Bridal News

Hudson Valley Bridal Show – Palacio | Highlights Video

Bridal Show Highlights – Palacio, Goshen, NY – March 2015

 

A special thanks to:

Palacio Catering and Conference Center | Expo Venue Location

K’s Wedding Center | Fashion Show, Gowns and Models

First Class Formal Wear | Fashion Show, Tuxedos and Models

Music Masters | MC and Sound

Durants Party Rentals | Tables

Alisa Stilwell Wedding Films | Expo Video and Photos

 

Expo Vendors

 

Alisa Stilwell Photography & Films
Allan E. Levine Photo
David’s Bridal
Dolci Bella Cake Balls & Other Fine Sweets
Dr. Fugo
Durants Rentals
Dv8 Entertainment
F.H Corwin Florist
Felix Unger Photography
First Class Formal Wear
Flash Shack Photobooth
Floral Preservations
Holiday Inn Express
Hudson Valley Ceremonies
Isagenics – Claire Stadtmuller
It Works – Cindy Smith
K’s Wedding Center
Mary Kay – Esther Murray
Music Masters
Music Speaks Volumes
New York Life
Origami Owl
Palacio Catering and Conference Center
Pamela Dzbenski Photography
PartyLite – Amy Van Pelt
Passion Parties
Perfectly Posh – Danielle Conway
Personalized Ceremonies
Pineapple Day Spa
Pink Luxe
Platinum Limo NY
Salon Lucere
Silver Leaf Resorts NY
Stella & Dot
Truelife Fotos
Vargas Productions
Warwick Travel
Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara & Cosmetics

Ribbon2

Save the Date!


Wednesday June 3, 2015 

Novellas
– New Paltz, NY→



Sunday August 16, 2015 

The Meadowbrook
– New Windsor, NY→



Sunday November 15, 2015 

Palacio Catering Banquet Center
– Goshen, NY→

Posted in: For Brides, Vendor News Hudson Valley NY

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Connecticut Wedding Expo – Crowne Plaza in Cromwell

Bridal Show Highlights – Crowne Plaza, Cromwell, CT – March 2015

 
 

A special thanks to:

Crown Plaza | Expo Venue Location

Corrine Weddings | Fashion Show, Gowns and Models

DK Productions | MC, Sound and Up-lighting

Sarah Victor Beauty | Model Make-up

Cutting Loose Salon | Model Hair

Rose Marie’s Travel | Grand Prize to Club Med

Alisa Stilwell Wedding Films | Official Expo Video

 

Expo Vendors

5 Diamond Productions
Arthur Murray Studio
Beachbody Coach – Heather Ayantola
Bridal Bells
Captive Photography
Corrine Weddings
Crowne Plaza
Cutting Loose Salon
Dinner 4 Two
DK Productions
Exclusively Honeymoons
Gateway Limousine
It Works
Jamberry
KD Revival
Liberty Mutual
Liquid Diamondz & Park Lane Jewelry
LMX Mobile Productions
Mark Kay
Music In Motion
New York Life
Next Step Living
Prestige Barkley Photography
Rico Entertainment
Rose Marie’s Travel
Sarah Victor Beauty
Seacret Skin Care
Younique
Silver Leaf Resorts
Sisters’ Kitchen LLC
Team Cares DJ Entertainment
The Paper Lantern Shop
The Pros Weddings
Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski
Viral Booth

 

Posted in: Connecticut Bridal Shows

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This Is What It Looks Like When 211 Brides Indulge In Fun and Breathtaking Fashions

Over 500 people with over 200 brides-to-be joined us on Sunday November 3rd at the Farmington Marriott for a fun and exciting afternoon of fashions, prizes and the best of local wedding pros.

Whew! What an expo…

Yep, a few people kind of made fun of us shooting video on an iPhone but we think it captured the buzz of the event.

And by the way – This high energy bride event actually turned out to be one of the best of 2013.

The bride and vendor reviews are in from our latest bride-fest that featured 45 verified wedding companies.

