bigger budget and want to get your name out there, then it may be worth speaking to the organisers of the bridal show to see if there are any potential sponsorship opportunities. It could be an advert in a brochure, a spot on the promotional bags, or your branding splashed on the backdrop of the catwalk. Sponsoring the event in some way will help to build brand awareness, and bring more people to your stand..

Hand out freebies

No one can resist a freebie, making it a great way to lure people to your stand. Sweets are always a winner, but it's important to think about who's attending the event in the first place - brides. Think about what they'd find useful. Perhaps a pretty fridge magnet that could be used to hold a to-do list for the wedding? Or a notepad for making those lists in the first place? Add your branding to the freebies, along with your contact details or social media sites so that visitors can reach out to you after the show if they want to..

Vet your visitors

This may sound harsh, but it's true. While it's great to speak to people at exhibitions, you want to make sure that the people you're talking to are genuinely interested in your product or service. Asking them simple questions like when their date is, whether they're looking for a venue, or whether they've decided on a florist yet will quickly let you know what it is they're looking for. Can you offer them what they need? Great, keep them talking. If not, wish them well so you can move on and speak to someone else who could be looking for your services..

Collect contact details

This is one of the most important things you can do at a bridal show, and will largely determine whether or not it was successful for you. Once you've vetted visitors to your stand, you'll know who's genuinely interested in what you're selling. Before they walk away, get their contact details. You could do this through a prize draw, where you collect their names and emails, or it could be something as simple as asking people if they'd like to sign up to your mailing list. By creating a list of contact details, you'll have numerous leads to follow up with after the event..

Set realistic goals

The main aim of attending a trade show is to get as many new customers as possible. However, it's unlikely that you'll sign someone up right there and then. If you go to the bridal show with the idea of making sales, then you'll probably be disappointed. Instead, set yourself the more realistic goal of collecting contact information, and booking meetings with potential customers. Whether you're a florist, a caterer or a wedding dress designer, once you've collected the contact details of visitors to your stand, either arrange a meeting, or ask them when it's convenient to get in touch so you can call them at a later date. Having an external meeting enables you to go through all of the details and answer any questions without feeling rushed, as well as finalising the booking.

Network

Network While it's highly important to speak to prospective customers, there's no harm in speaking to other exhibitors as well. The organisers of the show may arrange a networking event for attendees, and if that's the case, it's something you should go to. Making friends with other exhibitors means that you may be able to refer each other for services, meaning more leads for you..

Always remain professional

No one will come to your stand if you look bored or uninterested. That means no sitting behind your table - stand in front and engage with visitors. If you're eating lunch, then do it away from your stand. Ideally there should be at least two of you attending the show, so that you can speak to as many people as possible, and you can cover each other when you want to go for lunch. And of course, you should always be friendly and engaging. Organising a wedding is stressful, but it's also exciting, so engage with the brides (and grooms!) that come over to your stand..

Stay until the end

Not only does packing up early look unprofessional, but you're also not making the most of your time at the bridal show. Even though it may seem slow to begin with, you never know who you're going to meet, and at what time. Your potential customers could be one of the last visitors you meet, so you don't want to miss out on them. Besides, you've already paid for your stand, so you may as well stay and make the most of the day..

Follow up fast

Think of the bridal show as an introductory meeting. It's after the show when you'll be doing a lot of the work. This is where the list of contact details you collected come in useful: send out emails, pick up the phone, and set up meetings as promised with visitors. If you don't act fast, people will forget about you, and they could go with a different florist, caterer or boutique. Bridal shows can be very fun and exciting to attend, but they can also be very hectic! To make the most of your time, it's important you come as prepared as possible, so you can speak to others and collect leads, which could result in sales.

Contact RAL Display www.ral-display.co.uk

 
 
 
Victoria Kay
Tiffanys Wholesale Ltd
DHJ Weisters Ltd