Bridal Shows

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BBGF Posts : 66 Registered: 5/5/09
Bridal Shows
Posted: Apr 2, 2010 1:10 AM

Hi ladies I need your input about bridal shows. I know that today Brides more than ever are into planning their own wedding so here is what I would like to know.

1. How many of you go to bridal shows?
2. Do you find them helpful?
3. What are the top five Vendors that you are looking for when you go to a bridal show?
4. Does the location of the bridal show waiver on your decision to attend or not?
5. Do you enjoy the bigger bridal shows more than the smaller ones? Why?
6. Are you mainly going to the show to try and win free things or actually looking to fulfill your list of Vendors?
7. What could a bridal show promoter do to make the show more alluring to brides?

Thank you ladies for your assistance.

Let us showcase your unique style.

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NicoleN1101 Posts : 44 Registered: 3/19/10
Re: Bridal Shows
Posted: Apr 2, 2010 8:45 AM Go to message in response to: BBGF

I think Bridal shows are a good way to get an idea of the vendors in your area if you don't already have vendors in mind. But it is also nice to win stuff, but since they only tend to give out 20 or so gifts, obviously not everyone will be a winner. I prefer the larger bridal shows, unless I'm going to check out the actual venue. What annoys me is all the vendor followup after the bridal show. I know they are trying to get business leads and that's the entire reason they are there, but my thought is, I have your information, I can call you if I'm interested. But that's not the way it works... I realize that.
If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane!

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Bridal Shows
Posted: Apr 2, 2010 9:33 AM Go to message in response to: BBGF

1. How many of you go to bridal shows?
2. Do you find them helpful?

I went to two bridal shows and didn't really get much out of them at all. My number one problem with them is that they sell your information, so you end up with a pile of junk mail, spam, and sales calls. I learned that at the first one, so I gave fake info when I went to the second one. For me, that was a big turn-off, but I still attended the second one (registered with a fake name and address, though) because I wanted some ideas for local vendors. The whole thing ended up being a waste of time for me, as I did not hire a single vendor that I met at either show - I went with recommendations from people I know. If I had known then what I know now, I would have skipped the bridal shows.

3. What are the top five Vendors that you are looking for when you go to a bridal show?

I went to both shows very early in our planning, so I was really just looking for ideas. But in the back of my mind, I was looking for a caterer and photographer. I knew that any venues participating in a bridal show would probably be popular, fairly expensive places, and I wasn't interested in wasting my time on popular places that would already be booked, or anything out of my price range. I knew what florist I was going to use, as I had done business with them before. I have a friend who is a coordinator, so didn't need to book one. We weren't using a DJ, so I didn't need to meet them, nor were we interested in hiring a limo. We had a favorite bakery already and planned to get our cake from them. So really - the only vendors I was looking for were caterer and photographer, and I didn't use anybody I met at a bridal show. The venue we ended up going with had fantastic food, so we didn't hire a separate caterer. As far as the photographer goes, I found out that a photographer friend of mine has a friend who does weddings, so we went with her.

4. Does the location of the bridal show waiver on your decision to attend or not?

I guess so. I wouldn't have been willing to drive more than half an hour to go to one.

5. Do you enjoy the bigger bridal shows more than the smaller ones? Why?

I went to one large one and one small one. The small one was MUCH better, as you could talk to every vendor, even the popular ones who would have crowds around them at a larger bridal show.

6. Are you mainly going to the show to try and win free things or actually looking to fulfill your list of Vendors?

I went to meet vendors, but like I said, I didn't end up going with any that I met. At the first one I went to, I didn't even realize that there would be free stuff to win. Then at the second one, I registered with a fake name because I didn't want to get junk mail, thus forfeiting my ability to win free stuff.

7. What could a bridal show promoter do to make the show more alluring to brides?

I don't know. I wasn't your typical bride, so I'm probably not a good source of info for this. For me, I'd like to be able to get and out quickly, and to be able to easily find the vendors I was looking for. So if all the photographers were set up in one area, I'd love it. It would also be nice if brides could attend a bridal show without having to register and their personal didn't get sold to everyone and their mother. I got married two years ago and I STILL sometimes get mailings from random wedding vendors. Not cool.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Bridal Shows
Posted: Apr 2, 2010 10:28 AM Go to message in response to: BBGF

Market research? Happy to oblige.

1. How many of you go to bridal shows?

I went to 2. One in my hometown (where I was getting married) and one in the place where I live.

2. Do you find them helpful?

Not really. They were more "fun thing to do this afternoon".