It was great, every year it gets better and better. the passports are a great add on to it so they stop by your booth and have the experience.
– Betzy, Eterna Vita MedSpa

 

(5 Stars) We received many leads from this event.
– Frank, Arthur Murray Dance Studio

 

Great show. Great brides. This is the only show producer that I will work with.
– Rose Marie, Rose Marie’s Travel

Bridal Show Hartford

 

Great attendance….very well coordinated….high energy and enthusiasm was felt by attendees and vendors.
– Rev. Judith O’Connor

 

Staff was great and the attendance was excellent. Please keep me in mind for next bridal fair dates.
Thank you,
– Teresa Williford, Mary Kay

 

We thought the show went extremely well. We thank you for featuringg us and we are looking forward to the next show.
– Como Bakery

 

You seem to draw a better quality bride than many shows do. The”getting signatures” from every vendor is so important to small companies like us. Normally we talk to about 20-30. Yours, over 80. The brides we would have missed because we were busy with others have to come back to get our signature and that gives us a chance to meet with them!
– Robert, Sound Advice DJs

 

The show was amazing everyone was a lot of help I will definitely attend the show again
– Attending bride survey

 

I loved how helpful the vendors were with out lining package pricing or seeing merchandising material

I love and wrote down every detail to make sure I could purchase the exact item (mother of the bride dress). Loved how the seamstress gave me a real timeline of dress ordering.
– Attending bride survey

A special thanks to:

Marriott Farmington for providing the expo venue location

Corrine Weddings for the fantastic fashion show and models

DK Productions for sound and uplighting

Nickie from Hello Gorgeous – model hair and make-up

About the Author: Frank Calister works with wedding professionals and coordinates bridal expos in NY, CT, NYC, Hudson Valley, Greater Buffalo and MA

Catapult Your Business To A New
Level With These Power Events

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Posted in: Blog, Connecticut Bridal Shows, For Brides

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[The Formula] 7 Step for Bridal Show Success

by Frank Calister
Thursday 2:15 PM

If you are a wedding professional and not getting lots of bookings it’s NOT your fault… and IS your fault both at the same time. Hmm, how could that be?

It’s Not Your Fault… Or Is It?

Look – It’s not your fault that it wasn’t a home run because most bridal show promoters don’t teach you how to really follow-up from a show. They don’t teach a step by step formula to turn that face to face contact into an appointment.

Trouble is…

… they don’t teach you how to follow-up because they don’t know how to themselves.

And, yes, show success is your fault at the same time because as a wedding pro we must all take responsibility for not just learning our craft, but mastering the marketing side of the wedding business. I meet wedding pros that are fantastic at the service they offer but are clueless when it comes to marketing, email follow-up and what to say on the phone. Then they complain that bridal shows don’t work or that they are not making ends meet.

By the way…

… I have always had great success at bridal shows (the ones that had a good turnout of brides of course, but that’s a whole other topic). Having a sales and marketing background (and passion) before I started is what I believe made the difference between doing a show once and doing and producing shows for the past 11 years.

In fact, with every company that I’ve been in or owned, aggressive, quick, steady and friendly follow-up has always turned meeting brides into appointments and the sales.

7 Step Bridal Blueprint for Show Success

So, what to do. Let’s keep it simple. Here is the basic outline that I use for my businesses and teach to wedding pros that display at shows that I have produced.

1. Meet and Greet at the show only

NY-Bridal-Expos-2013I will let you in on a secret. The brides are not coming to the show to see you or to book with you. The brides are there for free prizes, fashion shows, food and a day out with their friends.

So stand out in front of your table, schmooze, make friends and be interested in them while they sign-up for your prize. If she asks for prices tell her you’ll get in touch after the show. Enough said, do not sell or tell her how great you are at the show – she doesn’t care. 

2. Send An Email the Day After the Event

Act fast! Upload your names and emails into your email program (we use Constant Constant and IContact) and send her a friendly “It was great meeting you at the show – here are some bride tips on our website” email.

Insider Tip: The first email is to show her you are an expert and interested in her by giving something first. I have used free reports, free videos, free bride tips. And in the PS reminder her that you are available for her date and to give you a call.

3. Also Call Her the Day After

After you send out your Friendly bride tips email pick up the phone… (yes, the phone).

Listen – you will get mostly voice mails but that’s OK. Leave her a message telling her that it was great meeting her at the show and that you just sent her an email with some free bride tips. Don’t be like your competition and try to force a sale, you will turn her off.

Show that you are there for her and that you are the expert in your category by giving some valuable info.

4. Send a Second Email 2 Days After the Show

Don’t give up now. And, no, you are not being too pushy if you are being friendly and giving advice that she is interested in.

For this email you can send her to some new pictures on your Blog, your gallery page or your “Bride Reviews” page. Keep it friendly, give another tip and put your offer in the PS.

5. Email 3 – 4 Days After the Show

Yes, it’s the third email this week… and you have permission – she signed up with you and met you at the show.

Now that you have given to her first and showed interest in her at the show, it’s time for the blatant “Here’s the Fantastic, limited time, limited date, contact me now for an appointment” email. Be sure to include a great offer, link to your contact page, phone number and limited time expiration date.

6. End of Week 1 – Send a direct mail piece to all of the brides that did not respond during the week.

Yes, snail mail. And don’t cheap it out now being that you have already invested into the show.

You can send a brochure with a personalized letter with your offer. Do not address her letter with “Dear Bride to Be”. Use a mail merge and put her first name in the letter. 

7. Week 2 Onward – Send a Weekly Specials or Tips Email

Just because she attended a show does not mean she is ready to book your category. Brides are waiting longer and longer before booking services. She will often book with that wedding pro that is in front of her when she is ready, not when you are ready.

If you do not keep in touch every week she will forget about you within a few weeks after the show. So for all of the brides that you did not book the first week, repeat the process with 1 or 2 friendly tip emails every week and phone calls every month. Put all of your brides from all of the shows after the first into a master list so that none fall through the cracks.

Follow this formula and DO NOT leave any steps out. The most successful bridal pros will do the things the complainers won’t do.

And for how many weeks do you send emails and make calls? Keep with the friendly, tips giving follow-up until she tells you that she already has your service or until she is married.

 

About the Author: Frank Calister works with wedding professionals and coordinates bridal expos in NY, CT, MA

Posted in: Blog, Connecticut Bridal Shows, nyc bridal shows, Vendor News Hudson Valley NY, Western Mass Wedding Expos

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Connecticut Bridal Show wows brides with crazy contests

Wow! Brides really showed their fun side while enjoying bride contests and a dance-off at our recent Summer Bridal Spectacular.

( Press play for the 2 minute recap video:)

The Verdict – It’s All About the Brides

Over 400 people turned out for wedding planning and bridal fun at the Connecticut Bridal Show at Fantasia in North Haven. 

Both brides and wedding vendors raved about the success of the wedding expo in CT. Brides loved the diversity of vendors and all of the interactive contests –

 – while the vendors were thrilled that the expo was packed to capacity with their target audience – brides. 

Lisa from TapSnap commented after the show:

Great show… so entertaining for the brides and their families… I did my first bridal show 2 weeks prior and it does NOT compare to the fabulous show you put on…loved it!!! see you at your next expo in Farmington!!

Rev. Judith O’Connor, a veteran of local CT Wedding expos was also pleased:

I was pleased with the turnout for certain! I was also pleased to see what a truly FUN and joyful experience you created for everyone! The DJ, music, games, prizes, fashion show and positive energy that flowed the entire day was all wonderful.

Oh, one last thing – on a separate note: A special thanks to:

Silvana, Patty, Ivan, Joe and everyone at Fantasia – expo hosting and venue 

DJ Joe Poletta and his team at DJ International – MC and Sound

Jessica and all of the models from Bliss Bridal – fashion show

Nickie from Hello Gorgeous – model hair and make-up

Shawn Stewart from Light Master Studios – pics below and shooting the video clips of the fashion show and bride games.

Connecticut-Bridal-Show

Wedding-Expos-in-CT

DesignerBridalShowcase

About the Author: Frank Calister works with wedding professionals and coordinates bridal expos in CT, NYC, Hudson Valley and MA

Catapult Your Business To A New
Level With These Power Events

Vendors Pre-Register HERE→

Posted in: Blog, Connecticut Bridal Shows, For Brides, Uncategorized

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Ultimate Sound DJs to Host Queens and Brooklyn NY Wedding Expo

Ultimate-Sound-DJs
Breaking News: Ultimate Sound DJs, a exceptionally dynamic wedding entertainment company will be MCing and providing the sound at the upcoming NYC Bridal event. After delivering masterful motivation with the style, elegance, and energy at the recent Designer Bridal Showcase at Villa Russo in January 2013, Ultimate Sound DJs was asked to return to MC the popular event.