However, I do think they are helpful for a bride just looking for ideas and price ranges. When you're trying to figure out what your options are, a show can highlight the types of things you can do -- and what those choices would cost. I know they really cemented to me how much the kind of photographer I was looking for would cost me.

3. What are the top five Vendors that you are looking for when you go to a bridal show?

I was most curious about cake and photography -- but I was already pretty sure that I wasn't going to book one from either show (and I didn't).

4. Does the location of the bridal show waiver on your decision to attend or not?

Yup. The more convenient, the better.

5. Do you enjoy the bigger bridal shows more than the smaller ones? Why?

I only went to two big ones -- both at convention centers. Since I was going for fun, my attitude was the bigger, the better.

6. Are you mainly going to the show to try and win free things or actually looking to fulfill your list of Vendors?

Neither -- I was going for free cake, mostly.

7. What could a bridal show promoter do to make the show more alluring to brides?

1) free cake 2) venders can offer discounts for services booked through the show.

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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Elbelle77 Posts : 222 Registered: 1/24/08
Re: Bridal Shows
Posted: Apr 2, 2010 11:51 AM Go to message in response to: BBGF

1. How many of you go to bridal shows?

I went to 3. 2 were at stores (Bloomingdales and Macys) and the other was at a venue.

2. Do you find them helpful?

The one at Macy's was terrible. Hardly any vendors were there, the food/drink was terrible, and it seemed very disorganized. Bloomingdales was excellent, they had a registry workshop that showed how you could use certain items in different ways to save money (turn a cake plate upside to make it into a chip and dip platter-only works for certain ones). They had a live band playing that I ended up booking, along with my florist. My venue, which I had already booked, supplied the food, so I was able to sample that early. I also one two wine glasses! The one at the venue was also really good, though I had most everything booked already and mostly went for fun.


3. What are the top five Vendors that you are looking for when you go to a bridal show?
Photographer, florist, band/dj

4. Does the location of the bridal show waiver on your decision to attend or not?
Yes, I wouldn't go anywhere more than 30 min away.

5. Do you enjoy the bigger bridal shows more than the smaller ones? Why?
I would say all of mine were on the smaller side and I liked that. It was overwhelming at all, you remembered who you talked to. I think I would get confused with everyone if it was bigger.

6. Are you mainly going to the show to try and win free things or actually looking to fulfill your list of Vendors?
In the beginning, I went to find vendors. The last one I went to because the restaurant/venue was just renovated and we were considering using their smaller rooms for the shower so I wanted to check it out. If I won something, that would just be the icing on the cake.

7. What could a bridal show promoter do to make the show more alluring to brides?
I liked it when they had little seminars going on: What to register for/how to reuse certain registry items, how to save money when planning a wedding (one place showed 2 different table settings using the same colors to show where to save money), etc.

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BriansAzBride Posts : 326 Registered: 12/5/08
Re: Bridal Shows
Posted: Apr 2, 2010 1:12 PM Go to message in response to: BBGF

Happy to help!

1. How many of you go to bridal shows?
I have gone to 3 bridal shows actually. I really only used the first one and the other two were outings with future family and a bridesmaid.

2. Do you find them helpful?
I actually did. I liked going to them. Like I said though, the first one was really helpful. I got to talk to lots of vendors and find things out that I didn't know, get prices and flyers, look at samples. I liked it.

3. What are the top five Vendors that you are looking for when you go to a bridal show?
I honestly went and looked at just about everyone but mostly it was a florist, DJ, photographer, vendor, and caterer. I was only engaged a month when I went so it was all new to me and I wanted information on everything.

4. Does the location of the bridal show waiver on your decision to attend or not?
Not really. The bridal show I liked the most was about an hour away.

5. Do you enjoy the bigger bridal shows more than the smaller ones? Why?
I enjoy the bigger ones. I see more options. With smaller ones I feel like bait in a shark tank. All the vendors swarm when people walk by. It's a little over whelming. If I wanted to see what you had I'd walk over, you don't need to run over to me with some paper.

6. Are you mainly going to the show to try and win free things or actually looking to fulfill your list of Vendors?
The first one was to fulfill my list of vendors but the other two were to win free stuff.

7. What could a bridal show promoter do to make the show more alluring to brides?
I'm with the previous poster. Don't email and call me a ton. I have your info! Maybe one email to follow up if I actually stopped and talked with you. But that's it. I don't like spam and neither do you. No one likes checking their email to see 50 emails from people you don't care about. Also, and like a PP said, this is big for me, offering promos. If you give me percent off or a discounted price, it makes me very happy and more apt to book then just advertising your prices and having good stuff.