Brooklyn Bridal Shows

Experience Ultimate Sound DJs Live at the NYC Bridal Show

Come see Ultimate Sound DJs and join us to discover the latest in wedding fashions and trends at the top New York area bridal expo of the summer.

Where and When:

  • Villa Russo, Richmond Hill NY
  • Wednesday August 14, 2013 ( 7 PM to 9:30 PM)

Why Should You Attend the NYC Wedding Expo?

There is nothing like being organized! This evening of bridal fun will save you time and MONEY!!

The event at Villa Russo is organized totally with your ideal planning interests in mind. This is an event where you’ll have the advantage of finding and talking to the best of the New York area’s Wedding professionals in one convenient place.

Register Online Now and Get 1/2 Off Tickets!

Through a special arrangement brides and vendors and register and get info here: 

Posted in: Blog, For Brides, nyc bridal shows

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A Genuine Wedding Expo Treat at Villa Russo Catering

New York Brides-to-be attending the 2013 Wedding Wonderland New York City Wedding Expo are in for a genuine treat.

Bridal Show at Villa Russo

Bridal Show at Villa Russo

The popular summer expo on August 14th will be held at Villa Russo Catering in South Richmond Hill, one of the most outstanding venues in the Queens and Brooklyn area of New York City. This impressive location has it all… 2 large banquet rooms, delectable food and flawless service.

Villa Russo is One of New York City’s most enduring Wedding Locations

Not only a great location for our upcoming wedding expo, but a perfect venue for events ranging from Weddings, Sweet Sixteen & Quinceaneras. Their ballrooms suit any style of event from uncomplicated, casual, to over-the-top luxury. Through the years brides have celebrated weddings and other landmark events at the Villa Russo – earning it one of New York City’s most well-liked and thriving catering venues. Villa Russo is well known for excellence in both services and catering.

New York City Wedding Expo – Save the Date

If you are planning a wedding, The Wedding Wonderland Bridal Show at Villa Rosa will have it covered: you’ll discover all things weddings from wedding cakes to honeymoons.  Also is store is an exquisite fashion show featuring the latest in gown and dress styles. Then topping off the evening will be bride prizes and drawings worth thousands.

On top of that, trusted and verified wedding experts will be there to answer your planning questions. If you have have a unique idea or design that you are searching for, these professionals will be there to help.


Where and When:

  • Villa Russo, Richmond Hill NY
  • Wednesday August 14, 2013 ( 7 PM to 9:30 PM)

This bridal show is an encore of the recent highly successful Designer Bridal Showcase expo that took place at Villa Russo this past January. Over 400 people turned out for an exciting evening of easy wedding planning.

RSVP and Get 1/2 Off Tickets!

Through a special arrangement brides and vendors and register and get info here: 

Posted in: Blog, For Brides, nyc bridal shows

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5 Damn Good Essential Practices for Wedding Biz Marketing

Striving for that pot of gold in the wedding business can be daunting, as obstacles you never considered to envision crop up. Price shopping brides, Bridezillas, Groomzillas, limited time, and tight budgets can all be a factor as the workload starts to pile up with not quite enough bookings rolling in.

However, having the right business tools will help you get on the right track to maximize your time… and get a hold on your sanity. Here is a list of what we consider 5 must needed tools in your wedding business arsenal.

A Mobile Responsive Website

Fact: In 2013 more brides will use mobile phones to view your website than desktop PCs. The computer world has been turned upside down. The days of a bride surfing for wedding pros at work on the company computer are over. She may still be surfing the web, but now it’s on her smart phone.

New York NY Wedding Expo

Yes, you have a website. But here’s the problem… you most likely also don’t have a mobile website. Whereas this may well not have been a crisis in 2010, it’s rapidly becoming incredibly crucial to have a mobile version of your website for brides.

If you do not have a responsive mobile website, it’s time you made the leap. Brides viewing on their smartphone expect to have a easier mobile experience.

Even though current mobile phones can view standard websites, brides expect a site that loads easily, with no pinch-zooming and is set-up for mobile users.

Steady Content With A Blog

The almighty Oz… ahem, I mean The Google, loves websites with good content posted regularly on blogs.

Posting regular tips, photos and events on your blog is a superb way to publicize your wedding biz. By posting content you engage with brides and web visitors, establish expertise in your category and let people and the search engines know that your site is active.

When it comes to SEO, having quality blog content tells “The Google” that your biz is worthy. For that reason, to be worthy of better search results you need to have regular, unique, quality content on wedding website’s blog.

A couple excellent examples of how some of our clients are using blogs are Villa Russo Catering and Wishtree Photography.

Wedding Vendor Marketing

Keep in mind that your blog isn’t about selling “stuff”, but to show your peeps that you know your stuff – that you are the expert in your wedding category. By giving relevant bride ideas, showcasing past weddings and keeping them informed you establish trust and become the go to company in your category.

Keep a Finger On the Pulse With Google Analytics

Being a small business wedding pro, do you know the amount of visitors your site is getting? Or do you know what sources your traffic is coming from? If you paid to list on TheKnot or WeddingWire, just how many brides are coming from those sites? It’s crucial to know your exact website traffic data to be able to assess your marketing success.

Google Analytics is a free tool that gives you in-depth details on where your website visitors are reaching your website from in real time. The reality that you can see how your prospects interact with your website can help you greatly in strengthening your website and business.

Instead of than guessing about how many people are visiting, you can get for a free account to keep track things like visitors, the traffic sources, keywords used and even their geographic location.

Wedding Professionals
Build Relationships With Facebook

Yes, there are other social platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, but Facebook for business is the most important and the best place to start your social marketing. Facebook is the largest social community in existence and it’s where your brides, customers, friends and peers are.

Facebook is best used not to sell per se, but as an engagement tool. A nicely developed Facebook business page that is kept up to date with engaging content can be extremely effective to establish trust and gain exposure. What Facebook allows you do is to show social “proof” that you are an authority in your wedding category.

Facebook

As an added benefit, when your fan share your posts you more exposure and your page can to index in The Google. This gives you even more exposure and trust to the brides that are searching for wedding vendors.

Of all of the social platforms, Facebook is a essential in the wedding industry because of its interconnectedness among users… and your brides expect you to be there.

Boost Results With An Email Marketing Service

We all how to use email. Your Inbox probably get flooded with them. When it comes to sending out bulk emails, though, you are far wiser to rely on a professional email marketing service.

If you, like many other wedding pros, are still using systems like Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc. for email marketing, then you are making a big mistake. Why? These are consumer grade email accounts and are not equipped for business email marketing. For this reason they have major disadvantages that can in fact undermine instead of helping your follow-up efforts.

Email Marketing

Professional email marketing services are approved to send bulk email with less emails getting blocked. You can track how many brides received, opened and clicked to your website for better follow-up. Also, you’ll get data on unsubscribes, bounces, and spam complaints. Other benefits include list management, email personalization, HTML Templates, easy unsubscribe, correct formatting, CAN SPAM ACT legal requirements and time savings.

The bottom line is your brides will love your new email professionalism and you’ll love getting a handle on your email marketing. We have used and lots of the email services but we found that GetResponse and Constant Contact were best for the needs the wedding industry.

What do you think?

Let us know what you think of the these marketing tools! We would love to hear your comments :)

About the Author: Frank Calister works with wedding professionals and coordinates bridal expos in CT, NYC, Hudson Valley and MA

Here’s A Quick Way To Boost
Your Wedding Bookings

Catapult Your Business To A New
Level With These Power Events

Vendors Pre-Register HERE→

Posted in: Blog, nyc bridal shows, Vendor News Hudson Valley NY

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Facebook Success Strategies for Wedding Professionals

Are you wanting to bring in more fans and get better results from your Facebook page? Without quality, action taking fans, your wedding Facebook marketing strategies end up going nowhere.

Keep reading to uncover four ways you can increase the productivity of your Facebook efforts.

So how do you get better results from your Facebook posts?

For starters, Facebook results seldom happen instantly and unless you are a huge brand name –  patience, determination, and learning what works best are all required to generate a flourishing Facebook page.

There are unique actions you can take to build a more productive Facebook page. The following core tactics will help you improve your Facebook activity and turn your Facebook page into a home run.

By: Jennifer Morin
Thursday 10:16 AM

1. Wedding Pro Strategy #1: Keep it Fresh and Flowing

Have you ever seen this before? Visited a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in months. Or maybe ended up landing on a blog where the last post was October 2010. Visitors will see this and click away in a heartbeat never to return. The problem here is lack of content.