Hope this helps!

 

 

 

 I feel like a kid. Pinch me. This kind of love certainly can't be real. Oh wait, it is :)

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BBGF Posts : 66 Registered: 5/5/09
Re: Bridal Shows
Posted: Apr 3, 2010 3:41 AM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

I see the free cake really made an impression on you. Thats to cute.


Let us showcase your unique style.

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BBGF Posts : 66 Registered: 5/5/09
Re: Bridal Shows
Posted: Apr 3, 2010 3:47 AM Go to message in response to: BBGF

I just wanted to thank all of you ladies who took the timeout to answer my questions and I will be putting them to good use. Have a wonderful day and again thank you so much for your input.

Paula Myers
Precious Memories Event Planners

Let us showcase your unique style.

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Bridal Shows
Posted: Apr 3, 2010 10:31 AM Go to message in response to: BBGF

1. How many of you go to bridal shows?

I went to a lot of bridal shows, probably more than the average bride. I have a friend who was a wedding event planner and who coordinated a show. I actually helped him out with 4 of his (semi-annual events) 1 before engagement and 1 after wedding. I also went to a store one because they were doing registry at the same time, 1 in town because Mom was feeling like she missed out on the others, and 1 I drove a good bit to get to. I would not do that again as it was a complete waste of time.


2. Do you find them helpful?

Yes/no. You get an idea of what is available; however, they also are pretty depressing for budget brides. You see these awesome things that you'd like, but you know you can't afford.

I did actually get a lot of useful information about cakes from a vendor--I was going to go with a fully diabetic cake as one of my layers, and I had one vendor explain why that was not a good plan. That was useful information and allowed me to make an informed decision.

I did actually hire 2 vendors from a bridal show. I found my cake there, and our SPLURGE item -- ceremony musicians (We were not planning on those, but these musicians were at three events and every time we heard them, we wanted to use them more. Finally, we decided we'd regret NOT using them more than we'd regret spending the money. And we were right...they were amazing)

In addition, one of the vendors (which I didn't use) ended up giving me an idea.


3. What are the top five Vendors that you are looking for when you go to a bridal show?

Cake, food, idea scavanging. We were also hoping to find people who had stuff that was in keeping with our theme. Nada.

4. Does the location of the bridal show waiver on your decision to attend or not?

ABSOLUTELY. You want vendors in your area. Driving more than 30 minutes away likely means that you'll be paying any vendor you go with a travel fee too... you want local vendors. I went to one in Birmingham, and OBVIOUSLY all of the vendors were from Birmingham. The event billed it as a Statewide event, which is why I attended, but there were no vendors who were not from Birmingham.

I didn't go back to that event.

5. Do you enjoy the bigger bridal shows more than the smaller ones? Why?

Personally, I prefer the smaller ones because I actually have a chance to get to the table and see what the vendor has to offer. The bigger ones are more like you're walking down the center checking to see what vendor you need to be willing to fight to get to.

6. Are you mainly going to the show to try and win free things or actually looking to fulfill your list of Vendors?

Both. I am going there to eat cake. Wedding cake is quite yummy, and it does not matter if it is YOUR wedding cake or just generic wedding cake.

I'm looking to see what is available and if anyone does have what I need.

But if a wish list/out of price range vendor is offering a freebie, I'm not above signing up for it. There were a lot of nice things given out -- a honeymoon, wedding dress, videography service. I signed up for that, even though I already had a honeymoon booked (hey...a second honeymoon is not a bad plan if you can win it!), and a wedding dress (a nice more casual wedding dress for a private first anniversary vow renewal on our anniversary trip would have been nice), and a video camera (videography service is a bit better than having a friend hold your camera)

But I went for ideas as I was a budget bride...what can I actually do that they have done. The idea I snagged was really actually quite perfect for my reception. There was one vendor who put water and ice in a nice punch bowl. I was planning on punch and had been researching punch..but most of them are so sickeningly sweet that I hate them. It had never occurred to me I could just put water, or ice tea, in a punch bowl. So I did just that. Two bowls of tea and one of water, garnished with sliced orange, lime, and lemon rings. Off to the side, flavor additive of choice: sugar, splenda, truvia, and various torani syrrups. It was a huge hit -- and it was something that would not have occured to me without the show.