While on the other end of the OCD spectrum is the person who posts a number of times each and every day, gladly usurping your newsfeed through their mass of posts.

On your Facebook business page one post a day at the most is all you need to keep your fan engaged.

Wedding Pro Facebook Tips

Keep it Fresh

To get the most reach from your Facebook posts, make sure that your information teaches, entertains and gives relevant wedding info to your brides. Doing this will pique her awareness and continue to keep them following you for more.

Next, release your tips and posts in as many places as possible. What this means is that you need to get your material online, and you want it to be viewed by as many brides as possible. While Facebook is particularly effective, don’t forget to put your on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and of course, your website.

[note color=”#fff9e1″]Quick Tip: You can also keep an eye on what other wedding experts are posting. If you notice anything that would be useful to your fans, post that content (and be sure to give them credit for it). Sharing posts is a good way to continue to increase the benefits for your followers while not having to constantly produce new tips and content.[/note]

2. Wedding Pro Strategy #2: Mix it Up and Catch Her Eye

The Next time you post think beyond the written word and mix it up with different types of media – photos and video. Use an image as the basis for your post or tip to catch your readers eye in their Facebook newsfeed.

Bridal Show Vendors Facebook

Use Images in your Facebook posts

Images stand out on Facebook and have been tested to be the best way to get your content noticed in the news feed of your fans. The best size for Facebook images is 404 x 404 pixels.
 
Don’t forget video. Every now and then upload a video directly to Facebook or add a link directly from Youtube.

3. Wedding Pro Strategy #3: Pin it Up – Pinned Post

Just what the heck is a Pinned Post?

Don’t let an important offer or message get lost in your timeline as you add new content. Pin a Post to keep in on the top of your page.

Wedding Expo Vendors Facebook

Pinned Posts for Wedding Pros

With this feature you can manually have a post to stay at the top of your Timeline, which means it will not go down the Timeline as you proceed to add more news, offers or tips to your page.
[note color=”#fff9e1″]Quick Tip: How to Pin a Post: Click on the edit pencil icon in the upper-right corner of a status update. A drop-down menu will show up, select “Pin To Top.” To unpin your message, simply click on the edit pencil icon in the upper-right corner of your pinned post and you will find the option to unpin the post in the drop-down.[/note]

4. Wedding Pro Strategy #4: Call to Action

So now that a bride or fan reads your post do not just let her leave your page never to return. Tell them what to do next with a “Call to Action”.

Start by asking people to LIKE or SHARE at the end of your post. Often simply inviting people to share your post will be the enticement a fan needs to take and click LIKE or SHARE. Once they share the post, it will go on further to their friends, thereby increasing your reach. This is one of best advantages of using Facebook!

Wedding  Professionals Facebook

Tell them what action to take next

Another excellent call to action is including a link to your website and telling them to “Visit the website for more” (include a link to your site).

[note color=”#fff9e1″]Quick Tip: Weather you are posting on Facebook or your website—posts will get far better success rates if they include calls to action, compared to ones not having them. So, all the more rationale to add them![/note]

Now it’s your turn to take action! Using these practices will help get improved results from your Facebook marketing. If you’ve used any of these techniques already or plan to do so soon, leave a comment in the below and let us know.

 

[note color=”#e7ebf2″][UPDATE] New Bridal Shows added: Reserve your space[column size=”2-3″ last=”0″]

– August 11th –  North Haven, CT
– August 14th – Richmond Hill, NY
– October 2013 – Hudson Valley NY
– October 2013 – Springfield, MA
– November 3rd – Farmington, CT

[/column][column size=”1-3″ last=”1″][spacer size=”10″]
Vendors Pre-Register:
Exhibitor Info[/column][/note]

Posted in: Blog, Connecticut Bridal Shows, nyc bridal shows, Vendor News Hudson Valley NY, Western Mass Wedding Expos

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10 Best “Must Dos” for Bridal Show Follow-up Success

By: Jennifer Morin
Tuesday 1:06 PM

Being successful as a wedding professional is not rocket science… but it is at the same time profoundly challenging.

Not only do you have to be highly skilled in your wedding category, but you now have to be a master of of building rapport, social media, sales, marketing and follow-up.

Brides are busy and caught-up in their daily routine. Throughout the day, they are swamped with ads and commercials from everything from TV to emails, social media and internet. So, if you send just one message it most likely get lost in the daily shuffle.

In our wedding pros community, I often see clients invest in a wedding expo to get more business. They’ll have a professional looking booth, meet and greet at the show – and then leave out the most important piece of the business puzzle – following up for success.

I often encounter vendors whose plans are basically this:

Step 1. Display in a Bridal Show

Step 2. ?.

Step 3. Book brides and profit

You may have guessed that Step 2 is your follow-up marketing.

They may have an excellent wedding service. Best in their category. But if their message is not in front of the bride when SHE is ready, then they’re on course for disaster. The brides will NOT beat a path to your door just because you ha a booth a the expo. You’ll lose to the competitor who learns how to market his or or message steadily throughout her engagement.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your marketing efforts and increase your bookings:

1. Use It or Lose It.

Use your bride lists on a consistent basis and stick to your efforts. One mailing alone does not work – send a mailing weekly. Don’t wait for the brides to contact you, send a friendly message weekly.

Brides are excited about getting married and planning for that special day. Take the time to send her wedding tips and special offers to remind her about your business. 80% of sales are made after the 5th impression. Get to them before someone else does.

2. Direct Subject Line

Efficient subject lines are key to the success of your email. Subject lines are the first thing that your reader will see, so capture them early. Keep them short and direct. Tell your audience what your email is about in a few words. That’s it.

3. Make it Mobile Friendly

About half of all bride emails are read on mobile devices. Brides are no longer “reading” your message. They are skimming quickly to decide if it is important enough to read further  So create your email to be short and sweet. Have a call to action in your email, and make it easy to locate.

Bride email marketing is no longer just on a desk top – it’s also mobile messages on smartphones and iPads. So, being aware of how your message is sent and displayed on several cell phone devices.

4. Make it Personal

Your marketing campaign is your chance to have a conversation with your bride. So make it personal. Individualize the greeting with her name. Brides want to know that the communication they received was intended for them.

With that said, your greeting should NOT be “Dear Bride” or “Dear Engaged Couples” like I have seen…

…but Hi Jennifer (all email companies have an insert to merge her name).

5. What Are You Going to do for Me

Highlight the benefits of what your product or service will do for your bride. Don’t dwell only on the features of your offering. Focus on what your service or product can do for the couple. If you have an important, valuable benefit, you may also want to use it in the headline with the offer.

Be sure to tell the bride what makes you different from the other wedding pros in your category. The bride is interested not about you, but what you can do to make her day easier or more memorable.

6. Give to Get

Offer something of value for free (e.g. a helpful video, industry report or tips on choosing gowns, etc). These types of offers get immediate attention. However, make sure that your giveaway is most valuable to brides planning weddings.

7. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Having a good offer is one of the most important parts of your campaign. Whether it’s a discount, a free gift or rebate, the offer needs to be so tempting it is too good to refuse.

Time and time again, it’s been proven that more brides respond to an offer when there’s a limit on the amount of time they have to respond. Include an offer in all of your bridal messages. Brides need that little incentive to pick up the phone and call you. It does not have to be much, but offer something.

8. Brand With a Clear Call-To-Action

Ask for the response you want. Do you want your brides to visit your store, call for a consultation, navigate to your Web site, or pass the message along to a friend? Be clear about the action you are requesting.

Tell the bride what exactly you want her to do in your marketing efforts. Just telling her about what you can do is not enough, you must tell her what action to take at the end of each email.

And, make sure you have plenty of links in your email… make it easy for her to get to your website.

9. Smile and then Dial

Marketing to brides works. The best way to guarantee the success of your email campaign is to personalize it with a call, make it easy for brides to respond and measure the results. Call Me Some Time. Send your mailing and follow-up with a phone call while you are fresh in her mind. Recent studies show that a personal follow up call can increase response rates by nearly 50 percent.

10. Motivate with a Deadline

And, lastly, always include a deadline with all of your offers. Adding a deadline adds a sense of urgency to your message and helps the bride to pick up the phone and call you today.

Follow these time tested marketing strategies and increase your bookings. And, do not omit any of the above rules, especially the follow-up phone call.

 

Posted in: Blog, Connecticut Bridal Shows, nyc bridal shows, Vendor News Hudson Valley NY, Western Mass Wedding Expos

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