Another nicety....I went to one shwo (as I said) with my mother. This was the week after we booked our cake. Our cake vendor was there (mom had been BITCHING about our cake flavor choice ever since she found out what it was), as was the other cake vendor we tasted at (there are only two in our area that do diabetic wedding cakes). I got to have a side by side comparison of the two vendors. In many ways -- this was very dangerous. Why? Because it could go either way--I either chose well, or I chose poorly. OUR cake vendor actually brought the cake we had picked (sour cream pound cake with raspberry amaretto filling and buttercream icing--I do tend to ignore the amaretto, because I hate amaretto. Mom hates raspberry). She tasted that cake and her eyes widened up with the "OMG, this is the best cake I've ever had" look. Then she told me she was now looking forward to my cake because that was delicious. Then we hit the other vendor. We tasted the cake....walked away. And mom said "wow. You guys really chose well. That cake was awful."

Had I gone to that show PRIOR to the cake tastings....I probably would not have even visited the 2nd vendor. It would have saved me time


7. What could a bridal show promoter do to make the show more alluring to brides?

I'd say try to get more vendors of a variety of price ranges. You have brides on budgets who come too, and we'd like to not walk away realizing that none of this stuff can be ours. In many ways, a bride can come away feeling a little less worthy when she starts looking at the prices and realizes that she can't afford any of this great stuff. Also, it would be awesome if you could attract some 'alternative' vendors -- like those who cater to the vegetarian bride or eco-conscious bride or DIY bride.

And ditch the ones who are trying to get you to book parties -- like the pan people, mary kay,beauticontrol, pampered chef. We have enough to do without having to have a party under the guise of a shower. If someone is going to have that style of party for us, it is not going to be US planning it. We're not going to have a Mary Kay consultant or a Beauticontrol consultant have a party for our bridesmaids under the guise of "girls day". If we wanted that make up for our wedding day, we'd already be a loyal customer. Those catalog party vendors are not appropriate for weddings.

Regarding vendors....we don't need 80 photographers and 3 caterers. If the tux places who come are all offering the same tux, you don't need a bunch of them. Now, if you have an outfit that offers a different kind, that's another story (we could find no local rentals for kilts....and there may not be any....but did we really need 10 tux vendors who were all only offering basic black?) Balance out your vendors--don't overboard on one kind. And do try to screen them to find out which ones are legit (I come back to that Simplicity Gourmet company). Yes, they are there to expand their customer base and call base, but there is no reason why a promoter should not check the legitimacy of the companies who come. Check with the Chamber and the BBB. Do a little research before you accept them in so that you weed out the ones with super high complaint levels. By admitting them to your show, you're endorsing them in many ways. You'll get a better reputation as a bridal show if you do that, because you're protecting your customer -- the bride -- from predatory vendors.

Also, limit the number of out of town imports -- truly, if I am having a local wedding, I don't need a vendor from 2 states away to come. Why? Because you know which one I'm going to like the most? The one with the travel cost add on.

Additionally, we don't need banks or mortgage companies or realtors. We're not looking to buy a house here--we're planning a wedding. Limit your vendors to ones who can legitimately demonstrate a correlation to their business and the wedding/honeymoon.

We don't really need registry places like JC Penny or Belks. Truly. It's not like we can register at the event. If they want to be involved, let them buy advertising space in the program to encourage people to come to their store to register.

Regarding the fashion show -- try to not let just one bridal boutique run it.

Don't let the DJ's make their music so loud that we can't talk to the vendors.

It also very much helps if the program has a map with a key. Both #1 is Lady Bug Photographers....etc. There are a lot of vendors there---and when I'm looking through my cards the next day, I might not remember which one was the one I liked. But I can put notes on my program (like "ick! treated me like shit" or "they were really pleasant" or star or X or something) and the placement of the vendor in the room will help me remember which one is which. Sure, I shouldn't take cards from everyone, but if I'm not feeling confrontational, I might take one just out of courtesy.

Don't always do these things on Sunday at 2 pm! What is it with Bridal Shows and Sunday at 2 pm? Why not a Saturday afternoon?

As a bride, I appreciated the bags that we got because it did help me with having a place to put things. Most places gave the paper bag, but the one I liked best gave out the recyclable grocery bag totes -- not that size, but that material. That bag was the nicest and most comfortable to carry.

Plan it, in many ways, like a wedding. Have seating for people. Give all your guests (not just the brides) a 'favor' of some kind (if you're charging them for admission, they should not be treated like second class citizens just because they are the groom, the MOH, the MOB, etc--and not the bride).


That's about it. :)

Misty

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